Healthy sleeping habit could cut obese teens’ diabetes risk

by admin on September 23, 2011

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Eight-and-a-half hours sleep could reduce the risk of type two diabetes in obese teenagers, researchers have found.

By Nick Collins ( , Science Correspondent

A study of 62 teenagers showed that sleeping for between seven-and-a-half and eight-and-a-half hours a night kept insulin and blood sugar at the optimum level.

Spending less or more time in bed increased the chance of raised glucose levels, while a lower amount of deep sleep caused insulin levels to drop, according to research published in the Diabetes Care journal.

The findings mean that a healthy sleeping pattern could help to ward off the onset of diabetes in the patients, all of whom were obese, researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said.

A seperate study in 2007 found that almost one in three British teenagers gets just four to seven hours’ sleep per night.

Dr Dorit Koren, who led the study, said it backed up previous research which showed that adults who were deprived of sleep had a higher risk of type two diabetes.

The teenagers were monitored over one and a half days, during which their blood sugar levels were tested and their sleep patterns were analysed by researchers.

Dr Koren said: “Our study found to keep glucose levels stable, the optimal amount of sleep for teenagers is 7.5 to 8.5 hours per night.”

The researchers will now try to back up their findings by carrying out a similar analysis in obese teenagers’ homes rather than in the laboratory.

“In the meantime, our study reinforces the idea that getting adequate sleep in adolescence may help protect against type 2 diabetes,” Dr Koren said.

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