Sleep Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Risk: Are Your Kids Getting Enough Sleep? by Mei Marcie
Diabetes is a common health condition affecting adults, and increasingly children. Various studies have examined different factors affecting diabetes risk, and in this study, researchers from St. George's, University of London, set out to examine the potential link between sleep duration and Type 2 diabetes risk in children.
From examining 4,525 multiethnic children between the ages of 9 and 10 years, researchers found that the shorter the sleep duration, the higher the children’s levels of body fat. Just a one-hour-longer sleep duration was associated with 0.19 lower body mass index (BMI) and 0.03 kg lower fat mass index. There was also an inverse correlation between sleep duration and insulin levels, insulin resistance and blood sugar levels.
On the other hand, increasing the mean sleep length during the weekday by 30 minutes could lead to a decrease in BMI of 0.1 kg per square meter and a decrease in insulin resistance. While this study does not show causation, it is worthwhile for parents to remember that sleep is important, and grade school kids should have 9 to 12 hours of sleep daily. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.
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