Elderly Caucasian woman laying in bed with red alarm clock with text "Inconsistent Sleep Patterns Tied to Metabolic Syndrome Risk"

Metabolic syndrome refers to a set of medical conditions that raise the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. These include obesity, high blood pressure, and low HDL cholesterol. Research into the causes of metabolic syndrome is ongoing. A recent study published in Diabetes Care shows that inconsistent sleeping patterns can lead to increased risk of disease.

Researchers examined 2,003 participants and recorded their sleep variance for a couple of years. Sleep variance was defined by two factors. The first was how often a person changed the time they went to sleep. The second was how often the length of slumber changed. Researchers divided the participants into four groups based on how much variance they had. These are 60 minutes or less, 61-90 minutes, 91-120 minutes, and more than 120 minutes.

It was found that the 120 minutes or more group had the highest risk of developing metabolic syndrome. The odds decreased linearly with decreases in sleep variance. Researchers found that for every added hour of sleep variance, the odds of metabolic syndrome increased by 19%.

Regular sleep is an important part of health. Try to make sure that your sleep schedule is as consistent as possible.


Huang, Tianyi, and Susan Redline. “Cross-Sectional and Prospective Associations of Actigraphy-Assessed Sleep Regularity With Metabolic Abnormalities: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.” Diabetes Care, American Diabetes Association, 23 May 2019.

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