BackgroundAssociations between sleep duration and type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk markers in childhood have been little studied. We examined associations between self-reported sleep duration and T2D risk markers in children.
MethodsCross-sectional study of 4525 multiethnic UK children aged 9 to 10 years. Sleep time was calculated from self-reported usual time of going to bed and getting up on a school day, validated in a subset using accelerometers. Fasting blood samples provided levels of serum lipids and insulin, plasma glucose, and HbA1c. Physical measures included height, weight, bioimpedance, and blood pressure. Multilevel linear regression models of anthropometric, T2D, and cardiovascular risk markers with sleep duration were adjusted for sex, age, month, ethnicity, socioeconomic position, observer (physical measures only), and random effect of school.
ResultsOn average, children slept 10.5 hours per night (95% range 8.0-12.0 hours). There were strong inverse graded relationships between sleep duration, adiposity, and diabetes risk markers. In adjusted models, a 1-hour-longer sleep duration was associated with 0.19 lower BMI (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.09 to 0.28), 0.03 kg/m5 lower fat mass index (95% CI 0.00 to 0.05 kg/m5), 2.9% lower homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance (95% CI 1.2% to 4.4%), and 0.24% lower fasting glucose (95% CI 0.03% to 0.44%); there was no association with HbA1c or cardiovascular risk. Associations with insulin and glucose remained after an additional adjustment for adiposity markers.
ConclusionsThe finding of an inverse association between sleep duration and T2D risk markers in childhood is novel. Intervention studies are needed to establish the causality of these associations, which could provide a simple strategy for early T2D prevention.