The metabolic consequences of sleep deprivation
The prevalence of diabetes and obesity is increasing at an alarming rate worldwide, and the causes of this pandemic are not fully understood. Chronic sleep curtailment is a behavior that has developed over the past 2-3 decades. Laboratory and epidemiological studies suggest that sleep loss may play a role in the increased prevalence of diabetes and/or obesity. Current data suggest the relationship between sleep restriction, weight gain and diabetes risk may involve at least three pathways: (1) alterations in glucose metabolism; (2) upregulation of appetite; and (3) decreased energy expenditure. The present article reviews the current evidence in support of these three mechanisms that might link short sleep and increased obesity and diabetes risk.