Diabetic children with poor sleeping habits could be putting
themselves at risk by failing to spend sufficient time in bed,
research has found.

A team based at the University of Arizona found that youngsters
with Type 1 diabetes often find it difficult to doze off at

They revealed that sleeplessness could be linked to their ability
to control their blood sugar levels, which therefore impacts their
behaviour and chances of performing well at school.

Researchers tracked the sleep patterns of 50 children between the
ages of ten and 16 with Type 1 diabetes, who were found to spend
more time in the lighter stages of sleep than their peers.

Published in the January edition of the journal Sleep, the
research showed that high blood sugar levels are also more
prominent among this group.

Study principal investigator Michelle Perfect explained that in
the majority of cases, these youngsters are adhering to the
recommendations of good diabetic health.

She commented: "We found that it could be due to abnormalities in
sleep, such as daytime sleepiness, lighter sleep and sleep

"All of these make it more difficult to have good blood sugar

Regardless of their weight, around a third of those surveyed were
found to have sleep apnoea, which can often lead to daytime
sleepiness and fatigue.

This is a condition most commonly associated with Type 2 diabetes,
with previous studies showing that not getting sufficient shut-eye
could increase the risk of the condition in obese teenagers.

Ms Perfect highlighted that one of the advantages is that
sleeplessness is often a treatable condition, so young people can
be helped by a professional to get the help they need.

In many cases, it can be treated without the need for medication
and simply through improving sleep hygiene.

Posted by Michael Ewing