245 healthy young students participated in a week long study where duration of sleep and resistance to insulin were tracked. They wore an actigraph in order to record their sleep time which averaged 6.4 hours during school days, less than over the weekend. This study is the only one that was conducted on healthy adolescents, independent of obesity, but where a link between shorter sleep time and higher resistance to insulin was studied.
“High levels of insulin resistance can lead to the development of diabetes,” said lead author Karen Matthews, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry. “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 9 percent.”
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