Teenagers who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes in later life, regardless of their weight, a new study has revealed.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh in the US found that sleeping for six hours or less each night could lead to poor metabolic health during adolescence and thus increase the risk of diabetes in adulthood.
For the study, 245 healthy high school students were tracked for insulin resistance . According to the journal SLEEP, the teens had their fasting blood sugars draw, wore a wrist actigraph that measures sleep activity and kept a sleep log for one week during the school year.
The results showed that shorter sleep duration was linked to higher levels of insulin resistance, independent of body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, age, gender and race.
“High levels of insulin resistance can lead to the development of diabetes,” said lead author of the study Karen Matthews, PhD.
“We found that if teens that normally get six hours of sleep per night get one extra hour of sleep, they would improve insulin resistance by nine per cent.”
Matthews, of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry, added that the study is the first to reveal an association between shorter sleep and type 2 diabetes risk regardless of weight and other known risk factors for the metabolic disease .

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