A new study from the United States has found that children who suffer from type 1 diabetes spent less time in a deep sleep than those without diabetes, causing them to have higher glucose levels, lowering their quality of life and resulting in their school grades being lower.
The research, carried out at the University of Arizona and published in the journal Sleep, examined the effect of sleep on 50 diabetic children, finding that those who had type 1 diabetes had around five per cent less deep sleep than children without diabetes. This gap is equal to about 21 minutes over a regular seven-hour sleeping period.
It was also revealed that the children who had the lighter sleep, sleepiness and/or sleep–wake behaviour issues, had the higher levels of blood glucose, in addition to emotional and behavioural difficulties, a lower quality of life and grades, and being more prone to depression. Those participants that suffer from the disorder sleep apnea, which affects breathing during sleep, were also revealed to have higher blood glucose levels.
Researcher Michelle Perfect said the study showed “the need for both clinicians and school-based professionals to be aware that reports of daytime sleepiness, disrupted sleep, or poor sleep habits, may affect the patient’s daytime functioning, including the possibility of interfering with their diabetes self-care, quality of life, and school performance.”

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