- Associate Professor Ben Wheeler Primary investigator (Department of Women's and Children's Health)
- Dr Sara Boucher (Department of Women's and Children's Health)
These studies investigate sleep state and cardiovascular control linked to overnight blood glucose levels in children with Type 1 diabetes.
The first study aims to find ways to detect early signs of complications affecting the heart’s nerve supply and whether sleep itself or changes with blood sugar during sleep make serious heart rhythm abnormalities more likely to occur in youth with diabetes. This could lead to ways to reduce risk from such complications and prevent sudden death.
Another study investigates the impact of poor sleep on the parents of children with Type 1 diabetes. These parents often live with the fear of their child dying suddenly overnight, and frequently checking on their glucose levels can cause major disruptions to their own sleep. Whilst care of the child is paramount, poor sleep is identified as a major concern affecting their own physical and emotional health, and potentially their parenting. This study involves both qualitative and quantitative research, with long-term aims to develop an intervention that could potentially address multiple facets of overnight care surrounding parental sleep, child sleep, and diabetes care including parental competence in technologies.
A third research study in the diabetes area involves a trial of Flash Glucose Monitors (FGM) in adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. Novel FGM technology effectively facilitates self-monitoring of blood glucose and glycaemic control by providing instant access to glucose levels without the burden of blood testing, which may encourage uptake of this new technology in young people. Currently FGM is only approved for use in adults. The general goal of the study is to investigate the effectiveness of FGM in a real-world setting among adolescents with Type 1 diabetes and a history of suboptimal glycaemic control and poor self-monitoring of blood glucose adherence. The specific objectives of the research are to determine the impact of FGM on glycaemic control as measured by HbA1c, self-monitoring of blood glucose frequency and adherence, quality of life, and safety. The study will also look at the impact of sleep and physical activity on glucose control.