New York: Slow-wave sleep deprivation in teenaged boys predicts whether they are at risk for insulin resistance and other health issues, a neuroscience researcher has said.
“Boys who experience a greater decline in slow-wave sleep as adolescents have a significantly higher chance of developing insulin resistance than those who more closely maintained their slow-wave sleep as they got older,” according to Jordan Gaines, a neuroscience researcher from the Pennsylvania State University.
“These boys are then also at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, increased visceral fat and impaired attention,” Gaines explained on Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Slow-wave sleep (SWS) is an important stage of sleep that is involved in memory consolidation and recovery after sleep deprivation, and is also associated with reduced cortisol and inflammation.
Gaines analysed results collected through the Penn State Child Cohort in order to study long-term effects of SWS loss from childhood to adolescence.
The cohort included 700 children from the general central Pennsylvania population, ages five to 12. Eight years later, 421 participants were followed up during adolescence — 53.9 percent 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.
However, Gaines did not find any associations between SWS and insulin resistance, physical health or brain function in girls.

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