Getting a good night’s sleep and prioritising sleep habits could help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study has indicated.

An Australian team of researchers has found that people who report troubled sleep are generally more likely to also have symptoms of poor cardiometabolic health, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.

The study, which was the first of its kind, analysed the sleep characteristics of more than 1,000 adults, who were predominantly mothers, with a median age of 44.8 years.

The study analysed all aspects of participant’s sleep, including duration, sleeps times, any trouble sleeping and the variety of sleep length on a day-to-day basis.

Dr Lisa Matricciani, from the University of South Australia, said: “In this study, we examined the association of different aspects of sleep, and risk factors for diabetes, and found a connection between those who had troubled sleep and those who were at risk of type 2 diabetes.

“People who reported having trouble sleeping were also more likely to have a higher body mass index, as well as blood markers of cholesterol and inflammation.”

Dr Matricciani added: “Everyone knows that sleep is important. But when we think about sleep, we mainly focus on how many hours of sleep we get, when we should also be looking at our sleep experience as a whole.

“How soundly we sleep, when we go to bed and get up, and how regular our sleep habits are, may be just as important as sleep duration.”

“When it comes down to the crunch, we know we must prioritise our sleep to help stay in good health. More research is needed, but as this study shows, it’s important to think about sleep as a whole, not just as one aspect.”

Read the full study in The Science of Diabetes Self-Management and Care.

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