Teens who don't get enough sleep are at increased risk of developing diabetes, besides improving their insulin resistance, according to a study.
"High levels of insulin resistance can lead to the development of diabetes," said Karen Matthews, who teaches psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh.
"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 percent," said Matthews, who led the study.
Insulin resistance is a set of metabolic dysfunctions linked with or contributing to a range of serious health conditions that include type 2 diabetes (formerly called adult-onset diabetes), metabolic syndrome, obesity, among others.
The study tracked the sleep duration and insulin resistance levels of 245 healthy high school students.
Participants provided a fasting blood draw, and they kept a sleep log and wore a wrist actigraph for one week during the school year, the journal SLEEP reported.
Results show that higher insulin resistance is associated with shorter sleep duration independent of race, age, gender, waist circumference, and body mass index, according to a Pittsburgh statement.
The study is the only one in healthy adolescents that shows a relationship between shorter sleep and insulin resistance that is independent of obesity, added Matthews.