How Many Hours Of Sleep Does A Diabetic Need
An adult with diabetes needs the same amount of sleep as other adults, which is 7 to 9 hours a night. However, their medical condition can make it more difficult to get a full nights rest. Its important to try and maintain a consistent sleep schedule by falling asleep and waking up at roughly the same time every day, even on days off.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
Its normal to feel fatigued sometimes, but if fatigue lasts longer than two weeks, it may be time to see a practitioner. For those who also experience symptoms of blood sugar spikes such as increased thirst, frequent urination, nausea, listlessness, and dizziness, fatigue could be a sign that they have developed or are at risk of developing diabetes. For those who already have the condition, regular appointments to monitor blood glucose and manage diabetes should be done since these symptoms are signs that their current treatment plan is no longer effective.
Management of diabetes fatigue is vital for those with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It can be difficult to manage the condition, especially at first, but not impossible. The best way to manage symptoms or complications of the disease is to book an appointment with an endocrinologist, who is specialized in diabetes care. They can help address fatigue and other symptoms by encouraging lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, more exercise, stress management techniques, and better sleep hygiene.
Sugar And Your Orexin System
The orexin system is made up of a pair of neurons found in the brains hypothalamus region. Both these neurons, dubbed by researchers as OX1R and OX2R act to stimulate the production of a chemical called hypocretin. This chemical stimulates wakefulness and brain activity, as well as regulates our eating habits. When you eat sugar , your blood sugar levels rise which in turn suppresses orexin release leading to reduced activity of this system.
When orexin levels are low, it makes you feel tired. Vice versa, when theyre high, youre more energetic and awake. People with chronically low levels of orexin often suffer from narcolepsy or obesity, since the chemical influences metabolism too .
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Diabetes And Fatigue: Everything You Need To Know
Modified: Jun 4, 2020 by Nicole Justus, RN, BSN · This post may contain affiliate links ·
What exactly is fatigue? Is it just being tired after working a long week or not getting enough sleep?
The answer is no.
Fatigue is excessive tiredness that makes carrying out simple tasks difficult and interferes with one or more life functions. Sounds terrible, doesnt it? Well imagine having a chronic illness along with the fatigue. Diabetes and fatigue have a strong relationship, and it can make a persons life very difficult. The following article will discuss the relationship, along with ways to beat and reduce the risk of living with diabetes and fatigue.
Eat Before The Parties
When you go to a party hungry, every healthy decision you have will go out the window. You are so hungry that everything looks appetizing and you eat way too much of it.
Instead, have a small nourishing meal before you leave for the party, this will help you to keep your head out of the cookie try and focus more on the social aspect of the party.
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Why Is Diabetes Fatigue So Common
Fatigue can be caused by something physical, emotional distress, or because of lifestyle choices. Previously in this article, a number of things related to diabetes that cause fatigue was listed. If you read over that list, you can find physical, emotional, and lifestyle choices in there. This means that individuals with diabetes are at a risk from developing fatigue because of many different reasons.
An example is someone with diabetes that eats a very healthy diet and exercises daily. If they are too stressed because of the struggle to control their blood sugar, they could develop fatigue. Another example is someone that is very calm and follows their insulin and diet plan perfectly, but they have restless leg syndrome because of the nerve damage caused by diabetes.
Having physical, emotional, and lifestyle risk factors makes it very difficult for people with diabetes to avoid fatigue. Many people experience multiple problems that cause fatigue, such as sleep apnea and anxiety. Dealing with both of these makes it even harder to overcome the fatigue. This is why it is the most common symptom of diabetes.
The image below shows how all three variables play into fatigue. It also shows that not only do they cause fatigue, but fatigue causes them as well.
How To Deal With Diabetes Fatigue
Its no secret that regular exercise is key in managing and preventing several health-related conditions including type 2 diabetes. In fact, the American Diabetes Association recommends physical activity to all people living with diabetes to manage glycemic control and overall health.
In particular, the ADA urges people living with diabetes to interrupt long periods of sitting with light activity by doing 3 minutes of light exercise every 30 minutes.
While this recommendation tops the list of ways to manage and treat diabetes, exercising when youre experiencing diabetes fatigue is often easier said than done.
Fatigue is common among people with diabetes, which can make it difficult to work up the motivation and energy to stay physically active, explains Dr. Emily Schroeder, an endocrinologist with Kaiser Permanente in Denver.
However, exercise is a crucial part of diabetes management. Schroeder says its vital that patients come up with ways to integrate exercise into their daily routines.
Once you establish a routine, you can gradually increase that activity up to 30 minutes a day or more as your body becomes accustomed to it.
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Why Anyone Can Feel Sleepy After Eating
Although certainly possible, feeling sleepy after eating doesnt necessarily mean you have diabetes.
Everyones blood sugar levels change following a meal. When these changes are significant, they can cause a drop in your energy levels.
As you eat, your body breaks down the carbohydrates in your food into glucose, which is a simple sugar. As the amount of sugar in your blood increases, your cells absorb it and either convert it into energy or store it for later.
As your cells take in sugar, the amount in your blood your blood sugar level goes down. Gradual increases and decreases in blood sugar are normal and nothing to be concerned about. However, not all foods affect your blood sugar the same way.
Complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables and whole grains, generally take longer for your body to break down. This allows glucose to be released into your blood more slowly, causing a gradual rise in blood sugar followed later by a gradual fall.
