Sleep Duration and Blood Glucose Control in Women With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Aug;126(2):326-331. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000959.


Objective: To describe the relationship between objectively assessed sleep and blood glucose in a prospective cohort of women recently diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Methods: Women with GDM were enrolled immediately after attending a GDM education class. All patients were recruited during their first week of attempted dietary management of GDM. They were instructed on the use of a glucometer and on the principles of a GDM diet. Women wore an actigraph and completed a sleep log for 7 consecutive days. Glucose records were compared against the objective sleep data. Linear mixed model analysis was used to estimate the association of sleep duration on morning fasting and 1-hour postprandial blood glucose concentrations.

Results: Thirty-seven participants provided data for 213 sleep intervals that corresponded to at least one glucose reading. Sleep duration was negatively associated with fasting and 1-hour postprandial blood glucose concentrations In analyses adjusted for age, gestational age, and body mass index, a 1-hour increase in sleep time was associated with statistically significant reductions in fasting glucose (-2.09 mg/dL, 95% confidence interval [CI] -3.98 to -0.20) as well as postprandial glucose concentrations (lunch -4.62 mg/dL, 95% CI -8.75 to -0.50; dinner -6.07 mg/dL, 95% CI -9.40 to -2.73).

Conclusion: Short sleep durations are associated with worsened glucose control in women with gestational diabetes. Educating women on healthy sleep and screening for and treating sleep disorders during pregnancy may have a role in optimizing blood glucose control in gestational diabetes.

Level of evidence: II.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring* / methods
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring* / psychology
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring* / standards
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / diagnosis
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / physiopathology
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / psychology
  • Dyssomnias* / etiology
  • Dyssomnias* / physiopathology
  • Dyssomnias* / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal Age
  • Middle Aged
  • Postprandial Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Education / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sleep
  • United States


  • Blood Glucose