Diabetes, a disease which is the 7th leading cause of death all around the world, is such an ailment in which the body of the individual is unable to produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels in check. As a result of reduced production of insulin, the glucose levels in the blood increase greatly resulting in high blood sugar levels causing the risk of heart, lung, and kidney failures.
Is Diabetes A Factor That Affects Sleep?
Along with such effects, diabetes also has negative impacts on an individual’s sleep and sleep quality as both diabetes and sleep are intricately related. Diabetes results in poor sleep quality and such poor quality of sleep, in turn, further leads to the aggravation of blood sugar levels and diabetes.
The following article would look at how diabetes impacts sleep and how the resultant poor sleep affects blood sugar levels. Along with this, we will also look at the common sleeping disorder with which an ordinary diabetic patient has to suffer due to being diabetic.
How Does Diabetes Affect Your Sleep?
Diabetes can affect the sleep and sleep quality in a wide variety of ways, some of which are mentioned as below:
1. Causing Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea is one of the most common problems that is found in Diabetic patients. It occurs when the breathing of the individual stops and starts multiple times during sleep. It is because diabetic patient often has excess weight and fat accumulation throughout their body which obstructs the free passage of air.
2. Hypoglycemia: As diabetic patients have to take medication for lowering their blood sugar levels and keeping it in control, many a time the blood sugar levels fall below what is required, causing hypoglycemia, thereby making the individual unable to sleep.
3. Frequent Urination: Diabetic patients having high blood sugar levels can suffer from excessive and frequent urination because higher levels of blood sugar levels cause the kidney to produce more urine. Frequent urination at night can pose an obstacle in getting a night of quality sleep and the individual may have to wake up and go bathroom multiple times.
4. Dehydration: The higher level of glucose in the blood in diabetic patients leads to absorption of water from the tissues, making the individual feel dehydrated during the night and causing the individual to get up frequently for having multiple glasses of water.
5. Numbness, Sweating, and Dizziness: Diabetic patients with excessive weight suffer from a decreased flow of oxygen to extremities of the body due to such excessive weight and fat accumulation in the body, leading to a feeling of numbness and tingling, making it hard to fall asleep. Higher blood sugar levels and excessive medications resulting in much low sugar levels can also cause feelings of dizziness, excessive sweating, etc making it difficult to fall asleep.
6. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): It refers to a disorder in which there arises a constant and overwhelming urge for moving legs, which can cause obstruction and frequent disruption in sleep and cause the individual to wake up many a time, thereby affecting the quality of sleep.
How Diabetic Patients Can Cope With Sleep Issues
The following are some tips to help diabetic patients to cope with and manage sleep issues that may arise due to Diabetes:
1. Adhering to the diet plan that is found to be working for you and keeping your blood sugar levels under control.
2. Exercising and doing Yoga regularly.
3. Inculcating the habit of self-testing blood sugar levels every day before going to sleep to take necessary steps in advance before sleeping.
4. Engaging in such a bedtime routine that you find helpful in relaxing you and making you fall asleep easily and fastly, like reading books, gentle exercises, etc.
5. Avoid heavy meals close before bedtime as they may result in increased blood sugar levels which may affect sleep quality.
6. Avoid electronic devices like Mobiles, Laptops, and other distractive devices during bedtime to relax your mind and lessen the strain on the eye and brain, helping in easily falling asleep.
Getting a night of proper sleep is an important factor in ensuring that the body remains healthy and happy. However, in case one is suffering from diabetes, there are high chances that his/ her sleep might get affected by high blood sugar levels due to diabetes or low sugar levels due to excessive intake of medications for lowering sugar levels. The above mentioned were some ways in which Diabetes affects the sleep and sleep quality of an individual and the tips mentioned above can be beneficial in management and protection from such negative effects of diabetes on sleep quality.
Lacey Arlo is a wellness expert and a nutritionist who aims to help members with health and diet queries. Lacey Arlo has worked with junior, national, and Olympic-level athletes by providing them with customizing programmers, supplement strategies, and support during their travel and competition. From weight management, PCOD, thyroid-related weight loss, and nutrition for children to diets for pregnant and diets for senior citizens, She offers nutrition-aided solutions for different age groups with consideration for each person’s unique health demands.