- Advertisement -
by Christina Elston
Parents have a new reason to send sleep-deprived teens to bed earlier. Doing so might reduce kids’ risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
People with type 2 diabetes gradually stop producing insulin, a hormone that helps the body use sugar from the food we eat for energy and growth. One of the signs that diabetes might be setting in is something called “insulin resistance,” where the cells stop responding to insulin the body makes. Insulin resistance can be affected by age, race, gender, waist circumference, body mass index and, apparently, sleep.
Looking at 245 healthy high school students, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh found that when teens who normally got six hours of sleep per night added just one extra hour, they improved their bodies’ response to insulin by 9 percent. And while the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends nine hours of sleep or more per night for teens, those in the study averaged just 6.4 hours per night during the week.
Most current efforts to help prevent diabetes in teens focus on reducing weight by improving diet and boosting physical activity. This study’s authors recommend that promoting healthy sleep habits become a part of the diabetes-prevention picture.
The study was reported in the October issue of the journal SLEEP.
Christina Elston is a senior editor, health writer and regular contributor to the Boston Parents Paper.
Concussions: Recovery is More Than Sitting Out a Game|
New state regulations aimed at better protecting child athletes from the dangers of concussions focus on educating adults on how to recognize a concussion and on how long a child might need to recover, physically and cognitively.
Great Alternative Sports for Kids|
Not all kids like the go-to sports of football, soccer, baseball and basketball. Here's a look at four alternative sports that are great for kids – badminton, fencing, synchronized swimming and Double Dutch!
Birthing in the Bay State: Trends and News|
Our annual look at pregnancy and childbirth in Massachusetts explores free-range childbirth, traditional baby names, re-purposing baby gear and the state's distinction of having the most twins and the oldest first-moms in the nation.
Local Doctor Helps Parents Understand Their Babies|
Kevin Nugent, Ph.D, director of the Brazelton Institute at Children's Hospital, Boston, has become an expert in interpreting the language of babies. He has written a new book to help parents decode and understand the behavior of their infants.
New Warnings About the Sun and Tanning|
Despite years of warnings about the sun, tanning beds and skin cancer, Americans continue to stay outside too long without enough sunscreen, and many adolescents and adults are using tanning beds. Here's an updated look at a continuing problem.
Portable Pools Are Smaller, Drowning Risk Isn’t|
In spite of their ease and convenience, portable pools still pose the same drowning risks of any body of water. Here are some important and unique safety precautions to keep in mind as your kids use these pools this summer.
What We All Need to Know about EpiPens|
About 100 people, including children, die of allergic reactions in the U.S. each year, and epinephrine is amazingly effective in preventing this. The EpiPen is easy to use – learn how so that you too can prevent food allergy deaths.
A Diabetes Diet for All of Us|
Childhood obesity remains one of the nation's top health problems and diabetes is on the rise. The experts at the Mayo Clinic offer up this new plan to trim our waistlines and improve our health.