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Amount of sleep can factor into diabetes control


sleepMost people know that sleep patterns can impact blood pressure, weight gain and other health functions, but people living with diabetes maybe surprised to learn sleep habits can also affect blood sugar control.

A recent study found that sleep extremes – too much or not enough – can spark higher A1C readings.  The A1C test is a common blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes and then to gauge how well a person’s diabetes has been controlled over a three-month period. The A1C test goes by many other names, including glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C and HbA1c.

Japanese researchers identified a “U-shaped association” in the sleep extremes and A1C levels. Subjects with short (less than 4.5 hours) or long (greater than 8.5 hours) sleep duration had higher A1C levels compared with subjects sleeping for 6.5 to 7.4 hours, indicating a U-shaped association.

The association of sleep duration with obesity and A1C levels was observed to be U-shaped even after adjustments for various confounding variables. Other sleep issues often facing people with diabetes include sleep apnea, nighttime lows in blood sugar and neuropathy and leg pain.

For more on the study’s findings, visit Physician Briefing.

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