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Teen Sleep Deprivation and Diabetes

Oct 2nd, 2012
Staff Writer

Sleep deprivation is worst during the school week.Sleep deprivation has been associated with a host of health problems. Recent research connected lack of sleep with increased risk of diabetes caused by a decreased insulin resistance.

Doctor Karen Matthews from the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Psychiatry led a study investigating into the effects of sleep patterns as recorded in 245 healthy high school students.

The research, published in the October 2012 edition of the Sleep Journal, examined a fasting blood sample before the trial to determine insulin levels and resistance. Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone that functions in a variety of manners, including regulation of blood sugar levels and protein synthesis, according to

The participants also maintained a personal sleep log in which they self-recorded sleep per day, and an actigraph wristwatch that actively monitored individual’s activity.

The sleep logs recorded an average of 7.4 hours of sleep per night, while the actigraph recorded an average of 6.4 hours per night, demonstrating the time between laying back and passing out.

“We found that if teens that normally get 6 hours of sleep per night get one extra hour of sleep,” Dr. Matthews explained, “they would improve insulin resistance by 9 percent.” Dr. Matthews team found higher insulin resistance was associated with shorter sleep duration independent o other variables.

The University of Pittsburgh team concluded that intervention to improve daily sleep duration would improve several categories of a teenager’s health, including reducing the risk of Type II Diabetes.