Too Little Sleep Linked to Higher A1C
Never underestimate the benefits of a good night’s rest. That’s the lesson from two studies showing that sleep and blood glucose levels are linked in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In one study, researchers found that people with type 1 who slept less than an average of 6 1/2 hours per night had higher A1Cs (a measure of average blood glucose) than those who slept longer. They also found that short sleepers tended to be “non-dippers,” people whose blood pressure doesn’t get lower at night; non-dipping is associated with health problems. The study in people with type 2 diabetes found that excessive sleepiness during the day was associated with a higher risk of severe hypoglycemia, blood glucose so low that help is needed to treat it. The link may be that nighttime lows disrupt sleep or that daytime sleepiness reduces awareness of hypoglycemia, keeping a person from treating the low at an early stage.
Sources: Diabetes Care, published online Oct. 2, 2013; Diabetes Care, October 2013