Link Between Diabetes and Sleep: Everything You Need To Know

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Diabetes requires certain changes be made in your life and more importantly, the changes be followed consistently – from diabetic diet to exercising regularly and of course having a sound sleep at night. This is especially necessary for type 2 diabetics. Studies have proven that lack of good sleep affects your sugar levels in blood drastically and also impacts your overall health.

Quality and quantity of sleep both decide the state of health for a type 2 diabetic. Poor sleep has side effects on the following factors:

  • Blood sugar (glucose)
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Insulin resistance
  • Inflammation
  • Energy levels
  • Overall well-being

Poor sleep reduces the body’s ability to utilize glucose efficiently. Regular sugar test reveal how your glucose level in blood are affected over a prolonged period of time.

How much sleep does a diabetic need

Both lack of sleep as well as over-sleeping can cause health complications for type 2 diabetics. At least 7 to 8 hours of sleep is necessary to minimize the risks of type 2 diabetes. Not being able to fall asleep in the first place is also a major concern for diabetics.

Relation between diabetes and Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is particularly serious as it causes your breathing to start and stop during sleep. When your throat muscles relax and stop while sleeping, the airway gets blocked and lack of oxygen results in constant waking up while trying to sleep.

Type 2 diabetics are more prone to OSA and observe the following symptoms –

  • Excessive daytime drowsiness
  • Loud snoring, snorting, or grunting during sleep
  • Waking abruptly by gasping or choking
  • Episodes of stopped breathing during sleep as observed by others
  • Dry mouth or sore throat after sleeping
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)

Simple Hacks to Sleep Better

  • Following a schedule to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day is necessary to balance your body clock and maintain healthy blood glucose levels.
  • Avoid using any gadget or electronic device at least a couple of hours before you go to sleep. A book is a great source of relaxation before bed time.
  • Strictly avoid alcohol and caffeine before bedtime. It is likely to disrupt peaceful sleep in the long run and also causes dis-balance in sugar level in blood during early morning hours.
  • Have a timely dinner and maintain at least a couple of hours’ gap between your dinner and sleep to help you have a comfortable sleep.
  • Physical activity promotes better sleep but only if it is carried out earlier in the day. Morning is definitely the best time to sweat it out as that sets the tone for your day.

Remember in order to control diabetes and maintain normal blood sugar level you need to keep monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly using a handy glucometer from the comfort of your home to ensure you are in total control of your diabetes and are able to maintain normal blood sugar levels.