Sleep Deprived Boys Are At Risk For Diabetes

A recent study links sleep deprivation, specifically slow-wave-sleep (SWS) deficit, in male adolescences with a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, increased fat in the abdomen area, and impaired attention, according to Jordan Gaines, a Penn State neuroscience researcher.

According to the report, SWS is one of the critical stages of sleep because it is when the body consolidates recovery after deprived sleep, and it is also linked to reduced cortisol and cell inflammation.

Prior research showed SWS deteriorates with age, or as the person gets older, however, there is little research to support the possible effects of SWS in the physical or neurocognitive aspects, Gaines said.

As quoted by Gaines, when the body falls short of sleep, the SWS is also affected. “We’ll have significantly more slow-wave-sleep to compensate for the loss,” he said. He stated that the SWS was lost most rapidly during early adolescence.“Given the restorative role of slow-wave-sleep, we weren’t surprised to find that the metabolic and cognitive process were affected during this developmental period”, Gaines added.

The collected results of the study, from Penn State Child Cohort, where the long-term effects of SWS were conducted to 700 children ages 5 to 12, which was later reduced to 421, after eight years from the beginning of the research – 53.9 percent of which were male, “Gaines found that in boys, a greater loss of SWS between childhood and adolescence was significantly associated with insulin resistance, and this loss was marginally associated with increased belly fat and impaired attention”.

Further, the report said that the side effects observed were suggested by the failure to achieve the “deeper” stage of sleep because the participants’ sleep duration has not significantly degenerate with age.

Moreover, the result, however, did not find any associations between SWS, insulin resistance and other related health issues among girls, the reported said.

Nevertheless, the Gaines recommended that more studies are needed to repeat their findings, referring to the other age groups. He added that studies such as this – studies that focus on the effects of experimentally enhanced SWS are also essential.

He concluded that the result of their study may be used to jumpstart new related research in the future and that a consistent sleep schedule is critical to shun from the effects of a slow-wave-sleep deprivation.


Loss of sleep during adolescence may be a diabetes danger,


Amabelle Equio,  Ph.D candidate in Nursing at Silliman University, Health, Fitness, Medical Writer, Photography Enthusiast.

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