Chronic Sleep Disturbance Impairs Glucose Homeostasis in Rats

R. Paulien Barf*, Peter Meerlo, Anton J. W. Scheurink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)
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Epidemiological studies have shown an association between short or disrupted sleep and an increased risk for metabolic disorders. To assess a possible causal relationship, we examined the effects of experimental sleep disturbance on glucose regulation in Wistar rats under controlled laboratory conditions. Three groups of animals were used: a sleep restriction group (RS), a group subjected to moderate sleep disturbance without restriction of sleep time (DS), and a home cage control group. To establish changes in glucose regulation, animals were subjected to intravenous glucose tolerance tests (IVGTTs) before and after 1 or 8 days of sleep restriction or disturbance. Data show that both RS and DS reduce body weight without affecting food intake and also lead to hyperglycemia and decreased insulin levels during an IVGTT. Acute sleep disturbance also caused hyperglycemia during an IVGTT, yet, without affecting the insulin response. In conclusion, both moderate and severe disturbances of sleep markedly affect glucose homeostasis and body weight control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number819414
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • sleep
  • sleep loss
  • sleep deprivation
  • sleep restriction
  • sleep disruption
  • sleep disturbance
  • metabolism
  • metabolic diseases
  • metabolic disorders
  • overweight
  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • body weight
  • food intake
  • energy balance
  • glucose tolerance test
  • glucose
  • insulin
  • stress
  • glucocorticoids
  • corticosterone


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