Poor sleep raises diabetic insulin levels, according to study

Tue, 03 May 2011
Research into the link between diabetes and sleep patterns has revealed that people who suffer from the metabolic condition and who don't sleep well have higher insulin resistance, and also find it more difficult to manage their diabetes.

The study, published in Diabetes Care, assessed the sleep of 40 people with type 2 diabetes over six nights, checking if they were suffering any problems with their sleep, such as insomnia, sleep apnea or snoring . They also provided blood samples so the researchers could analyse insulin and glucose levels .

It was found that the diabetics who were also poor sleepers had 23 per cent higher levels of blood glucose in the morning, as well as 48 per cent higher levels of blood insulin. For insulin resistance, these figures meant that poor sleepers with diabetes had 82 per cent higher insulin resistance than normal sleepers with diabetes.

Kristen Knutson, lead author on the study, commented "People who have a hard time controlling their blood glucose levels have a greater risk of complications. They have a reduced quality of life . And, they have a reduced life expectancy ."

Eve Van Cauter, co-author of the study, also said "This suggests that improving sleep quality in diabetics would have a similar beneficial effect as the most commonly used anti-diabetes drugs ."

Diabetics are generally known to have worse sleep patterns than non-diabetics, and poor sleep has even been blamed as a potential risk factor for developing the disease.
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