03/25/2014 08:34 am ET Updated Mar 25, 2014

Poor Sleep Linked With Metabolic Disease

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Not getting enough sleep, as well as disturbed sleep, are associated with metabolic health problems, including Type 2 diabetes, according to a new review of studies in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

The review, conducted by researchers from the University of Lubeck, the University of Tubingen and the eSwiss Medical and Surgical Centre, included observational and experimental studies published between 1998 and 2013.

The experimental studies in the review showed that poor sleep could have an impact on metabolic disease risk by affecting glucose metabolism, appetite and food intake, and energy expenditure.

The demonstrated association between poor sleep and metabolic diseases means that sleep should be targeted as a preventive measure and possibly even a treatment for metabolic condition such as diabetes and obesity, the researchers said.

For instance, treatment of obstructive sleep apnea has been shown to improve metabolic health. And "much more common than defined sleep disturbances is voluntary sleep curtailment associated with modern leisure activities, such as the use of technical devices for gaming, online shopping, social networking, or watching television," they wrote in the study. "Here, programs of sleep education and cognitive behavioral therapies focusing on improved sleep hygiene might represent promising approaches to induce behavioral changes."