Research by Philadelphia's Children's Hospital has found a clear link between sleep quality and blood sugar levels, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Diabetes Care.
The researchers studied 62 obese adolescents with a mean age of 14 years. Over a period of one and a half days, the children underwent glucose testing and an overnight sleep study. In addition to measuring total sleep time, the scientists studied "sleep architecture," analysing the different stages of sleep such as slow-wave 'deep' sleep and rapid eye movement ('REM' or dream) sleep.
The study found obese teenagers who don't get the proper amount of sleep may have disruptions in insulin secretion and blood sugar (glucose) levels. In particular, a lower duration of "deep" sleep correlated with decreased insulin secretion. The study suggests that getting a good night's sleep may help to stave off the development of type 2 diabetes in these adolescents.