Posted on Apr 19, 2013, 6 a.m.
Extended light exposure due to lack of sleep can impair the body’s internal clock and adversely affect metabolism.
Maintaining a proper sleep pattern is critical for healthy metabolic function, and mild disruptions to the circadian rhythm (the body’s internal clock) can lead to obesity and diabetes. Claudia Coomans, from Leiden University Medical Center (The Netherlands), and colleagues exposed mice to constant light, which disturbed their normal internal clock function, and observed a gradual degradation of their bodies' internal clocks until it reached a level that normally occurs when aging. Eventually the mice lost their 24-hour rhythm in energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity, indicating that relatively mild impairment of clock function had severe metabolic consequences.
Claudia P. Coomans, Sjoerd A. A. van den Berg, Thijs Houben, Jan-Bert van Klinken, Rosa van den Berg, Johanna H. Meijer. “Detrimental effects of constant light exposure and high-fat diet on circadian energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity.” FASEB J., April 2013; 27:1721-1732.