According to a study led by a team of experts at the University of Bristol, in conjunction with universities in Manchester and Exeter, people are more likely to have higher blood sugar levels if they experience sleep problems.
As published in Diabetes Care, the study emphasizes that problems with sustaining sleep or initiating sleep may be more common in such people. Thus, it suggests that experiencing sleep problems may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
During their study, researchers analyzed the association between blood sugar levels and numerous measures of sleep, such as sleep duration, napping, and daytime sleepiness. It involved more than 300,000 adults residing in the United Kingdom.
The study received some collaboration from Harvard.
“Across MVR, 1SMR, 2SMR, and their sensitivity analyses, we found a higher frequency of insomnia symptoms (usually vs. sometimes or rarely/never) was associated with higher HbA1c,” researchers mentioned in their findings.
“Associations remained, but point estimates were somewhat attenuated after excluding participants with diabetes. For other sleep traits, there was less consistency across methods, with some but not all providing evidence of an effect,” they also mentioned.
Researchers believe that higher HbA1c levels may be caused by sleep problems, potentially as a causal factor in the onset or severity of type 2 diabetes.
“These findings could have important implications for developing and evaluating strategies that improve sleep habits to reduce hyperglycemia and prevent diabetes,” researchers affirmed.