Shift workers and diabetes: Is there a connection?

Shift workers and diabetes: Is there a connection?

This study highlights the caution that should be exercised in jobs that require shift hours

 

Our need for sleep is innate. If we don't get enough sleep, not only can we be cranky, but we don't perform at our best levels that day. People who are deprived of sleep risk falling asleep while driving, and not only injuring themselves, but other pedestrians or motorists on the road.

Now, we can add diabetes to the mix of improper sleep habits. A group of United States scientists have discovered that shift workers who have improper patterns of sleep, could be at increased risk for both obesity and diabetes. The improper sleep patterns were noted as not getting enough sleep and sleep at a non-normal time of the day.


In their scientific study, researchers found that changes in patterns of normal sleep can make the body not able to control blood sugar levels. When an individual doesn't get enough sleep, certain hormones can be produced that eventually could lead to the development of diabetes. This is in addition to the potential increase for the body to gain weight.

The scientists conducted their study in a controlled environment. What these scientists did was to control the sleep and meal patterns of 21 participants. As part of the study, scientists increased the participants days to 28 hours and reduced their sleep to 6.5 hours. This essentially made these participants experience jet lag.

At the end of the study, the scientists noted that the participants had increased sugar levels to the level that they were classified as pre-diabetic.

This study highlights the caution that should be exercised in jobs that require shift hours.