A new study suggests that young diabetics may be struggling to get a good night’s sleep. As a result, they have worse control of their blood sugar, poorer school performance and behavioral problems.

The study tracked the sleep health of 50 Type 1 diabetics, ages 10 to 16. Researchers then compared the data with a similar control group. They found that the young diabetics spent more time sleeping in a lighter sleep than youth without diabetes. This lighter sleep was linked to compromised school performance and higher blood sugar levels.

Research shows that a good night’s sleep helps with glucose maintenance and insulin sensitivity. However, most of this research has been with adults. The new study concluded that sleep assessment should be routine in managing young people’s Type 1 diabetes. The study appears in the January issue of the journal SLEEP.

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