Sleeping for long hours can cut risk of diabetes in teens

Sleeping

Extending sleep duration may help to reduce diabetes risk in youth, a new study has claimed.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have found that increasing the amount of sleep that teenagers get could improve their insulin resistance and prevent the future onset of diabetes.

"High levels of insulin resistance can lead to the development of diabetes. We found that if teens that normally get six hours of sleep per night get one extra hour of sleep, they would improve insulin resistance by 9 per cent," said lead author Karen Matthews.

The study tracked the sleep duration and insulin resistance levels of 245 healthy high school students.

Participants provided a fasting blood draw, and they kept a sleep log and wore a wrist actigraph for one week during the school year.

Sleep duration based on actigraphy averaged 6.4 hours over the week, with school days significantly lower than weekends.

Results showed that higher insulin resistance is associated with shorter sleep duration independent of race, age, gender, waist circumference, and body mass index.

Interventions to promote metabolic health in adolescence should include efforts to extend nightly sleep duration, authors said in a statement.

The study will be published in the journal SLEEP.

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