OBJECTIVES - Sleep has physiological and behavioral impacts on diabetes outcomes, yet little is known about the impact of sleep disturbances in children with type 1 diabetes. The current study sought to characterize sleep in children with type 1 diabetes and in their parents and to examine the associations between child sleep, glycemic control and adherence, parent sleep and well-being, parental fear of hypoglycemia, and nocturnal caregiving behavior.
METHODS - Surveys were emailed to parents of 2- to 12-year-old participants in the Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Exchange clinic registry. Clinical data were obtained from the registry for the 515 respondents.
RESULTS - In our sample, 67% of children met criteria for poor sleep quality. Child sleep quality was related to glycemic control (HbA1c of 7.9% [63 mmol/mol] in children with poor sleep quality vs 7.6% [60 mmol/mol] in children with non-poor sleep quality; P < 0.001) but not mean frequency of blood glucose monitoring (BGM) (7.6 times/day vs 7.4 in poor/non-poor quality; P = 0.56). Associations were similar for sleep duration. Children with poor sleep quality were more likely to experience severe hypoglycemia (4% in children with poor sleep quality vs 1% in children with non-poor sleep quality; P = 0.05) and more likely to experience DKA (7% vs 4%, respectively; P < 0.001). Poorer child sleep quality was associated with poorer parental sleep quality, parental well-being, and fear of hypoglycemia (P < 0.001 for all). Child sleep was not related to the use of diabetes-related technology (CGM, insulin pump).
CONCLUSIONS - Sleep may be a modifiable factor to improve glycemic control and reduce parental distress.
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