A new research paper has found evidence of the influence of sleeping poorly or going to bed late on blood glucose levels. This is reported in the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
Specifically, this study determines that later bedtimes and poor sleep quality can lead to higher glucose levels and poorer blood glucose control after meals.
This research was conducted by Neli Tsereteli, from the Lund University Diabetes Center in Malmö (Sweden), and Professor Paul Franks, from the Lund University Diabetes Center in Malmö.
Association between sleep and glucose
The authors of this research put the focus on nocturnal fluctuations, sleep schedule and sleep efficiency on the postprandial glucose response to breakfast the next day. The postprandial response is after each meal.
All in all, the researchers responsible for this study explain that “although there have been numerous large prospective cohort studies focusing on the relationship between self-reported sleep, disease and well-being, objective data on sleep and postprandial glucose metabolism usually come from small studies conducted in highly controlled settings and in specific population subgroups, such as those with sleep disorders due to pregnancy, sleep apnea, depression, obesity or diabetes…. Therefore, there is a need for more evidence on the effects of sleep on glucose metabolism in healthy individuals.”
With this statement in mind they proceeded to analyze the relationship between sleep (measuring various parameters) and postprandial glycemic response to breakfasts of different nutrient composition in a group of participants consisting of 953 healthy adults from the United Kingdom and the United States.
Conclusion of the research
Thus, at the end of the investigation, the authors observed a significant interaction between the duration of sleep periods and the postprandial glycemic response when the nutritional content of the breakfast meal was taken into account.
In this regard, longer sleep periods were associated with lower blood glucose after breakfasts with a composition rich in carbohydrates and fats. In other words, it implies a better control of blood glucose levels.
They also determined an intrapersonal effect in which a study participant who slept longer than normal was more likely to have a lower postprandial blood glucose level after a carbohydrate- and fat-rich breakfast the next day.
In conclusion, the authors note that “our data suggest that sleep duration, sleep efficiency and midpoint are important determinants of postprandial glycemic control at the population level, while illustrating that optimizing sleep recommendations will likely require tailoring to the individual.
They go on to add that “these results underscore the importance of sleep in regulating metabolic health, and it is likely that a combination of both general and more personalized sleep guidelines will be necessary for patients to minimize their risk of metabolic disease.”
Thus, although the authors recommend further in-depth study of the link between sleep and blood glucose levels, they think the results open a pathway for a strategy to improve portprandial blood glucose levels.
“It is likely that a combination of both generalized and more personalized sleep patterns will be required to ensure optimal metabolic health per se and maximize the efficacy of diabetes prevention guidelines,” they conclude.