You are currently viewing Does Diabetes Affect Sleep?

Does Diabetes Affect Sleep?

It’s is seen that half of the people with type 2 diabetes have sleeping disorders due to fluctuating blood sugar levels. This can lead to insomnia during night and fatigue the next day. As with other incurable conditions, feeling depressed or stressed about having diabetes itself might  keep one awake at night.

When blood sugar is high the kidneys compensate by making one to urinate more frequently. During  nights, these frequent trips to the washroom leads to disrupted sleep. High blood sugar might also lead to headaches, increased thirst, and tiredness that can result in less sleep.

On the other side, with imbalance diet or taking the wrong medication can also lead to low sugar levels during night. One may have bad dreams, excess sweating while sleeping, feeling irritated or disoriented when waking up.

How Does Less Sleep Affect Blood Sugar Levels?

Quarter of diabetic people accept sleeping less than six hours or more than eight hours a night, which puts them at a high risk of having increased blood sugar. Moreover increased blood sugar in diabetic people and sleep deprivation highly increases the risk of developing insulin resistance in the first place.

Studies have also shown that  irregular sleeping schedules are interrelated with high blood sugar, even in a non-diabetic person. Certainly, there are other reasons which explain this, like that the  people having improper sleeping schedules definately follow an erratic diet.

Less sleep spikes the level of ghrelin, hunger hormone, and drops levels of leptin, hormone that makes us feel full. To maintain the low energy levels, people who have poor sleep may more likely seek relief in foods which raises blood sugar and put them at risk of getting obese which is a  high risk for diabetes.

In addition to this, poor sleep can show a long-term toll on people with type 2 diabetes. Those who relay on sleep medicines or who have problem staying asleep are more likely to have serious psychological distress. It is also seen that people with diabetes who do not get proper sleep will be at a higher risk of forgetting things later in life.

Which Sleep Disorders Are Most Common in People With Diabetes?

People suffering from type 2 diabetes have shown a high chance of having  sleep disorders, the most common are two, restless legs syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea.

  • Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS): Around one in every five people having type 2 diabetes suffer from restless legs syndrome17, also called as tingling or other irritating sensations in the legs which can intervene in falling  asleep. People having diabetes are also at risk for another condition known as peripheral neuropathy. This caused by nerve damage, the symptoms are very similar to RLS and shows numbness, tingling, and pain in the legs. People who feels these symptoms should consult a doctor, as peripheral neuropathy requires treatment to reduce excessive nerve damage.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person for a short time stops breathing at constant intervals all night. In maximum cases, the person is not aware of this, while the bed partner will observe snoring and gasping. These intervals in breathing cause micro-arousals (very brief awakenings) which intervene with the natural sleep stages and spoils sleep quality. OSA occurs in people who are overweight , as they  have a thicker neck circumference which intervenes with the airway. This can be treated with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) a device which keeps the airway open to maintain normal breathing and reduce interruptions during sleep.

How Can A Diabetic Person Cope Up With Sleep Issues?

Proper management of sugar levels can vastly help in improving sleep for people having type 2 diabetes. Moreover,as seeing the close relationship between diabetes and sleep, nice sleep hygiene habits are most important. These include sleeping habits both day or night, such as:

  • Shifting to a diet plan which works for you and also helps keep blood sugar controlled
  • Performing  regular exercise
  • Maintaining  a strict sleep schedule
  • Avoiding  caffeine or nicotine before bed
  • Keeping the bedroom quiet,cool and dark

Looking at individuals situation, the doctor will be able to assist better sleep aids for diabetics or other ways to get better sleep. Doctor may suggest to do a sleep study, to see if the sleep disorder is genuinely to blame for the sleep problems.Next sleep disorders can also be treated with targeted therapies.

Leave a Reply