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Title: The effect of short sleep duration and exercise on glycaemic control in healthy adults
Author: Sweeney, Emma Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 9347 0668
Awarding Body: Northumbria University
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2019
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Short sleep durations are common amongst adults across the world. They have been linked to metabolic disorders, and, more specifically, impaired glycaemic control. Acute and chronic physical activity are known to have beneficial effects on metabolic health, and therefore may be able to attenuate the link between short sleep and impaired glycaemic control. The purpose of this thesis was to explore the potential for exercise to alter glycaemic control in short sleep durations. Specifically, the aims were threefold: (a) to understand the impaired glycaemic response to glucose intake over consecutive nights of sleep restriction (Chapter 4); (b) to investigate if exercise could alleviate the sleep restriction induced impairment in insulin sensitivity (Chapter 5); and (c) to determine if these factors act in a similar manner when transferred to the free-living environment (Chapter 6). The findings in Chapter 4 demonstrated that the number of nights of sleep restriction did not appear to affect the impairment in glycaemic control. These findings informed the study in Chapter 5, which used a randomised cross-over design to explore the potential for acute exercise to attenuate the impairment in glucose regulation after a single night of sleep restriction. The findings suggest that sprint interval exercise may be beneficial for the late postprandial period after sleep restriction, as demonstrated by a reduced insulin area under the curve. However, when examined in the free-living environment (Chapter 6), habitual short sleep duration did not show any evidence of impairing markers of glycaemic control when confounding factors such as sex, diet, and body composition were taken into consideration. Collectively, the studies in this thesis confirm that short-term short sleep impairs glucose regulation and suggest that exercise may be beneficial for glucose regulation after short sleep in the acute setting, but findings may be contradictory in chronic settings. Further study is warranted to establish the effects of different exercise modalities on glucose regulation after sleep restriction and to fully understand the link between habitual sleep duration, physical activity, and glycaemic control. However, a session of sprint interval exercise could be recommended to individuals after acute sleep restriction to alleviate the impairment in insulin sensitivity.
Supervisor: Peart, Daniel ; Ellis, Jason Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine ; C100 Biology ; C600 Sports Science ; C900 Others in Biological Sciences