Positive findings could lead to adding the intervention in existing care protocols. The ultimate goal is to improve outcomes for a population that struggles to maintain blood-sugar (glycemic) targets, compared to other age groups.
Type 1 diabetes affects two million Americans and millions more people around the globe. The condition poses extensive challenges to health and well-being. Recommended blood-sugar targets are less than 7% (A1C) or being within a healthy blood-sugar range at least 80% of the time.
Of particular concern is the struggle to achieve these glycemic targets; only one of four young adults with type 1 diabetes are able to maintain them.
Failing to achieve these targets results in a significantly higher risk for serious complications, including premature heart disease, stroke, vision loss, kidney disease and nerve damage.
Griggs’s research team seeks to address this critical issue by enrolling 248 adults 18 to 30 years old with type 1 diabetes in a five-year study.
The main goal is to evaluate whether a cognitive behavioral sleep health intervention—a treatment targeting thoughts and behaviors—can improve sleep health and glucose metabolism, compared to the usual care from a health coach.
Sleep health is measured by satisfaction with sleep, alertness during the day, timing of sleep, efficiency (percentage of time asleep) and duration, or how many hours at night.
Griggs’s research project draws on the expertise of healthcare professionals and researchers, including:
Ronald Hickman Jr., professor and associate dean for research at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.
Kingman Strohl, professor at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and University Hospitals.
Jamie Wood, associate professor at the School of Medicine and medical director of pediatric diabetes at University Hospitals.
Betul Hatipoglu, professor at the School of Medicine and medical director of the Diabetes Center at University Hospitals.
Julia Blanchette, assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve and nurse scientist in the Division of Endocrinology at University Hospitals.
Michael Perlis, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
Sybil Crawford, professor at the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing at UMass Chan Medical School.
“The research team,” Griggs said, “is committed to improving the lives of young adults with type 1 diabetes by understanding the relationship between sleep health and glucose metabolism.”