The Relation Between Type 2 Diabetes & Sleep Duration in Children

We all know that diabetes is a widespread disease and that it is caused due to a number of factors. However, what many people are not aware of is the fact that the sleep duration amongst children could also be one of the factors increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The article that follows tries to explain the link between type 2 diabetes and the sleep duration in children:

Table of Contents

Relation Between Type 2 Diabetes and the Sleep Duration in Children:

The following paragraph analyses and tries to understand how is the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes associated with the total sleep time in children.:

Lack of sleep may raise type 2 diabetes risk in children

  • As per a few studies conducted by the experts, if the child sleeps less as compared to the recommended hours of sleep time, the higher is the level of body fat in the child. Obesity and weight gain, as we know, are important risk factors causing type 2 diabetes.
  • Similarly, when the child sleeps less than the ideal duration, the blood sugar level in the child is on the higher side.
  • With the decreased amount of sleep duration, there are higher chances that the body will get more and more resistant to insulin, the hormone which is mainly responsible for the effective regulation of blood glucose in the human body.
  • Besides, the level of insulin in such a child is below the desired levels.

How Does Appropriate Sleep Time Contribute to Decreased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes?

Well, as per a few studies conducted by experts on children, even If the child increases his or her sleep time by a mere 30 minutes, there are fewer chances of the child contracting type 2 diabetes. We try to understand the reason for the same in the following paragraph:

  • When the mean weekday sleep time is increased by merely 30 minutes, there is a reduction in the insulin resistance of the body by a good 0.5%.
  • Besides, increased sleep duration is also known to decrease the Body Mass Index by 0.1 kilograms per square meter.

What is the Recommended Sleep Duration for Children?

As pointed in the above paragraphs, the total sleep time is extremely important to maintain the health of a child and keep the child away from a chronic condition such as type 2 diabetes. The appropriate sleep time will also help the child have a healthy living in adulthood. As such, we should know what is the recommended ideal sleep duration for children.

There are the following two schools of thought about the ideal sleep duration:

  • As per the National Health Service in the UK, the ideal sleep duration for children is somewhat around 10 hours for a 10-year-old child.
  • As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the ideal sleep duration for children is somewhere in between 9 to 12 hours for those aged between 6 and 12 years.

Hence, as seen in the above post, there exists an indirect relationship between type 2 diabetes and the total sleep duration in children. Having said that, it is important to remember that the studies which define this relationship are at the very nascent stages and a few more experiments need to be conducted to clearly establish this inverse relationship!

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