Disturbed subjective sleep characteristics in adult patients with long-standing type 1 diabetes mellitus


Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Leiden University Medical Centre, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC, Leiden, the Netherlands, mvandijk2@lumc.nl.



Decreased sleep duration and/or impaired sleep quality negatively influence glucoregulation. The aim of this study was to assess subjective sleep characteristics in patients with type 1 , to relate sleep characteristics to long-term glycaemic control and to assess possible risk factors for impaired sleep.


We studied 99 adult patients with type 1 diabetes (55 men, 44 women, duration of diabetes 26.9 ± 1.2 years) and 99 age-, sex- and BMI-matched non-diabetic controls. Subjective sleep characteristics were assessed by validated questionnaires, i.e. Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Epworth Sleepiness Scale and the Berlin Questionnaire. Glucoregulation was assessed by HbA(1c) values. Clinical variables were obtained from medical charts. Depression was assessed by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Peripheral polyneuropathy was assessed by neurological examination and quantitative sensory testing.


Of the patients with type 1 diabetes, 35% had subjective poor sleep quality compared with 20% of the control participants (p = 0.021). A higher proportion of the patients with type 1 diabetes were at increased risk for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) (17.2% vs 5.1%, p = 0.012). There was no significant association between individual sleep characteristics and HbA(1c) values. On logistic regression analysis, the HADS depression score, presence of peripheral polyneuropathy, habitual snoring and other sleep disturbances (e.g. hypoglycaemia) were independently associated with poor sleep quality.


Adult patients with long-standing type 1 diabetes mellitus have disturbed subjective sleep quality and a higher risk for OSA compared with control participants. Subjective sleep disturbances are part of the complex syndrome of long-standing type 1 diabetes.

Diabetologia. 2011 May 15

Randy Clare

Randy Clare

Randy Clare brings to The Sleep and Respiratory Scholar more than 25 years of extensive knowledge and experience in the sleep and pulmonary function field. He has held numerous management positions throughout his career and has demonstrated a unique view of the alternate care diagnostic and therapy model. He is considered by many an expert in the use of a Sleep Bruxism Monitor in a dental office. Mr. Clare's extensive sleep industry experience assists Sleepandrespiratoryscholar in providing current, relevant, data-proven information on sleep diagnostics and sleep therapies that are effective for the treatment of sleep disorders. Mr Clare is a senior brand manager for Glidewell Dental Laboratory his focus is on dental treatment for sleep disordered breathing.

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