CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Children who receive more sleep at night may have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of newly diagnosed cases of diabetes in children increased by 1.8% each year between 2002 and 2012.
Researchers at the Child Heart and Health Study in England conducted a study involving 4,525 children ages 9 to 10 years of age. The kids reported how much they slept and had blood samples taken to check their cholesterol, insulin and glucose levels.
Most of the children slept an average of ten-and-a-half hours every night.
The researchers found for each extra hour of sleep the kids got their risk factors for type 2 diabetes all went down.
"The kids who slept the longest had lower measures of body fat; they had lower levels of insulin and blood sugar," said Dr. Roy Kim with Cleveland Clinic Children’s. "So they extrapolated from these findings and concluded that the more you sleep, the lower your risk for diabetes."
Pedestrians say getting a good night's sleep is key to regulating a child's appetite, promoting proper growth and development, and lessening the affects from metabolic diseases.
"Without adequate sleep, we’re less likely to be able to do our school work well, we may have less energy to exercise or participate in sports the next day," said Dr. Kim. "So, sleep is one of the core things that we have to get right in order to have healthy kids."
Two important things doctors say parents can do to improve their child's sleep is to remove devices out of their room and make sure they avoid late-night snacking.