Teens With Little Sleep, Up Diabetes Risk

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PITTSBURGH, (UPI) —  If teens spend a lot of their time sleep deprived their risk of insulin resistance and future diabetes increases, U.S. researchers say.

Lead author Karen Matthews of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry and colleagues tracked the sleep duration and insulin resistance levels of 245 healthy high school students.

Study participants provided a fasting blood sample, kept a sleep log and wore a wrist actigraph — a device worn on the wrist to measure periods of activity — 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.

“High levels of insulin resistance can lead to the development of diabetes,” Matthews said in a statement. “We found that if teens that normally get 6 hours of sleep per night get one extra hour of sleep, they would improve insulin resistance by 9 percent.”

The findings, published in the journal Sleep, showed higher insulin resistance was associated with shorter sleep duration independent of race, age, gender, waist circumference and body mass index, Matthews said.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine said most teens need a little more than 9 hours of sleep each night, Matthews added.

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