Most people know that the keys to preventing type 2 diabetes are maintaining a healthy body weight and limiting one's intake of sugar, but sleep also appears to play an integral role in staving off the irreversible blood sugar disorder.
In a study of 62 obese teenagers, a team of researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia found that inadequate sleep has a detrimental effect on the body's ability to secrete insulin, leading to an increase in blood glucose.
"We already know that three out of four high school students report getting insufficient sleep," said study investigator Dorit Koren, M.D. "Our study found to keep glucose levels stable, the optimal amount of sleep for teenagers is 7.5 to 8.5 hours per night."
Authors of the study noted that both excessive and inadequate sleep are linked to a decrease in insulin secretion.
The American Diabetes Association reports that an estimated one in 400 children have the blood sugar disorder. Additionally, about 1.9 million new diabetes diagnoses were made in 2010.