Travellers, shift workers have increased risk of type 2 diabetes

That could lead to raised risk of type 2 diabetes for world travellers, late-night shift workers and others with out-of-sync body clocks, they said after a controlled lab-based study.

The 21 participants in the study by neuroscientists in Boston, USA, spent almost six weeks in the lab.

For three weeks they got 5.6 hours of sleep per 24-hour period while simultaneously experiencing 28-hour circadian days – similar to four hours of jet lag accumulating each day.

That combination of restricted sleep and disrupted circadian rhythm caused a 32% drop in insulin secretion after a meal.

Garvan Institute endocrinologist Professor Don Chisholm said the findings differed from previous research linking sleep and circadian disruption to insulin resistance.

“This study found no significant changes in insulin sensitivity, but there was a quite significant reduction in insulin secretion,” Professor Chisholm  said.