A good night’s sleep may be critical for the metabolic health of teenagers.
Researchers studied 829 boys and girls, average age 13, who wore electronic measuring devices that tracked sleep time, sleep quality and physical activity over seven to 10 days. They also recorded five factors associated with cardiovascular risk: waist circumference, blood pressure, HDL or “good” cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin resistance.
Inadequate sleep was common — 31 percent of the children slept less than seven hours a night, and 58 percent had poor sleep efficiency as measured by percentage of time awake after initial sleep onset. Shorter sleep duration and poorer sleep efficiency were associated with higher systolic blood pressure, lower HDL cholesterol, higher triglycerides and higher glucose levels, all indicators of poorer metabolic health.
Other studies have found that shorter sleep is associated with obesity, but in this study, published in Pediatrics, the associations were independent of body mass index. The researchers controlled for age and sex, race and ethnicity, TV viewing, fast food consumption and other factors.
“It was surprising that we found that the relationship was not fully explained by body mass index,” said the lead author, Elizabeth M. Cespedes Feliciano, a staff scientist at Kaiser Permanente Northern California.
The New York Times