Introduction: There is growing interest in how type 1 diabetes (T1D) impacts sleep, yet little is known about patient and family experiences. This study characterized perspectives of people with diabetes (PWD) and their parents and partners about T1D-related sleep issues.
Methods: As part of a qualitative study on T1D-related quality of life, 44 PWD ages 9-69 (M=31.9±19.29 years; 50% female; MA1c=8.25±1.51%), 25 parents (96% female), and 14 partners (43% female) participated in semi-structured interviews. We coded transcripts using content analysis to derive sleep-related themes.
Results: Two major themes emerged (Figure). Emotional Distress: all groups expressed worries about hypoglycemia while asleep, and parents described distress about the constant demands of T1D and nighttime management burdens. Sleep Disruption: blood glucose excursions and overnight management interrupted sleep. Technology both disrupted sleep (e.g., alarms) and improved sleep (e.g., trust device to inform about urgent problems).
Conclusions: PWDs and family members described emotional and behavioral aspects of T1D impacting sleep. Emotional distress, overnight management, and glucose variability disrupted sleep. Taking steps to minimize overnight glucose excursions may reduce distress and improve sleep. More research on sleep disruption and the impact of technology on sleep may inform diabetes care.
S.A. Carreon: None. V.T. Cao: None. B. Anderson: None. S.S. Eshtehardi: None. D. Thompson: None. D.G. Marrero: None. B.M. McKinney: None. M.E. Hilliard: None.
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust (2015PG-T1D084)