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Does lack of sleep affect my diabetes?
I've been asked this question by my patients but haven't known how to answer. After recently reading several articles on lack of sleep and diabetes, it seems that there's no pat answer to this question. And there are many variables to consider. However, it does seem that sleep may be an important factor in your diabetes management.
How much sleep a person needs varies depending on the individual. As an example of two sleep extremes, the famous scientists Einstein and Edison had very different sleep requirements. Edison thought sleep was a waste of time, but he did take naps during the day. In contrast, Einstein slept 10 hours a night.
Healthy adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, and, today, the average amount of sleep per night is less than this. Studies find that the less people sleep, the more likely they are to be overweight. And being overweight increases insulin resistance. One study I read indicated that the body's reaction to sleep loss actually resembles insulin resistance.
Getting more sleep and improving the quality of sleep may have a positive effect on glucose control in people with and without diabetes. So if you're having sleep difficulties, consider taking a few steps to promote healthy sleep:
If you're having trouble sleeping and these strategies aren't working for you, see your healthcare provider.
What are your thoughts on how lack of sleep affects you and your diabetes?
Have a great week.
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N.
Peggy Moreland, R.N.
Selecting "Submit" signifies that you have read and agree to our posting guidelines.
I have had insomnia most of my life. My Mother used to say that when she was pregnant with me I would become very active when she was trying to go to sleep at night. She said that once my Dad said,"why did you poke me in the back?" and she said she didn't do it the baby did. He could not believe it.She told him to put his hand on her belly and wait a minute. she said that he said,"Well I'll be damned, that kid is strong." Well as I get older, the lack of sleep problem has gotten worse.I have long periods where I get three to four hours of sleep a night, and there are times when I go up to three days with no sleep at all. during these times my glucose levels go crazy.Some times they bottom out because I forget to eat. And then when I do eat, I tend to over do it because I'm starving. Then my sugar level goes way up. I was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, and put on a c-pap system that Iam trying very hard to adapt to. My insurans co. says I am not being compliant to thier rules. They say you need to use it a certain number of hours per night. If I could make that happen, I probably wouldn't need the damn thing. 05-21-13, four twenty AM.
I sleep dreadfully. I no longer sleep in my bedroom because of disturbing my husband. I get very deeply depressed and have an overwhelming feeling. Everything is too heavy. IBS, Asthma, Diabetes T2 and a very acid body..stomach trouble and reflux. Nothing can e done. During bouts of long term sleeplessness i've tried everything. Pills make everything worse..because of the ripple effect on my gut and stomach. I fight to manage. I also have bladder problems..but my urologist says i need to re train my bladder. The lady who was asking about going to urinate several times at night. .. When you wake up, tell yourself NO...and o back to sleep. Its difficult at first, but I have cut my visits to the toilet down to three, and hope to get t even less. The bladder shrinks...and it can be stretched by waiting until you cant wait. Sleep affects Diabetes a lt...Diabetes affects sleep a lot. Life is tough. If I wasn't a Buddhist who believes in challenging my circumstances, I would ave give up years ago. Life is tough. But some have it much much tougher.
i have read. now iam suffering health problem(sever hand allergic reaction) due to lack of sleep.
thank you for your kind information.
Lack of sleep definitely effects my diabetes control for several reasons. One reason is the tendency to wander to the kitchen when bored and staying awake allows hunger to take over when your "concious you" would be more likely to say no.
I recently was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I believe that my wake ups to urinate were really apnea events - as I rarely wakeup to urinate after 2 weeks on CPAP machine. I also now have dreams - so am getting some REM sleep. - I am a Type 2 controlled by diet
To Lindy, who posted in Oct. 2012. My significant other used to have problems with random hi/low's overnight, which woke him up as well. His Dr. suggested he try using the Lantus in the morning, instead of at night, and maintain his daytime bolus, as usual(normal). This change has helped tremendously, and it is now a RARE occurrence, that he wakes in the middle of the night from hi/low glucose level swings. Something to inquire of your Dr. about.
Thank you for your article. Am wondering why I still wake up to urinate 3 to 5 times a night, even though my A1-C is now 5.9. (I could understand it back when my A1-C was a horrible 15.9!) Any more ideas for a woman of 64 with Type 2 diabetes? Thanks!
