Variability in daily sleep patterns is an emerging factor linked to metabolic syndrome. However, whether reducing bedtime variability improves markers of disease risk has not been tested. Here, we assessed whether body composition and inflammation were impacted by changes in bedtime variability over a 6-week period, during which, women were instructed to maintain healthy, habitual sleep (HS) patterns (one arm of a randomized trial). Data were available for 37 women (age 34.9 ± 12.4 years, BMI 24.7 ± 2.9 kg/m2, sleep duration 7.58 ± 0.49 h/night). Body composition and leukocyte platelet aggregates (LPA) were measured at baseline and endpoint using magnetic resonance imaging and flow cytometry, respectively. Sleep data were collected daily using wrist actigraphy. Change in bedtime variability was calculated as the difference in the standard deviation (SD) of bedtimes measured during the 2-week screening period and the 6-week intervention period. Results showed that women who reduced their bedtime variability (n = 29) during the intervention had reductions in total (P < 0.001) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (P < 0.001) relative to women who increased/maintained (n = 8) bedtime variability. Similar effects were observed for LPA levels between women who reduced vs increased/maintained bedtime variability (P = 0.011). Thus, reducing bedtime variability, without changing sleep duration, could improve cardiometabolic health by reducing adiposity and inflammation.
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This study was funded by an American Heart Association Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network Award (St-Onge: 16SFRN27950012; Jelic: 16SFRN29050000; Berger: 16SFRN28730002). FZ has received support from American Heart Association Strategically Focused Research Network Award postdoctoral fellowship (16SFRN27880000) and National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship (T32HL007343). This publication was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, the National Institutes of Health, through Grant Number UL1TR001873. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.
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St-Onge, M., Campbell, A., Zuraikat, F. et al. Impact of change in bedtime variability on body composition and inflammation: secondary findings from the Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network. Int J Obes 44, 1803–1806 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41366-020-0555-1