Poor Sleep Quality Is Associated with Higher Hemoglobin A1c in Pregnant Women: A Pilot Observational Study
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
We hypothesized that poor sleep quality exacerbates glucose intolerance manifested as elevated glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which increases the risk for gestational diabetes. To test this, 38 pregnant and 22 non-pregnant (age, 18–35 years; body-mass index, 20–35 kg/m2) otherwise healthy women were enrolled in the study. Sleep quality was assessed during gestational week 24 (pregnant), or outside of the menstrual period (non-pregnant), using qualitative (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index) and
... jective (actigraphic wrist-watch) measures. Blood glucose, total cortisol, and depression status were evaluated. Eight pregnant and one non-pregnant women were lost to follow-up, or withdrew from the study. There was a higher incidence of poor sleep quality in pregnant (73%) relative to non-pregnant women (43%). Although actigraphic data revealed no differences in actual sleep hours between pregnant and non-pregnant women, the number of wake episodes and sleep fragmentation were higher in pregnant women. Poor sleep quality was positively correlated with higher HbA1c in both pregnant (r = 0.46, n = 26, p = 0.0151) and non-pregnant women (r = 0.50, n = 19, p = 0.0217), reflecting higher average blood glucose concentrations. In contrast, poor sleep was negatively correlated with cortisol responses in pregnant women (r = −0.46, n = 25, p = 0.0167). Three pregnant women had elevated one-hour oral glucose tolerance test results (>153 mg/dL glucose). These same pregnant women exhibited poor sleep quality. These results support the suggestion that poor sleep quality is an important risk factor that is associated with glucose intolerance and attendant health complications in pregnancy.