Insomnia symptoms associated with high blood sugar levels

April 11, 2022
Insomnia symptoms associated with high blood sugar levels

Insomnia could increase a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes, new research from the University of Bristol, UK, has found. The researchers suggest lifestyle or pharmacological interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or sleeping tablets, could help prevent or treat insomnia.

Insomnia is the term used when one has a late bedtime and/or doesn’t get enough sleep. Using an analytical technique called “Mendelian Randomisation” researchers sought to understand how different sleep patterns related to high blood sugar levels.

In a study of some 337,000 adults living in the UK, grouped according to five measures – insomnia, sleep duration, daytime sleepiness, napping, and morning or evening preference (chronotype) – only insomniacs had higher blood sugar levels than others who said they, “never, rarely, or only sometimes had these difficulties.”

The researchers, including James Liu, Senior Research Associate in the Bristol Medical School (PHS), hypothesise that at least 27,300 UK adults, aged between 40- and 70-years-old, with frequent insomnia symptoms would be free from having diabetes if their insomnia was treated.

Insomnia treatments based on glucose levels could bring about new treatments for the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

“This new study gives us important insights into the direction of the relationship between sleep and type 2 diabetes, suggesting that insufficient sleep can cause higher blood sugars levels and could play a direct role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Knowing this could open up new approaches to help prevent or manage the condition,” said Dr. Faye Riley, Research Communications Manager at Diabetes UK.

“However, it’s important to remember that type 2 diabetes is a complex condition, with multiple risk factors. Eating a healthy balanced diet, being active, along with getting enough sleep, are all essential components of good health for everyone – including those at risk of, or living with, type 2 diabetes.”

Read: COVID-19 medical staff in China found to experience insomnia and high stress levels

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Category: Education, Features

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