Restless nights linked to risk factors

6 March 2014        

Teen skateboarding

Risk factors for heart disease in obese teenagers may be predicted by their sleep patterns, according to researchers.

In a study of 37 obese teenagers, researchers measured cholesterol and blood sugar levels, waist circumference, body mass index and blood pressure.

By monitoring patterns of physical activity and sleep, researchers found that reduced sleep levels were associated with a higher incidence of risk factors.

Our Senior Cardiac Nurse, Christopher Allen, said: “This small study shows that a good night’s sleep may influence risk factors for heart diseasestroke and diabetes.

“However, this research looked at a small group of obese teenagers. To draw firm conclusions, we need much larger studies on a whole range of participants.

“A balanced diet and plenty of physical activity will help teenagers maintain a healthy weight and sleep well at night. If you are having trouble controlling your weight or if sleepless nights are becoming a problem, talk to your GP.”