A study in the September 2017 Pediatrics found that children who slept on average one hour less a night had higher risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, including higher levels of blood glucose and insulin resistance. The study, "Sleep Duration and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes," (published online Aug. 15), also confirmed prior research that has shown an association between shorter sleep duration and higher levels of body fat. Researchers analyzed the body measurements, blood sample results and questionnaire data from 4,525 children of multi-ethnic descent, aged 9-10 years, in England. 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.
On average, children slept 10.5 hours per night (95% range 8.0–12.0 hours). There were strong inverse graded relationships between sleep duration, adiposity, and diabetes risk markers. In adjusted models, a 1-hour-longer sleep duration was associated with 0.19 lower BMI (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.09 to 0.28), 0.03 kg/m5 lower fat mass index (95% CI 0.00 to 0.05 kg/m5), 2.9% lower homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance (95% CI 1.2% to 4.4%), and 0.24% lower fasting glucose (95% CI 0.03% to 0.44%); there was no association with HbA1c or cardiovascular risk. Associations with insulin and glucose remained after an additional adjustment for adiposity markers.