NEW YORK — Diabetics that have trouble sleeping likely experience high insulin resistance and have a more difficult time controlling the disease, according to study findings published in the June issue of Diabetes Care.
Researchers said they monitored the sleep of 40 subjects with diabetes for a duration of six nights and also measured the subjects' insulin and glucose levels during clinical examinations. The subjects also reported if they generally suffered from symptoms of such sleep disturbances as insomnia, snoring or sleep apnea.
Among the diabetics, poor sleepers had 23% higher blood-glucose levels in the morning, as well as 48% higher blood insulin levels. Using these numbers to estimate a person's insulin resistance, the researchers found that poor sleepers with diabetes had 82% higher insulin resistance than normal sleepers with diabetes.
The data was collected as part of the CARDIA study, an ongoing longitudinal study of the heart health that is supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. It has tracked thousands of people for more than 20 years, study investigators said.
"Poor sleep quality in people with diabetes was associated with worse control of their blood-glucose levels," said Kristen Knutson, assistant professor of medicine and lead author of the study. "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."