Parent of a Type 1 Diabetic? What You Need to Know About Sleep

describe the imageAs the parent of a type 1 diabetic, you know what’s important- counting carbs, monitoring blood sugar, keeping a close eye on the school lunch menu. What you may be overlooking, however, is the importance of a quality night’s sleep.

New research shows that children with diabetes are not sleeping as deeply as their peers without diabetes. Additionally, this lighter sleep was linked to poor performance in school and higher blood sugar levels.

While diabetic children and parents work hard to maintain a healthy routine, sleep is often one of the most overlooked components of a healthy life. Even with a controlled diet, the study found that the lighter sleep continued to influence blood sugar levels.

Researchers also found that about one-third of the children with type 1 diabetes had sleep apnea, irrespective of their weight. What’s more, those who had sleep apnea also had much higher blood sugar levels.

The investigators noted that sleep apnea is a condition that has previously been associated with type 2 diabetes (which typically affects adults). The findings among these study participants may mean that it is also an issue among younger diabetes patients.

While the research may be frightening to parents, sleep and sleep patterns are easy to modify. Sleep apnea can also be controlled without surgery using breathing appartuses called CPAPs.

How do you keep your children on schedule for a good night’s sleep?