Sleep problems in youths ages 10 to 16 may be linked to Type 1 diabetes, researchers said Sunday. They said the study did not discard the possibility that sleep apnea and its impact may not be confined to older with the diabetes.

“Sleep should be routinely assessed as part of diabetes management in youth with T1DM,” researchers concluded in a study published in the journal sleep.

The study was led by Michelle Perfect, PHD of the University of Arizona’s Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies.

"Despite adhering to recommendations for good diabetic health, many youth with Type 1 diabetes have difficulty maintaining control of their blood sugars," said Perfect said in a released statement.

"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,” she said.

The study tracked the health of 50 Type 1 diabetics ages 10 to 16. A third of the youths in the study had sleep apnea, regardless of weight.

She said that while sleep apnea and its impact “may not be confined to older people with diabetes, we don’t know,” she said. “It’s something that needs to be looked at again.”