Next up is another article that looks at how lack of sleep and other aspects of nightshift work can add up to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. A recent study from the University of Chicago surmises that a pervasive societal lack of sleep is contributing to higher Type 2 Diabetes levels.

Weight Gain and High Fatty Acid Levels

fat-belly_smThe study looked at an admittedly small group of patients but in the sleep study, the men involved all showed increased weight gain and higher blood sugar levels when they were deprived of sleep. The researchers looked at fatty acid levels in the blood when sleep deprived for two or more nights. With the sleep deprivation came higher fatty acid levels and a concomitant inhibition of insulin effectiveness.

More study is needed with a larger patient group over multiple sites. But the most important thing this shows is how the physiology of the body is effected when sleep is interrupted over time by rescheduling, working off-shifts, and lifestyle choices. All of these things will impact the body and bring about an increased risk for diabetes. With that comes increased cardiovascular disease risk.

Night Shifts Have Lasting Effects

I’ve reported here on the show in recent months about other studies on the long term effects of working shift work. This is the first study I’ve seen that seems to tag a particular physiological cause of the increased disease risk. That is some good news at least. It means that we could, perhaps, take steps to reduce fatty acid levels through some intervention in the future.

I’ll keep looking at this topic as other studies continue to nail down the physiology of sleep deprivation, something that we nurses know too much about on a personal level. I’ll let you know as I find out anything else.

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Cadaver Lab Conference Lessons Learned and Episode 336.

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