Blood sugar level follows perceived time rather than actual time in people with type 2 diabetes

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Jul 19;113(29):8168-70. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1603444113. Epub 2016 Jul 5.


The current study investigates whether perceived time has an effect on blood glucose level in people with type 2 diabetes. The hypothesis is that perceived time will have a greater influence over blood glucose level than actual time. Changes in blood glucose levels were measured in 46 participants with diabetes while they completed simple tasks during a 90-min period. Participants' perception of time was manipulated by having them refer to clocks that were either accurate or altered to run fast or slow. Blood glucose levels changed in accordance with how much time they believed had passed instead of how much time had actually passed. These results are an example of the influence psychological processes can directly exert on the body.

Keywords: blood glucose levels; diabetes; expectations; false-clock paradigm; perceived time.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Perception*


  • Blood Glucose