Research has found that children who sleep one hour less a night have higher risk factors for type 2 diabetes

“These findings suggest increasing sleep duration could offer a simple approach to reducing levels of body fat and type 2 diabetes risk from early life,” says Professor Christopher G Owen, who led the research at St George’s, University of London.

“Potential benefits associated with increased sleep in childhood may have implications for health in adulthood,” says Professor Owen.

The NHS Choices recommended sleep duration for a 10 year old is 10 hours and so a child getting just one hour less has a higher risk, say researchers.

Over 4000 children studied

Researchers analysed the body measurements, blood sample results and questionnaire data from 4 525 children, aged nine to 10 years, in England.

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Children who slept longer had lower body weight and lower levels of fat mass. Sleep duration was also inversely related to insulin, insulin resistance and blood glucose.

Put your kids to bed 30 minutes earlier

Researchers conclude that increasing the mean weekday sleep duration (10.5 hours) by half an hour could be associated with a 0.1 kg/m² lower body mass index and a 0.5 percent reduction in insulin resistance.

Reducing these levels may have longer-term implications for reduced Type 2 diabetes in later life, the study states.

Source: University of St George’s London via

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