Sleep, the overlooked factor in the management of T2D

Sahar Khodabakhsh, Aidan J Searle, Angeliki Papadaki, Laura Johnson, Clare Y England

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Abstractpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Poor sleep quality and suboptimal sleep duration have been shown to be associated with poor glycaemic control in people with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) (1). However, there is a gap in diabetes health care guidelines regarding the importance of sleep. Furthermore, the perceptions of people with T2D regarding this matter, as well as the factors affecting their sleep, have not been explored. Therefore, the perceptions of patients with T2D were explored regarding: i) the factors affecting their sleep and ii) the importance of sleep in controlling T2D.
A qualitative study using 3 focus groups was conducted. Purposive sampling was applied to include people with T2D who did not use sleep medications and had no history of depression, anxiety, and sleep apnoea. Topic items explored participants’ perceptions of their sleep, factors affecting sleep and the importance of sleep in controlling T2D. Audio recordings were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Thematic Analysis. To improve the study validity data coding and interpretation was carried out by three independent researchers.
Twelve people (25% female) with age range of 55-72 years were involved. Interrupted sleep was a long-lasting problem. Participants perceived environmental factors (noise and light pollution), familial factors (children and partners) and T2D complications (thirst and urination) to prevent them from good sleep while retirement was perceived to lead to better sleep; participants believed this to be due to reduced work-related concerns. Participants perceived that the advice given by GPs/Diabetes nurses focused on diet and physical activity, but the importance of sleep was never discussed. Moreover, participants were not aware of the link between sleep and T2D when conducting personal research.
Multiple factors were perceived to affect sleep in this sample of patients with T2D. While current advice provisions seem to only consider controlling diet and physical activity, the results indicate that participants are not aware of the role of sleep in controlling T2D. The findings highlight that, in addition to advice on diet and physical activity, diabetes health care guidelines need to mention the importance of sleep and include strategies for practising sleep hygiene.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2020
EventEuropean Sleep Research Society -
Duration: 22 Sept 202024 Sept 2020


ConferenceEuropean Sleep Research Society

Structured keywords

  • SPS Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences


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