We know sleep can impact our health in myriad ways, but a new study has found a link between the quality of shut-eye and how the body manages blood sugar.
Published Nov. 30 by the journal Diabetologia, the study followed nearly 1,000 healthy adults over two weeks, equipping them with movement trackers that also monitored sleep, as well as glucose-monitoring devices that recorded blood sugar levels each morning after breakfast.
Researchers found that later bedtimes and poor sleep quality could contribute to lower glycemic control, as well as suboptimal blood sugar levels. Earlier bedtimes and better sleep quality were related to healthier blood sugar levels, according to the study.
Additionally, the study found those who experienced better quality sleep than usual had generally lower than normal blood sugar levels after eating breakfast, pointing to an immediate positive effect.
The study’s authors noted, “Our data suggest that sleep duration, efficiency and midpoint are important determinants of postprandial glycemic control at a population level.” But, they added, sleep recommendations should be tailored to the individual for the greatest result.