3. Regular sleep schedule benefits metabolic health

Having a regular habit of going to bed and waking up could protect metabolic health. A new study has linked the habit to a lower chance of developing risk factors that make up metabolic syndrome, such as high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol.

The researchers in the latest study looked at the relationship between variability of sleep pattern and the development of metabolic risk factors in 2,003 people aged between 45 and 84 years. They observed that for every 1 hour of day-to-day variation in bedtime or length of sleep, there was a 27% raised risk of developing metabolic risk factors.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which is part of the National Institutes of Health, funded the study, which features in the journal Diabetes Care. "Our research shows that, even after considering the amount of sleep a person gets and other lifestyle factors, every 1-hour night-to-night difference in the time to bed or the duration of a night's sleep multiplies the adverse metabolic effect," says corresponding study author Tianyi Huang, who works as an epidemiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA. "Our results suggest that maintaining a regular sleep schedule has beneficial metabolic effects," says study co-author Susan Redline, who works as a senior doctor in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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