New research has found a relationship between poor sleep quality and blood sugar control following meals. The study published in Diabetologia has found that later bedtime routines and poor sleep quality is associated with higher blood glucose levels and poorer control of blood sugar following meals.
Sleep, diet, and exercise are fundamental components of a healthy lifestyle. However, sleep’s role in affecting the body’s blood sugar control has minimal research. This is what led researchers to investigate the association to try and find how sleep disorders may affect blood sugar.
It is well known that sleep quality has a direct causal effect on many life-threatening conditions such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. This and other evidence suggests a strong link between sleep quality and duration and the ability of the body to regulate glucose levels properly.
For the study, 953 adults were analyzed over 14 days. All participants were required to consume standardized test meals with a known content of carbohydrates, fat, protein, and dietary fiber. Blood sugar was monitored with a glucose monitor device, and sleep was monitored with a device worn on the wrist.
Researchers found that longer sleep periods were associated with lower blood glucose following high-carbohydrate and high-fat breakfast, including better control of blood sugar.
It was also noted that participants who slept longer were more likely to have reduced postprandial blood glucose following a high-carbohydrate or high-fat breakfast. Sleep efficiency and timing also produced similar results for blood sugar health.
This study helps to show another reason why sleep is vital to overall health. Those with blood sugar control issues may find some relief by ensuring a good, quality night’s sleep. Researchers suggest lifestyle strategies to improve sleep quality, such as focusing on earlier bedtimes and maximizing high-quality, uninterrupted sleep.