People who work alternate shifts at greatest risk for diabetes, obesity

Sleepless nights, irregular sleep schedules, these are all things can lead to more than just a rough day at work.  A Harvard study shows bad sleep can also lead to diabetes and obesity.

Researchers observed 21 men and women in a sleep laboratory.  They found those who only slept 5.6 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period over three weeks showed significant problems including a slow metabolism and reduction in insulin production.  Medical experts say those changes can lead to weight gain and diabetes.

The study is especially troublesome for people who work overnight shifts.  Researchers say when you alternate your sleeping, eating and activity against your body's internal clock, that is when the risk for developing diabetes and obesity is greater.

About 15 percent of full-time wage and salary workers in the U.S. work an alternative shift, according to 2004 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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