Poor sleep is something that both causes and aggravates Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes messes up with the schedule of diabetes incredibly while some end up sleeping too much. Others are not able to get sufficient sleep. Quoting a study published in July 2020 in Diabetologia, diabetic patients who slept more (or less) than seven hours were found with an elevated risk for dying early as compared to those who slept for at least seven hours. Before discussing how to regulate the sleep schedule while managing type 2 diabetes, we shall understand why people encounter sleep problems in this case.
The Link Between The Lack Of Sleep And Type 2 Diabetes
As discussed earlier, some of the many causes that lead to type 2 diabetes and play a role in triggering sleep problems include obstructive sleep apnea, pain or discomfort, the frequent urge to use the washroom, and even restless leg syndrome. Besides this, experts also believe that type 2 diabetes coupled with the lack of a proper sleep schedule could lead to a rise in blood glucose levels that will make it harder for insulin to work well.
These are just a few reasons why you may fail to get a restful sleep while suffering from type 2 diabetes. As per Dr. Paris Roach, an endocrinologist with Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, sleep disruptions during diabetes may be caused due to major swings in blood sugar levels at night.
Another common problem leading to messed-up sleep patterns during diabetes is diabetic neuropathy, which is characterized by painful sensations of stinging and burning in the feet. Insomnia kickstarts an increase in the release of stress hormones further making it harder to have a regular sleep schedule apart from increasing the possibility of obesity.
Preventing Irregular Sleep Patterns
Now that you know the importance of getting enough sleep at night, here are some tips you can follow to sleep better with Type 2 diabetes-
- Avoid the consumption of caffeinated beverages at night: It has been found during research studies that caffeinated sodas, black tea, chocolate, or coffee can interfere with one’s ability to fall asleep. In order to ensure that you sleep better, you need to cut down the amount of caffeine that you consume throughout the day. Your goal should be to eliminate it several hours before you sleep.
- Increase the intake of protein-rich foods: Protein is an extremely important nutrient for managing blood sugar levels. Your diet should necessarily contain high quality protein foods like chicken, eggs and seafood. Vegetarians can consume paratha, pulses or other legumes. Regular consumption of high-quality protein foods throughout the day will help you cope with rising blood sugar levels and thus help you sleep better.
- Come up with a relaxing bedtime routine: If you are a smartphone or electronic device addict, it’s time you get rid of that habit. Your bedtime routine should comprise more relaxing activities like reading, a gentle yoga routine, some breathing exercises or a warm bath. Winding down or relaxing one or two hours before bedtime will prepare your body for a relaxing sleep.
- Get checked for sleep apnea: Sleep apnea is a serious condition that needs to be checked and treated early. It has been found by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine that seven in ten people suffering from type 2 diabetes were also suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. A condition that causes abnormal breathing with a disrupted oxygen supply, gets worse with overweight people having excessive fat in their neck. While spotting the symptoms of sleep apnea, notice excessive sleepiness during the day, loud snoring during your sleep, morning headaches or irritability. Consult your doctor immediately about a sleep test. Luckily, sleep apnea can be easily treated with breathing devices and lifestyle changes.
Following these simple tips would go a long way while improving your sleep. However, before considering any medication to improve your sleep, it is important that you should discuss it with your doctor since there could be some serious conditions that might be disrupting your sleep. Consulting a physician, in this case, will be helpful to reduce the chances of long-term health complications. You can go for further treatment or diagnostic tests accordingly.
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