I'm 45 years old and have been type 1 for 34 years. I watch my diet and blood sugars carefully. I'm currently on Lantus (at night/basal) and Humalog (bolus). Total I take about 25 units a day combined. I walk (brisk) 4 miles a day which is a little over an hour. I can't get a full night's sleep due to 3am blood sugar checks and random overnight his/lows. I am glad these still wake me up, but how in the world do I get a good night's sleep? I have no problem going to sleep at night, I'm usually exhausted.
I've had type2 diabetes for about 4 years (just had 76th b-day). I've been a late nighter for years -- 12/1 o'clock, but always fell asleep quickly. Now I go to bed tired/sleepy, but as soon as I lay down, I'm wide awake and my mind dredges up a whirlwind of thoughts. I don't use the computer late, but I do read, listen to orchestral music..no help. I get up, lay down, sometimes I'm awake most of the night and finally go to sleep anywhere from 3 to 9 am. I don't want the meds. Also had instances with a bathroom call (I now watch how late I finish my water/tea, etc. or I just wake up after an hour or so for no reason and cannot go back to sleep. Sometimes I give up around 4-5, have my oatmeal and coffee, start my day and then sleep 2/6 hours later in the morning. I'd love some ideas.
Unfortunately the foods that are good for you cost more (fresh fruits and vegetables). I would suggest you watch the portion sizes and try to eat a specific amount of calories each day to maintain or lose weight. Also, eat three meals a day and avoid snacks between meals. Check your local food shelf, they often have fresh produce available this time of year.
I have alot of stressful things happening in my life right now: divorce hearing un Aug 27th, knee surgery on 26 of sept, having diffulties controlling my type 2 diabeties. Not working so money is an issue, buying proper foods is out of my control. pain is constant, help me please !
Iam diabetic.I have my sugars under control. The Dr. prscribed an ambein genetic....I took for a long time and probably became addicted. I am trying with little success to do with out pills. I seem to be able to get 'some' sleep in front of TV. The ringing in my ears i;s annoying.
For the lady left a comment back in March about the urination. I have been a diabetic since birth and I am now 19. Frequent or inconvenient urination is quite common with high blood sugars. I can't count how many times I have had nature call me at 3am. A good thing I have taken from this blog is to watch what I eat and drink before bed. It has done wonders for my blood glucose and my sleeping pattern.
I just blogged (for my first time ever, anywhere) about sleep and diabetes and the read the comments below and have a question about what "Mally" said in December. She said "give it a rest" - trying to make a connection b/t sleeplessness and diabetes - ACK, now I am confused as just this week I read about a study that is linking sleeplessness and diabetes, and how the treatment may helf forestall alzheimers. However, i mostly want to know what to do about this sleeping thing. I take Ambien, but can't go on taking that forever, can I? As I said earlier, my doc says I am depressed and wants to throw me on Prozac, but I am refusing. I also have ADHD and am on speed, which helps lift my mood. I'm sort of a wreck, I guess, and I don't know how much longer I can take this...
I have had diabetes for 40 years now, and I have a lot of trouble sleeping. My Dr. says i am depressed, but i have read that diabetes can affect sleeping patterns - as well as sleeping can affect diabetes control. Does anyone have any information on this? I don't want to go on anti-depressants if the reason I can't sleep is diabetes.
Type II Diabetes- What a complicated mess!
Diet, exercise, hydration, sleep-- The most important combinations to have if you want to live a fruitful life. I was diagnosed with type II a year ago and took drugs for 3 months. I was so annoyed about my lack of personal responsibility about the issue that I stopped eating and lost a lot of weight.
I currently do not take any drugs- was even able to stop the Allopurinal that I was taking for gout. After 1 year my blood pressure, glycemic levels, cholesteral etc. are normal and I still have certain diabetic characteristics that I hope will dissipate within the next year or so.
I have found that when I do not exercise- my glycemic levels go up.
I have found that when I do not get good sleep- my glycemic levels go up.
I think that everyone's body has a certain metabolic balance that must be attained, especially when there are factors occuring, such as diabetes (type II). Is type II curable? I think the jury is still out on that one! But I feel that because my glycemic levels are normal, I will develop less diabetic issues in my future.
Most people appear to have the most difficulty getting the diet correct. In America, we are not that knowledgeable about how food affects our bodies. I think that is a bigger issue than the sleep one.
