Sleep and metabolic control: waking to a problem?
Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Volume 34 Issue 1-2, Pages 1 - 9

Published Online: 13 Dec 2006

© 2008 Blackwell Publishing


Michael I Trenell*, Nathaniel S Marshall*† and Naomi L Rogers*†
*Sleep and Circadian Research Group, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and † Central Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Correspondence: Associate Professor Naomi Rogers, Woolcock Institute for Medical Research, PO Box M77, Missenden Road, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia. Email:
Copyright © 2007 The Authors
Journal compilation © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd

ageing • appetite • diabetes • metabolism • obesity • sex • sleep

* 1. The aim of the present review is to outline: (i) the association between sleep and metabolism; (ii) how sleep duration influences the development of disease; and (iii) how sex differences, ageing and obesity may potentially influence the relationship between sleep, metabolic control and subsequent disease.
* 2. Sleep is associated with a number of endocrine changes, including a change in insulin action in healthy young individuals. Sleep duration shows a prospective U-shaped relationship with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.
* 3. Chronic sleep restriction is becoming more common. Experimental sleep restriction impedes daytime glucose control and increases appetite.
* 4. The sex hormones oestrogen and testosterone influence sleep duration and quality and may account for sex differences in the prevalence of sleep-related disorders.
* 5. Ageing is associated with a decreased sleep duration, decreased muscle mass and impaired insulin action.
* 6. Obesity impairs insulin action and is associated with the incidence and severity of obstructive sleep apnoea.
* 7. Sleep plays an integral role in metabolic control. Consequently, insufficient sleep may represent a modifiable risk factor for the development of Type 2 diabetes. The challenge ahead is to identify how sex differences, ageing and obesity could potentially influence the relationship between sleep and metabolism.

Received 28 June 2006; revision 19 September 2006; accepted 25 September 2006.
10.1111/j.1440-1681.2007.04541.x About DOI
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