Type 2 Diabetes Risk in Teenage Boys Increases With Lack of Sleep: Study

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Feb 15, 2016 06:00 PM EST

UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1950s: Boy sleeping in bed. (Photo by George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images) (Photo : Getty Images)

A new study reveals a link between sleep deprivations in teenage boys and types 2 diabetes. A declined in slow-wave sleep, also known as deep sleep, is linked to risk for insulin resistance and other health issues in teenaged boys.

According to Jordan Gaines, a neuroscience doctoral candidate at Penn State's College of Medicine, the amount of slow-wave sleep a teenage boy gets or the lack thereof may higher chances of developing type 2 diabetes, reports Medical Daily. Slow-waved sleep is an important stage in sleep cycle linked with memory consolidation and recovery after sleep deprivation. It is also involved in reducing cortisol and inflammation.

The study specifically points out that adolescent who have no slow-wave sleep may have increased chances of developing insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, increased visceral fat production and impaired attention compared to boys with regular slow-waved sleep.

"On a night following sleep deprivation, we'll have significantly more slow-wave sleep to compensate for the loss," Gaines explained, reports Medical Daily. "We also know that we lose slow-wave sleep most rapidly during early adolescence. Given the restorative role of slow-wave sleep, we weren't surprised to find that metabolic and cognitive processes were affected during this developmental period". Gaines added on Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

For the study, the researchers analyzed 700 children between ages of 5 and 12, reports US News. According to the report, over half of the participants were boys. Eight years after, researchers did a follow through with around 420 of the kids.

Those boys who lost a great amount of slow-wave sleep between childhood and teen years had a increased risk for insulin resistance compares those whose slow-wave sleep had maintained stable levels over the years.

However, the researchers found no link between slow-wave sleep and the identified health problems in girls. More so, the association discovered in the study does not ultimately prove the cause and effect relationship. The scientists admit that more research is needed to confirm the findings to determine if there's any association between loss of slow-wave sleep and increased risk of insulin resistance in other age groups.

In the meantime, researchers said that the findings can be used as a basis to work on many sleep and health-related studies in the future. They recommend to keep a consistent sleep schedule and not to deprive the body of any more slow-wave sleep than is naturally lost as we get old.

Check out this music that can induce deep sleep:


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