A good night's sleep may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes in obese teens

September 20, 2011

Obese teenagers who don't get the proper amount of sleep may have disruptions in insulin secretion and blood sugar (glucose) levels, say pediatric researchers. Their study suggests that getting a good night's 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," said study investigator Dorit Koren, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Our study found to keep stable, the optimal amount of sleep for teenagers is 7.5 to 8.5 hours per night." She added that this is consistent with research in adults showing an association between and increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

The study appears online today in the journal Diabetes Care.

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

The optimal sleep duration was neither too little nor too much, said 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 .

The current study was the first to associate sleep duration with glucose levels in children and to report a link between N3 sleep and insulin secretion.

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

Explore further: Night shift nurses more likely to have poor sleep habits

More information: "Sleep Architecture and Glucose and Insulin Homeostasis in Obese Adolescents," Diabetes Care, published online Sept. 20, 2011, to appear in November 2011 print edition.

Related Stories

Night shift nurses more likely to have poor sleep habits

June 11, 2007

Nurses who work the night shift are more likely to have poor sleep habits, a practice that can increase the likelihood of committing serious errors that can put the safety of themselves as well as their patients at risk, ...

Too much or too little sleep increases risk of diabetes

April 21, 2009

Researchers at Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine have found that people who sleep too much or not enough are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. The risk is 2½ times higher ...

Insomnia linked to high insulin resistance in diabetics

May 2, 2011

In the largest study of it kind to establish a link between sleep and diabetes, researchers found that people with diabetes who sleep poorly have higher insulin resistance, and a harder time controlling the disease.

Recommended for you

Bacteria in smokeless tobacco products may be a health concern

August 26, 2016

Several species of bacteria found in smokeless tobacco products have been associated with opportunistic infections, according to a paper published August 26 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American ...

Is tailgating toxic?

August 26, 2016

While tailgating this football season you may want to take a step back from the grill and generator—for your health.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.