Teenage sleep loss puts boys at diabetes risk

Washington: Teen boys, who get too little sleep may be at the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

Jordan Gaines, a Penn State neuroscience researcher, noted that how much slow-wave sleep a teenage boy gets may predict whether he is at risk for insulin resistance and other health issues.

Boys who experience a greater decline in slow-wave sleep as adolescents have a significantly higher chance of developing insulin resistance than those who more closely maintained their slow-wave sleep as they got older. These boys are then also at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, increased visceral fat and impaired attention.

Slow-wave sleep (SWS) is an important stage of sleep that is involved in memory consolidation and recovery after sleep deprivation, and is also associated with reduced cortisol and inflammation.

On a night following sleep deprivation, people will have significantly more slow-wave sleep to compensate for the loss, said Gaines, adding that people lose slow-wave sleep most rapidly during early adolescence. Given the restorative role of slow-wave sleep, the researchers weren’t surprised to find that metabolic and cognitive processes were affected during this developmental period.

Gaines found that in boys, a greater loss of SWS between childhood and adolescence was significantly associated with insulin resistance and this loss was marginally associated with increased belly fat and impaired attention. However, Gaines did not find any associations between SWS and insulin resistance, physical health or brain function in girls.

The study has been presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. (ANI)