A new study published in the October issue of the journal "Sleep" claims the less sleep a teenager gets, the higher their risk for diabetes.
The study examined the sleep habits of 245 high school students. It found teens have a higher chance of developing insulin resistance if they don't get enough sleep, and this often leads to diabetes. Researchers say if teens normally get only six hours of sleep per night, they can improve their insulin resistance by 9 percent simply by getting one extra hour of sleep. The study's lead author is quoted as saying this study of the first to show the relationship between lack of sleep and insulin resistance, without consideration of obesity.
Dr. Kristina Johnson with Memorial Health University Physicians says insulin is produced by the pancreas, and if the body doesn't get enough sleep, it can't fulfill and regenerate itself.
Johnson also urges parents to make sure their kids get enough sleep by encouraging activities after school that don't include sitting in front of a television. She also says make sure teens have a routine schedule and healthy diet. She also suggests limiting high-fat or high-carb snacks at night.