01/04/2012 09:01 am ET Updated Jan 04, 2012

Poor Sleep In Teens With Diabetes Linked With Bad Behavior, Uncontrolled Blood Sugar

Yet another study shows just how important it is for kids and teens to get quality sleep.

Research published in the journal Sleep shows that kids and teens with Type 1 diabetes may have trouble getting a good night's sleep, and that sleeplessness could be linked with their ability to control their blood sugar levels and their behavior and performance at school.

"We found that it could be due to abnormalities in sleep, such as daytime sleepiness, lighter sleep and sleep apnea. All of these make it more difficult to have good blood sugar control," study researcher Michelle Perfect, Ph.D., of the University of Arizona, said in a statement.

Researchers looked at the sleep quality of 50 kids and teens with Type 1 diabetes, as well as the sleep quality of a control group without diabetes.

They found that the kids with diabetes were in a lighter period of sleep for a longer time than the kids without diabetes. This, in turn, resulted in higher blood sugar levels as well as "lower grades, poorer performance on state standardized tests, poor quality of life and abnormalities in daytime behavior," Perfect said in the statement.

Researchers also found that one-third of the youths in the study had sleep apnea (even when disregarding weight), which is associated with Type 2 diabetes.

Previously, research has shown that not getting enough sleep could raise the risk of diabetes for obese teens.

Researchers from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia found that sleeping 7-1/2 to 8-1/2 hours of sleep each night was associated with stable glucose, or blood sugar, levels, while sleeping more or less than that was associated with increased blood sugar levels, the Ottawa Sun reported.

For five everyday things that could be keeping you from good sleep, click through this slideshow, which includes advice from Michael Decker, Ph.D., an associate professor at Georgia State University and spokesman for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

5 things affecting sleep