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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 17:24 EDT

Sleep May Keep Type 2 Diabetes Away

September 23, 2011

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Telling your teen to go to bed early ‘because I said so’ can be replaced with a better reason! A new study suggests that getting a good night’s sleep may ward off the development of type2 diabetes among obese teenagers.  Obese teenagers who do not get the proper amount of sleep may have disruptions in insulin secretion and blood sugar (glucose) levels.

“We already know that three out of four high school students report getting insufficient sleep,” study investigator Dorit Koren, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, was quoted as saying.
 
“Our study found to keep glucose levels stable, the optimal amount of sleep for teenagers is 7.5 to 8.5 hours per night.” Dr.Koren 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, who were white, African American and Hispanic, with an average age of 14 years at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  They underwent glucose testing and an overnight sleep study in a period of over one and a half days.  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 (dream) sleep.

Dr.  Koren explained that the optimal sleep duration was neither too little nor too much.  Both insufficient and excessive sleep was linked to higher glucose levels.  While sleep stages did not predict glucose levels, lower duration of deep sleep correlated with decreased insulin secretion.

This study was the first to associate sleep duration with glucose levels in children and to report a link between deep sleep and insulin secretion.

“Reduced insulin secretion may lead to the higher glucose levels that we found in subjects who had insufficient sleep,” Dr.Koren was quoted as saying, “We will seek to confirm these findings with home-based studies of sleep patterns in obese teenagers. In the meantime, our study reinforces the idea that getting adequate sleep in adolescence may help protect against type 2 diabetes.”

SOURCE: Diabetes Care, published online September 2011