Proper Amount of Sleep May Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Obese Teenagers

Obese teenagers who do no get the proper amount of sleep may have disruptions in insulin secretion and glucose levels, according to pediatric researchers. Their study suggests that getting proper amounts of sleep may stave off the development of type 2 diabetes in these adolescents.

“We already know that three out of four high school students report getting insufficient sleep,” Dorit Koren, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and study investigator, stated in a press release. “Our study found to keep glucose levels stable, the optimal amount of sleep for teenagers is 7 and a half to 8 and a half hours per night.”

She added that this is consistent with research in adults showing an association between sleep deprivation and increased risk of type-2 diabetes.

The researchers studied 62 obese adolescents with a mean age of 14 years at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Over 1½ days, the children, who were white, African American and Hispanic teenagers, underwent glucose testing and an overnight sleep study. In addition to measuring total sleep time, the scientists studied sleep architecture analyzing stages of sleep, such as slow-wave deep sleep and rapid eye movement sleep.

The optimal sleep duration was neither too little nor too much, according to Koren; both insufficient and excessive sleep were linked to higher glucose levels. While sleep stages did not predict glucose levels, lower duration of N3 (deep sleep) correlated with decreased insulin secretion.

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