A new study from the University of Illinois at Chicago revealed that pregnant women experiencing insufficient sleep are more likely to develop Gestational diabetes than those who have an adequate amount of sleep.

The study, published in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews, showed that Lack Of Sleep among pregnant women can result to 170 percent increased risk of being diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Shorter sleep duration leads to elevated blood sugar levels

For the study, the researchers conducted a meta-analysis of eight studies that assessed the relationship between sleep duration and gestational diabetes.

Overall, the meta-analysis included 17, 308 pregnant women. Seven of the studies used self-reported questionnaire while one objectively measured the sleep duration of the participants using an accelerometer.

After analyzing the studies, the researchers found that pregnant women who had average sleep duration fewer than six hours were 1.7 times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. Four additional studies with individual participant data also showed that pregnant women who slept less than 6.25 hours per night had a 2.84 fold increased risk of developing diabetes than those slept more than 6.25 hours per night.

A serious health risk for the mother and the baby

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that most likely occurs in the middle to the later stage of pregnancy. According to Mayo Clinic, this type of diabetes can cause high blood sugar and can have negative effects on the mother’s and baby’s health.

Usually, the blood sugar levels of women who developed diabetes during their pregnancy return back to normal after delivery.

However, developing gestational diabetes may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Most women with develop diabetes during their pregnancy deliver healthy babies. However, higher than normal sugar levels during pregnancy may increase the baby’s risk of excessive birth weight, preterm birth, respiratory distress syndrome, low blood sugar and type 2 diabetes later in life.

Aside from increased likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes may also raise the risk of high blood pressure and life-threatening preeclampsia.

A silent threat

Some cases of gestational diabetes often go unnoticed because it doesn’t show any noticeable signs or symptoms. Due to this, health care providers are encouraging pregnant women to undergo a blood screening test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

In order to prevent or manage gestational diabetes, pregnant women should practice active lifestyle and healthy diet. Doctors may also order pregnant women with gestational diabetes to take insulin and advice regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!