Sleep disturbances may be associated with impaired glucose metabolism. The aim of this study was to evaluate sleep duration and quality in relation to glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. In a cross-sectional study, sleep duration and quality were assessed in 47 middle-aged patients with type 2 diabetes treated with oral agents and without sleep disturbing complications and 23 healthy control subjects similar by age, sex, body mass index, occupation and schooling. Sleep was recorded by wrist-actigraphy for three consecutive days under free-living conditions. Univariate analysis showed lower sleep maintenance (P = 0.002) and sleep efficiency (P = 0.005), and higher fragmentation index (P < 0.0001), total activity score (P = 0.05) and moving time (P < 0.0001) in patients with type 2 diabetes. After adjusting for age, gender and schooling, fragmentation index and moving time remained significantly higher in the patients with diabetes (P < 0.05, both). HbA1c correlated inversely with sleep efficiency (r = -0.29; P = 0.047) and positively with moving time (r = 0.31; P = 0.031). These findings suggest that type 2 diabetes is associated with sleep disruptions even in the absence of complications or obesity. The relevance of sleep abnormalities to metabolic control and possible strategies to improve sleep quality in type 2 diabetes deserve further investigation.