Sleep Deprivation May Raise Teen Boy's Insulin Resistance

Teens need 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night, says the National Sleep Foundation. Unfortunately, many teens are not getting the recommended amount because hormones make them sleepy later in the evening, but school requires them to rise earlier.

A new study shows that lack of sleep can be particularly detrimental to teen boys: it puts them at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

The Study

Penn State University performed a study on 'slow-wave' sleep, the stage of the sleep cycle that is in charge of recovering after sleep deprivation. The study found that a decline in SWS sleep may be linked to increased insulin resistance in male subjects.

Researchers did not find the same associations in female subjects.

Insulin Resistance Leads to Diabetes

Insulin resistance is often the start of type 2 diabetes. The more insulin the body produces, the more resistant the cells become. This causes the body to produce more insulin, causing the cells to become even more resistant.

This downward spiral leads to a person developing diabetes. They may need a special diet plan, oral medication to help lower insulin resistance, and eventually may need to inject additional insulin because their own production begins to decline.

Photo: Halton Parents Blog