October 24, 2016

Sleep issues in children with diabetes

Lengthening sleep duration and reducing sleep disturbances in children with type 1 diabetes may improve diabetes outcomes and reduce parental stress.


Young children with type 1 diabetes – and their parents – are not getting enough sleep, Vanderbilt investigators have found.

Sarah Jaser, Ph.D., and colleagues conducted a pilot study using multiple methods to collect data about sleep in young children with type 1 diabetes. The study included 10 children, 3 to 5 years old, with type 1 diabetes. Child sleep was measured objectively by actigraphy, which uses an activity meter to sample activity at frequent intervals. Parents completed the Children’s Sleep Habit Questionnaire and kept sleep diaries during the study.

The researchers found that the majority of children had sleep disturbances, as reflected by the number of awakenings and the time spent awake after sleep onset, and they had shorter sleep duration than recommended for their age. The parents also had insufficient sleep duration.

The findings, reported in the October issue of Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, suggest that sleep may be a target for improving diabetes outcomes and reducing parental stress.

This study was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health (grant TR000455).

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