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.

The researchers 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.

Researchers 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, researchers did not find any associations between SWS and insulin resistance, physical health or brain function in girls.


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