Sleep extension and metabolic health in male overweight/obese short sleepers: A randomised controlled trial

Iuliana Hartescu*, David J. Stensel, Alice E. Thackray, James A. King, James L. Dorling, Eva N. Rogers, Andrew P. Hall, Emer M. Brady, Melanie J Davies, Thomas Yates, Kevin Morgan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


While limited evidence suggests that longer sleep durations can improve metabolic health in habitual short sleepers, there is no consensus on how sustained sleep extension can be achieved. A total of 18 men (mean [SD] age 41 [9] years), who were overweight/obese (mean [SD] body mass index 30 [3] kg/m2) and short sleepers at increased risk of type 2 diabetes were randomised to a 6-week sleep-extension programme based on cognitive behavioural principles (n = 10) or a control (n = 8) group. The primary outcome was 6-week change in actigraphic total sleep time (TST). Fasting plasma insulin, insulin resistance (Homeostatic Model Assessment for Insulin Resistance [HOMA-IR]), blood pressure, appetite-related hormones from a mixed-meal tolerance test, and continuous glucose levels were also measured. Baseline to 6-week change in TST was greater in the sleep-extension group, at 79 (95% confidence interval [CI] 68.90, 88.05) versus 6 (95% CI −4.43, 16.99) min. Change in the sleep-extension and control groups respectively also showed: lower fasting insulin (−11.03 [95% CI −22.70, 0.65] versus 7.07 [95% CI −4.60, 18.74] pmol/L); lower systolic (−11.09 [95% CI −17.49, −4.69] versus 0.76 [95% CI −5.64, 7.15] mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure (−12.16 [95% CI −17.74, −6.59] versus 1.38 [95% CI −4.19, 6.96] mmHg); lower mean amplitude of glucose excursions (0.34 [95% CI −0.57, −0.12] versus 0.05 [95% CI −0.20, 0.30] mmol/L); lower fasting peptide YY levels (−18.25 [95%CI −41.90, 5.41] versus 21.88 [95% CI −1.78, 45.53] pg/ml), and improved HOMA-IR (−0.51 [95% CI −0.98, −0.03] versus 0.28 [95% CI −0.20, 0.76]). Our protocol increased TST and improved markers of metabolic health in male overweight/obese short sleepers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13469
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiovascular health
  • insufficient sleep
  • metabolic health
  • short sleep duration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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