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The Impact of Late-Night Eating Habits, Sleep Duration on Glycemic Control in Adults with Type 1 Diabetes

Late night snacks and deprivation of sleep can have a serious impact in patients with type 1 diabetes…

Diabetes is on the rise and many studies have proven association with negative eating habits with an increase in the progression of the diabetes. There may be a correlation of the timing of meals and the increase or decrease of sleep to the worsening of diabetes. Not much is known about the effect of sleep duration and late-night snacking on glycemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes using insulin pumps.

The purpose of the study was to evaluate whether late-night eating habits and little sleep duration are associated with glycemic control in continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion-treated type 1 diabetic patients. The study population included 148 type 1 diabetes patients. The patients were required to complete a questionnaire regarding topics such as average sleep (defined by short sleep duration 6 hours) and late night eating habits (defined by snacks after 11 PM). Student t-test or Mann-Whitney U-test was performed in the study.

The results showed that the average age of patients was 26 years and average HbA1c level was 7.2%. The statistical test showed that sleep duration was a predictor of both HbA1c (β = 0.51, P = 0.01) and blood glucose levels (β = 11.4, P = 0.02). Also, a correlation was found between frequent late-night snacking and increased blood glucose levels (often snacking β = 18.1, P = 0.05), but not with a rise HbA1 values. Sleep duration and late-night eating habits did not predict whether or not a patient would achieve their A1c goals.

To conclude, a decrease in sleep duration, but not late-night snacking, seems to be correlated with a worse outcome in glycemic control in type 1 diabetic patients treated with continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion.

Practical Pearls:

  • Patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes should get adequate rest at night to decrease their risk of a negative outcome.
  • Although late-night eating habits are not associated with a negative outcome for patients with type 1 diabetes, patients should be advised to stay away from eating at night.
  • Lack of sleep is correlated with increased levels of blood glucose in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Matejko B, Kiec-wilk B, Szopa M, Trznadel morawska I, Malecki MT, Klupa T. Are late-night eating habits and sleep duration associated with glycemic control in adult type 1 diabetes patients treated with insulin pumps?. J Diabetes Investig. 2015;6(4):460-4.