Can Lack of Sleep Affect Fasting Blood Sugar?

Reviewed on 3/16/2021

Sleep can impact how the body responds to insulin. Evidence suggests that poor sleep can negatively affect blood sugar levels (causing them to be elevated). People who self-report habitually sleeping less than seven hours per night are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Sleep can impact how the body responds to insulin. Evidence suggests that poor sleep can negatively affect blood sugar levels (causing them to be elevated). People who self-report habitually sleeping less than seven hours per night are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the body either doesn’t produce sufficient insulin or doesn’t use insulin properly causing blood sugar (glucose) levels to rise (hyperglycemia). 

Blood sugar levels normally rise in the morning due to what is called “the dawn phenomenon” in which hormones, including cortisol and growth hormone, signal the liver to boost the production of glucose, which provides energy to help people wake up.

  • In healthy people, this release of hormones triggers special cells in the pancreas to release insulin to maintain blood sugar levels.
  • In people with diabetes, they do not produce enough insulin or don’t use the insulin properly to counter this rise in blood sugar, which results in elevated blood sugar levels in the morning. 

Sleep can impact how the body responds to insulin. Evidence suggests that poor sleep can negatively affect blood sugar levels (causing them to be elevated). People who self-report habitually sleeping less than seven hours per night are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Some studies have shown that short sleep duration is associated with decreased insulin sensitivity.

What Is Fasting Blood Sugar?

Fasting blood sugar is a test used to measure blood glucose (sugar) levels to check for diabetes. Fasting means a person has not eaten or drank anything (other than water) for at least eight hours prior to the test.

What Is Normal Fasting Blood Sugar?

Fasting blood sugar is usually measured in the morning, before breakfast. The table below shows whether your blood sugar level is in the normal range, or if it means you may have prediabetes or diabetes.

Fasting Blood Sugar Levels Chart
Blood Sugar Level mg/dL
Normal less than 100 mg/dL
Prediabetes 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL
Diabetes 126 mg/dL or higher

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Reviewed on 3/16/2021
References
https://www.diabetes.org/a1c/diagnosis

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4402671/

https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/blood-sugar-management/high-morning-blood-sugars