Sleep interventions may improve diabetes management in people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes

Many individuals who have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes have trouble sleeping at night, and now researchers believe that insomnia may be associated with diabetes management problems.

A recent study published in the journal Diabetes Care highlighted the prevalence of sleep disturbances among diabetics, including sleep apnea and snoring. The scientists noted that inadequate nightly rest has also been considered a risk factor for diabetes.

Over the course of six nights, the researchers evaluated the sleep patterns of 40 individuals with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. They monitored the participants' nightly movements with wrist monitors, along with the subjects' blood glucose levels. The diabetics also filled out surveys that indicated whether or not they frequently encountered sleep problems.

According to the study's results, poor sleepers had 23 percent higher blood glucose levels in the mornings, as well as blood insulin levels elevated by 48 percent, compared to those who slept soundly.

"Poor sleep quality in people with diabetes was associated with worse control of their blood glucose levels. 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," said the study's lead author Kristen Knutson.

In order to avoid these types of health threats, Knutson suggested that sleep inventions may aid in diabetes management, which she said may provide benefits equal to those of some diabetes medications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers several tips that may help individuals who have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes sleep well. The organization recommends that diabetics avoid caffeine and large meals before bed time. Also, while moderate exercise may promote sleep and aid in diabetes management, people should not engage in intense physical activity within three hours of going to sleep.