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Teens Who Do Not Get Enough Quality Sleep Have More Cardiovascular Risk Factors


Researchers monitored the sleep habits of 829 teens and examined how their sleep habits affected their cardiovascular risk factors. A study in the 2018 July issue of Pediatrics, “Objective Sleep Characteristics and Cardiometabolic Health in Young Adolescents” (published online June 15) used wrist actigraphy devices, rather than self-reporting as in previous studies, to see how much and what quality of sleep teens were getting each night. Researchers examined the teens’ body fatness, blood pressure, lipids and insulin resistance. In looking at sleep habits, they found inadequate sleep was highly prevalent with 31 percent of the teens sleeping less than 7 hours each night and 42 percent with sleep efficiencies that were as low as 85 percent. Adolescents with shorter sleep duration and lower sleep efficiency had the least healthy cardiovascular and metabolic profiles – including increased body fat, higher systolic blood pressure, and lower HDL-cholesterol. The researchers conclude that these results support the need to look at the role of sleep quantity and quality interventions as ways for improving cardiovascular risk profiles of adolescents.