Diabetes-related distress describes the negative feelings felt by people with diabetes. This distress is usually caused by the challenges related to having a long-term health condition and the stress around treatment as well. High levels of distress can lead to higher than normal HbA1c levels. Diabetes distress is estimated to affect one in four people with diabetes. People with diabetes are also at increased risk of depression. In contrast, “self-compassion” (being kind to oneself) when experiencing diabetes-related difficulties can help lower HbA1c levels and reduce diabetes-related distress. Now researchers are looking at the influence of sleep on these outcomes.
Going to bed late can be bad for your health
Some people are generally more alert in the morning, while others are most alert in the evening. This impacts a person’s sleep schedule. A person’s sleep can be different depending on when they are most alert. We can divide alert times into two groups: “morningness” (rising early) and eveningness (going to bed late). Eveningness is linked to worse health, especially if length of sleep is shortened because of having to wake up early for work. This is known as social jetlag. In a new study, over 800 adults with type 2 diabetes completed a questionnaire that assessed their type of sleep. It also assessed factors like depression, diabetes-related distress and self-compassion. Diabetes-related distress and depression were significantly higher in people with eveningness. For self-compassion, eveningness meant that participants were more likely to feel isolated.
How we sleep affects our physical and mental well-being
Given the impact of psychosocial wellbeing on diabetes outcomes and quality of life, this study emphasizes the need for research, especially around the impact of sleep.