Lack of sleep tied to higher risk of diabetes in kids
Reuters Health - Children who don’t get enough sleep may be more likely to develop diabetes than kids who typically get enough shuteye, a UK study suggests.
That’s because each additional hour of sleep children get at night is associated with a lower body weight, more lean muscle mass and less accumulation of sugars in the blood, researchers report in Pediatrics. Obesity and elevated blood sugar are risk factors for type 2 diabetes, which happens when the body can’t properly use or make enough of the hormone insulin to convert blood sugar into energy.
“These findings suggest increasing sleep duration could offer a simple, cost-effective approach to reducing levels of body fat and type 2 diabetes risk early in life,” senior study author Christopher Owen of St. George’s, University of London, said by email.
Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes because it was so rare in children. But today, it’s a common childhood health problem, in large part because millions of kids worldwide are overweight or obese, don’t get enough exercise, and eat too many sugary and fatty foods.
For the current study, researchers examined survey data on sleep habits and lab results from tests of risk factors for diabetes in 4,525 UK children age 9 or 10.
On average, the kids slept 10.5 hours on school nights, although sleep duration ranged from 8 to 12 hours.
Children who got less sleep in the study were more likely to have a risk factor for diabetes known as insulin resistance, when the body doesn’t respond normally to the hormone.
Kids who slept less were also more Continue reading