I think that sleep is a contributor to how our body functions metabolically- SLEEP MUST AFFECT DIABETES TOO
My father has suffered with type 2 diabetes for years now & it is complicated by his heart condition. Every time his doctor prescribes him a new drug for something it seems to react with something else he's on & needs more drugs to help overcome the side effects. His whole dining table is covered with meds that he has to take each day. I've been slowly trying to get him to drop some drugs cause he is now so medicated there are times when he seems a stranger in his own body. His doctor has told him to get some exercise each day which is hard due to his neuropathy in his feet. The local pharmacist gave him a pair of some type of diabetic sock which have helped him to sleep better at night. Yesterday he went walking to the shops and it helped improve the circulation so its a small improvement today. I'm planning on taking him out later after his tea.
I have a problem. During the wake up time, especially during the last half hour of the sleep before I wake up I get burning sensation in my bladder and I feel heavily loaded in my head and the whole body is restless till I empty my bladder but with in few minutes after urination, i feel normal. This does occur during day time also if I take a nap, but not that accute. My PSA levels are normal. I am 65 and take metformin 1gm -1500mg/ day and amaryl 1 mg before meals with vitamin B supplements. I have been a diabetic from the age of 46
My question/concern is with CPAP supplies/machines. My machines double blinks all night long. Is this normal? I have a Resperonics M-series w/ humidification.
No question there is a connection in my case - lack of sleep means I eat more to get the energy to keep going. Factors in sleep loss for me are an ill husband as well as difficulty shutting down. Very dependent on bedtime reading!
I found tiredness to be one of the worst side effects of Type 2. Since retiring I allow myself to have afternoon naps every day. That really helps as sleep apnoea and bladder control problems prevent long hours of sleeping at night in any case. For those with leg cramps my chiro suggests magnesium....it helped within a few days.
i have the opposite problem. i have ideopathic hypersominia where i can sleep for 2-3 days - waking to go bathroom and feed pets. also i do not get into deep rem sleep so i am just a tired whenever i wake up as i was when i went to sleep. normal night sleep 10 - 12hrs. serious problem staying on a strict schedule
I feel much better with a good night's sleep. It may make a difference in my blood sugar and it definitely helps with my general attitude towards eating right. I seem to have frequent leg cramps that will interrupt sleep, I don't know if it's related to my T2. Regular exercise helps and my doctor prescribed Flexeril, a muscle relaxer. I only take it when I've had several bad nights in a row.
Having diabetes and Restless Leg Syndrome are not a good combination when it causes sleep loss. I do take meds for RLS but sometimes it still wakes me up. Then I have to get up for a couple of hours. Life is challenging.
You need to see a vascular specialist. Blood is not flowing to and from the foot due to veins destruction and/or peripheral artery disease (clogged arteries) from having too much sugar in the blood, diabetes. The vascular doctor can reconstruct the veins, if practical, using cadaver's veins and unclogged the arteries. You will loose a foot if you don't do this immediately. Skip any offer to do an angioplasty and go for the vascular surgery.
Does this suggest that if you have diabetes and have trouble sleeping (getting just a few hours a night) sleeping pills are in order for the long term?
I feel tired most of the time since I first got symptoms of diabetes. I have tried many things. I found massaging my. Feet and a warm bath helps me relax. I also use lotion on my feet to help with the pain that causes me to not be able to sleep. It is for diabetic foot pain over the counter
What I find bewildering is that among health professionals, especially doctors, there is a disconnect between what are facts and what are wild guesses.
Diabetes researches are plentiful. We know more facts than ever, but yet health professionals are still playing guessing games. Professionals need to be paid, a lot, so going on a fruitless hunt is more lucrative, I guess ;-)
Listen, the facts are the facts. Sleep is vital to everyone's health. We hold different stages of health at different times in our lives. What is telling is our body without any intervention will go into sleep mode, eventually. You can try to stop sleep or promote sleep, but the body knows best. The body is a healing mechanism on auto play; when something is wrong it tries to fix. Sleep is contingent on the body's need to shut down for revamping energy, simple as that. Trying to make a connection between diabetes and sleep is hunting. Give it a rest, can you?
I have type I diabetes and I have found that if I don't get at least 9hrs of good soild sleep I feel icky all day. Tired, not able to concentrate just not right. I take sleep aids but hate the fact that I have to.
Hi Nancy- I've been struggling with lack of sleep for some time now. Being a diabetic for the past 13 years hasn't made it easier since I tend to carbo-load at bedtime to help induce sleep. In this respect, lack of sleep can directly influence my blood sugar as carbo-loading is addictive and difficult to stop. There have been times when getting to sleep has been easy and I think that this may be attributed to tight blood sugar control.
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