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Sleep-related disorders in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus: current insights

Authors Perfect MM

Received 12 June 2018

Accepted for publication 21 January 2019

Published 11 February 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 101—123


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Professor Steven A Shea

Michelle M Perfect

Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

Correspondence: Michelle M Perfect
Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, University of Arizona, 1430 E. 2nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Tel +1 520 626 1128

Abstract: Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is an autoimmune condition that results from destruction of beta cells in the pancreas. Several reviews have concluded that sleep contributes to poor glycemic control, diabetes management, and diabetes-related complications in individuals with T1DM and represents an untapped opportunity for intervention. However, at the current juncture, the American Diabetes Association’s Standards of Medical Care are devoid of recommendations about how to address sleep in the management of T1DM. This article summarizes reviews of sleep in youth and adults with T1DM and empirical studies that have examined various sleep parameters ranging from sleep disturbances (general, perceived sleep quality, sleepiness, awakenings, and sleep efficiency), sleep duration, sleep consistency, sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), and sleep architecture. The data show that many individuals with T1DM sleep less than recommendations; individuals with the poorest sleep have difficulties with diabetes management; and sleep deficiency including SDB often corresponds to several disease morbidities (neuropathy, nephropathy, etc). Mixed findings exist regarding direct associations of various sleep parameters and glycemic control. SDB appears to be just as prevalent, if not more, than other conditions that have been recommended for universal screening in individuals with T1DM. The article concludes with recommendations for collaborative research efforts to further elucidate the role of sleep in diabetes-related outcomes; investigations to test behavioral strategies to increase sleep quantity and consistency; and considerations for clinical care to address sleep.

Keywords: type 1 diabetes, sleep duration, quality, and consistency

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