The impact of sleep debt on excess adiposity and insulin sensitivity in patients with early type 2 diabetes mellitus

Teresa Arora, Mimi Z. Chen, Ashley R. Cooper, Rob C. Andrews, Shahrad Taheri

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Study Objectives: We examined cross-sectional and prospective associations between sleep debt and adiposity measures, as well as homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in early type 2 diabetes. Methods: Prospective data analysis from participants of a randomized controlled trial based on an intensive lifestyle intervention (usual care, diet, or diet and physical activity). Data were collected at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months post-intervention. The study was performed across five secondary care centers in the United Kingdom. Patients (n = 593) with a recent diagnosis of type 2 diabetes were recruited. Objective height and weight were ascertained for obesity status (body mass index [BMI]; ≥ 30 kg/m2), waist circumference (cm) for central adiposity, and fasting blood samples drawn to examine insulin resistance (IR). Seven-day sleep diaries were used to calculate weekday sleep debt at baseline, calculated as average weekend sleep duration minus average weekday sleep duration. Results: At baseline, compared to those without weekday sleep debt, those with weekday sleep debt were 72% more likely to be obese (OR = 1.72 [95% CI:1.03-2.88]). At six months, weekday sleep debt was significantly associated with obesity and IR after adjustment, OR = 1.90 (95% CI:1.10-3.30), OR = 2.07 (95% CI:1.02-4.22), respectively. A further increase at 12 months was observed for sleep debt with obesity and IR: OR = 2.10 (95% CI:1.14-3.87), OR = 3.16 (95% CI:1.38-7.24), respectively. For every 30 minutes of weekday sleep debt, the risk of obesity and IR at 12 months increased by 18% and 41%, respectively. Conclusions: Sleep debt resulted in long-term metabolic disruption, which may promote the progression of type 2 diabetes in newly diagnosed patients. Sleep hygiene/education could be an important factor for future interventions to target early diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-680
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016



  • Body mass index
  • Central adiposity
  • Insulin resistance
  • Obesity
  • Sleep debt
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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