Saturday, May 14, 2011

Poor Sleep, Insulin Resistance, and Diabetes

Diabetics who have difficulty controlling their blood glucose levels have a greater risk of complications, reduced quality of life, and reduced life expectancy. Researchers studied the association of sleep quality in diabetics. Results were published in the online version of the 3-16-11 edition of Diabetes Care.

Sleep duration and quality were estimated from 6 days of wrist actigraphy, a home sleep-measuring device worn on the wrist. Insomnia was defined as self-reported difficulty falling asleep or waking up in the night three or more times per week plus average sleep efficiency of <80% based on actigraphy.

The results showed no association between sleep measures and fasting glucose, insulin levels, or insulin resistance in the 115 subjects without diabetes. In the 40 subjects with diabetes, insomnia was associated with a 23% higher fasting glucose level, a 48% higher fasting insulin level, and an 82% higher amount of insulin resistance.

This suggests that diabetics with insomnia could have a more difficult time controlling their diabetes. The next step is to see if improving sleep quality will improve long term outcomes and quality of life for diabetics.

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