The effects of sleep extension on cardiometabolic risk factors: A systematic review

Rob H. P. Henst, Paula Pienaar, Laura Roden, Dale E Rae

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


Studies have shown bidirectional relationships between short‐ or long‐sleep duration and risk for obesity, non‐communicable diseases, all‐cause mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality. Increasing sleep duration may be an appropriate strategy to reduce cardiometabolic risk in short‐sleeping individuals. The aim is to review the effects of sleep extension interventions on cardiometabolic risk in adults. The PubMed and Scopus databases were searched for relevant, English, peer‐reviewed scientific publications (until August 2018). Seven studies that aimed to increase sleep duration in adults by any sleep extension intervention and described at least one cardiometabolic risk factor were included. These studies had a combined sample size of 138 participants who were either healthy (n = 14), healthy short‐sleeping (n = 92), overweight short‐sleeping (n = 10), or pre‐ or hypertensive short‐sleeping (n = 22) individuals. The durations of the sleep extension interventions ranged from 3 days to 6 weeks, and all successfully increased total sleep time by between 21 and 177 min. Sleep extension was associated with improved direct and indirect measures of insulin sensitivity, decreased leptin and peptide tyrosine‐tyrosine, and reductions in overall appetite, desire for sweet and salty foods, intake of daily free sugar, and percentage of daily caloric intake from protein. This review provides preliminary evidence for a role for sleep extension to improve cardiometabolic outcomes and directive towards future studies in the field of cardiometabolic health and sleep.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12865
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Issue number6
Early online date5 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiovascular disease
  • insulin sensitivity
  • metabolic syndrome
  • non-communicable diseases
  • obese
  • sleep duration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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