Poor sleep is one of the biggest problems that people with diabetes face. According to a study, sleep deprivation may trigger glucose levels to increase and blood sugar levels to be unstable. It’s important for diabetics to get enough sleep not only because it’s good for their health in general, but also because sleep deprivation can worsen blood sugar control. Sleep is essential for your body to function in a healthy state - mental alertness, focus, immune system, hormonal functions, etc. Additionally, switching to healthy snacks and drinks d can also benefit your overall health and help manage your blood sugar levels. To help you improve your sleep hygiene and get the sleep you need, read on!
As someone with diabetes, you already know how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You likely spend a lot of time thinking about your diet, exercise routine, and blood sugar levels. However, there's one aspect of health that you may not be giving enough attention: sleep. Good sleep is crucial for everyone, but it's especially important for people with diabetes. In this article, we'll explore why good sleep is essential for people with diabetes, the impact of poor sleep on diabetes management, and tips for getting a good night's sleep.
Why Sleep is Important for People with Diabetes
Sleep plays a crucial role in overall health, but it's particularly important for people with diabetes. When you're asleep, your body is hard at work repairing and rejuvenating itself. This includes repairing damaged tissues, boosting the immune system, and regulating hormones. These processes are especially important for people with diabetes, as they can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent complications.
The Link Between Sleep and Diabetes Management
Research has shown that poor sleep can have a significant impact on diabetes management. One study found that people with type 2 diabetes who slept less than six hours per night had higher A1C levels (a measure of average blood sugar levels) than those who slept more. Another study found that sleep deprivation can lead to insulin resistance, making it more challenging to manage blood sugar levels.
Poor sleep can also lead to other health problems that can complicate diabetes management. For example, sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. It can also increase stress levels, which can raise blood sugar levels and make it harder to manage diabetes.
What is Circadian Rhythm?
The circadian rhythm refers to the internal body clock, the 24-hour sleep/wake cycle of your body. Why is it important? When our normal circadian rhythm is disturbed, it can have adverse metabolic & hormonal irregularities in the body. This is why it's so important for people with diabetes to maintain good habits related to sleep and diet.
Effects of Insufficient Sleep on Diabetes Patients
Here's how a lack of sleep can affect diabetics:
Lack of sleep can cause insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that helps control blood sugar levels. When insulin resistance occurs, the body is less able to use insulin effectively, which can lead to high blood sugar levels.
It can cause your body to produce more cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that is responsible for stress responses and other physical responses to stress. When cortisol is produced in high amounts, it can lead to increased blood sugar levels and weight gain.
Lack of sleep leads to decreased production of leptin. Leptin is a hormone that helps control appetite and fat storage. When leptin production decreases, it can lead to increased appetite and weight gain.
In addition to problems with blood glucose levels, lack of sleep can cause chronic pain & inflammation.
How Much Sleep Should Diabetics Get?
There's no sugar-coating it - sleep is crucial for people with diabetes. Lack of sleep can lead to poor blood sugar control and other health problems. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to improve your sleep hygiene and sleep quality. First and foremost, reducing stress levels is key. And if you want a healthy life with diabetes, aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night. If sleep is still an issue for you, try these tips to help improve your slumber:
- Make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet - It's important to create a peaceful sleeping environment to get the best sleep possible. Try to keep your bedroom as dark as possible to minimise light exposure in the early hours of the morning.
- Follow a regular sleep schedule - Trying to adopt a new sleep schedule can be tough, but it's important to stick to one to get the most rest. Establish a bedtime and wake-up time and stick to them as much as possible.
- Relax before bed - One of the most important things you can do before bed is relax your mind and body. Try some yoga or meditation exercises before bed to help you wind down and relax.
- Keep a dark room at home - One final tip is to keep a dark room at home to reduce light exposure during the day. This will help improve your sleeping habits overall.
- Avoid electronics near bedtime - Keeping all electronics out of reach before bedtime can help reduce the temptation to use them later on. This includes phones, tablets, laptops, etc.
- Exercise regularly - Exercise releases endorphins, which are hormones that promote happiness and relaxation. In addition, exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality by reducing stress levels and promoting deep restfulness.
- Take care of what you eat as it affects your sleep quality- Diets low in fibre & high in sugar. Eat a healthy low carb, fibre-rich diet of veggies every day. You should also minimise water intake leading up to bedtime as frequent urination will disturb your sleep quality.
- Avoiding Munching Before Bedtime- Make sure that you refrain from any sort of unhealthy snacks just before bed. Avoid alcohol & caffeine too before going to sleep.If you do find yourself feeling hungry before bed, try reaching for healthy and diabetic-friendly snacks like Keeros Super Snacks. Just remember to avoid any unhealthy snacks, alcohol, or caffeine before bedtime to promote a better night's sleep.
- Get Enough Sunlight- Soaking in sunlight especially in the mornings helps you improve your circadian rhythm & also provides vitamin D & other nutrients.
Hopefully, these tips will help you get more restful sleep! If you have any other questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're here to help!
Q. Can poor sleep cause diabetes?
Poor sleep isn't a direct cause of diabetes, but it can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Q. Can sleep apnea make diabetes worse?
Sleep apnea, a condition where breathing is interrupted during sleep, can make it harder to manage diabetes by interfering with sleep quality and increasing stress levels.
Q, How many hours of sleep should people with diabetes aim for?
Most adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night. However, individual sleep needs can vary.
Q. Can sleep medications interfere with diabetes management?
Some sleep medications can interfere with blood sugar levels,
Q. Can stress impact sleep and diabetes management?
A. Yes, stress can interfere with sleep quality and raise blood sugar levels, making it harder to manage diabetes.
Q. Can exercise improve sleep quality for people with diabetes?
A. Yes, regular exercise can improve sleep quality and help regulate blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.
Good sleep is crucial for diabetics and anyone else who is struggling with sleep deprivation. Not only does good sleep help diabetes patients manage their blood sugar levels better, it also has positive effects on the overall health of the person. By following the tips outlined in this blog, you can help improve your sleep hygiene and enjoy better sleep for the long term. Make sure to leave your comments and suggestions below, as we would love to hear from you!
Author- Simran Sahni