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08-17-2018 | Sleep disorders | Review | Article

The Epidemiology of Sleep and Diabetes

Current Diabetes Reports

Authors: Rachel P. Ogilvie, Sanjay R. Patel

Publisher: Springer US


Purpose of Review

To provide an overview of the mechanistic and epidemiologic evidence linking sleep-related exposures, such as short sleep duration, obstructive sleep apnea, shift work, and insomnia, with type 2 diabetes risk in adults.

Recent Findings

Both poor sleep habits and sleep disorders are highly prevalent among adults with type 2 diabetes. In observational studies, short sleep duration, obstructive sleep apnea, shift work, and insomnia are all associated with higher risk of incident type 2 diabetes and may predict worse outcomes in those with existing diabetes. However, interventional studies addressing sleep abnormalities in populations with or at high risk for type 2 diabetes are scarce.


Although common sleep abnormalities are associated with risk of incident type 2 diabetes and worse prognosis in those with established diabetes, there are few randomized trials evaluating the impact of sleep-focused interventions on diabetes, making it difficult to determine whether the relationship is causal.

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