Sleep Architecture and Glucose and Insulin Homeostasis in Obese Adolescents

  1. Lee J. Brooks, MD5
  1. 1Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  2. 2Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, New York University Langhorne Medical Center, and Department of Pediatrics, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York
  3. 3Biostatistics Core, Clinical and Translational Research Center, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  4. 4Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  5. 5Division of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  1. Corresponding author: Dorit Koren, koren{at}email.chop.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE Sleep deprivation is associated with increased risk of adult type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). It is uncertain whether sleep deprivation and/or altered sleep architecture affects glycemic regulation or insulin sensitivity or secretion. We hypothesized that in obese adolescents, sleep disturbances would associate with altered glucose and insulin homeostasis.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This cross-sectional observational study of 62 obese adolescents took place at the Clinical and Translational Research Center and Sleep Laboratory in a tertiary care children’s hospital. Subjects underwent oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), anthropometric measurements, overnight polysomnography, and frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test (FSIGT). Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and serial insulin and glucose levels were obtained, indices of insulin sensitivity and secretion were calculated, and sleep architecture was assessed. Correlation and regression analyses were performed to assess the association of total sleep and sleep stages with measures of insulin and glucose homeostasis, adjusted for confounding variables.

RESULTS We found significant U-shaped (quadratic) associations between sleep duration and both HbA1c and serial glucose levels on OGTT and positive associations between slow-wave sleep (N3) duration and insulin secretory measures, independent of degree of obesity, pubertal stage, sex, and obstructive sleep apnea measures.

CONCLUSIONS Insufficient and excessive sleep was associated with short-term and long-term hyperglycemia in our obese adolescents. Decreased N3 was associated with decreased insulin secretion. These effects may be related, with reduced insulin secretory capacity leading to hyperglycemia. We speculate that optimizing sleep may stave off the development of T2DM in obese adolescents.

  • Received June 20, 2011.
  • Accepted July 28, 2011.

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  1. Diabetes Care
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