Simple carbohydrates, commonly found in fruit juice, sweets, baked goods, and ultra-processed foods, are broken down quickly. This leads to a large amount of glucose entering your blood at once. In other words, there is a higher spike in blood sugar, which can prompt a drastic fall, sometimes called a blood sugar crash.
These extreme spikes and crashes in blood sugar can be responsible for the slump in energy, difficulty concentrating, and other symptoms you may feel after a meal.
What Is A Good Snack Before Bed For A Diabetic
When it comes to late night snacks its best to keep them light, and that applies to diabetics, too. The key is to go for something high in protein and low in fat, something that will help your blood sugar levels remain stable as you sleep.
Good snacks include nuts, seeds or chickpeas eggs, whole-grain crackers with low-fat cheese vegetables low on starch like cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, or carrots and popcorn.
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What Are Risk Factors For Hyperglycemia
Major risk factors for hyperglycemia are:
- You have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
- You are African American, Native American, Hispanic or Asian American.
- You are overweight.
- You have high blood pressure or cholesterol.
- You have polycystic ovarian syndrome .
- You have a history of gestational diabetes.
Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels
Keeping tabs on your blood sugar means you can take steps to manage highs or lows before they become serious.
Perhaps most important of all? If you have diabetes and are experiencing sleep problems, talk with your doctor. Together, the two of you can develop a strategy to help you better manage your conditionwhile achieving the rest that you need.
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How Can I Treat And Manage Hyperglycemia
People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can manage hyperglycemia by eating healthy, being active, and managing stress. In addition, insulin is a critical part of managing hyperglycemia for people with type 1 diabetes, while people with type 2 diabetes may need oral medications and eventually insulin to help them manage hyperglycemia.
If you dont have diabetes and have any of the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia, call your healthcare provider. Together you can work to manage your hyperglycemia.
Why A Lot Of Refined Carbs Make You Tired
Ever wonder Why does pasta make me sleepy? Excessive processed carbohydrate intake will lead you to feel sluggish. A common question asked is, why do carbs make me feel tired?. When you eat simple carbohydrates, the sugars from the food enter your bloodstream and change the way that blood sugar levels are controlled. This hormonal response is what keeps us alive by releasing insulin to take excess sugars from our bodys cells or tissues where it can be used for fuel but eating too many carbs in one sitting can negatively impact this process.Talk to a nutritionist to reduce your carb-intake to a recommended amount . Its important to note that not all carbohydrates have properties that make you feel sleepy. Carbohydrates like legumes, whole grains and fruit are not directly linked to feeling tired.
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How Does Diabetes Affect Sleep
Its estimated that one in two people with type 2 diabetes have sleep problems due to unstable blood sugar levels and accompanying diabetes-related symptoms, High blood sugar and low blood sugar during the night can lead to insomnia and next-day fatigue. As with many chronic conditions, feelings of depression or stress about the disease itself may also keep you awake at night.
When blood sugar levels are high, the kidneys overcompensate by causing you to urinate more often. During the night, these frequent trips to the bathroom lead to disrupted sleep. High blood sugar may also cause headaches, increased thirst, and tiredness that can interfere with falling asleep.
By contrast, going too many hours without eating or taking the wrong balance of diabetes medication can also lead to low blood sugar levels at night. You may have nightmares, break out into a sweat, or feel irritated or confused when you wake up.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing fatigue, trouble sleeping, or any other worrying symptoms. They can help analyze the reason and work with you to keep your blood sugar levels more stable.
Avoid Eating Sugary Foods
If eating sugary foods really makes you feel tired, then maybe giving up those treats is best for now! There are plenty of healthy snacks out there that will keep you satisfied without sabotaging your energy levels. If your sweet tooth makes treats too hard to resist, plan out your meals for the day and try to include no more than one serving of a sweet treat . Or have a piece of fruit, which will give you that sweet taste of sugar but along with fiber that slows down absorption of the sugar into your bloodstream.
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How Are Sleep Problems Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you about your sleep patterns, including whether you have trouble falling or staying asleep, are sleepy during the day, have difficulty breathing while asleep , have pain in your legs, or move or kick your legs while sleeping.
Your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist who may do a special sleep study called a polysomnogram to measure activity during sleep. The results of the sleep study can help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe an effective and safe treatment.
Low Blood Glucose During Sleep
Your blood glucose level can drop while you sleep and stay low for several hours, causing serious problems.7 Symptoms of low blood glucose while you sleep can include
- crying out or having nightmares
- sweating enough to make your pajamas or sheets damp
- feeling tired, irritable, or confused after waking up
Although you may not wake up or notice any symptoms, low blood glucose can interfere with your sleep, which may affect your quality of life, mood, and ability to work. Having low blood glucose during sleep can also make you less likely to notice and respond to symptoms of low blood glucose during the day.
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Day Time Tiredness And After Meal Lethargy
Feeling tired through the day, particularly during the morning and after meals is often a result of high blood sugar levels.
If you notice you are becoming tired during the day, test your blood sugar levels to see whether there is a correlation between the blood sugar numbers you are getting and the feelings of tiredness. Note down the numbers and how you felt.
If you are taking insulin or are at risk of hypoglycemia, tiredness or lethargy could be a result of low blood sugar, so it is recommended to test blood glucose for this reason too.
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Can Undiagnosed/uncontrolled Diabetes Cause Fatigue
Undiagnosed and uncontrolled diabetes can cause fatigue. Earlier in this article, reactive hypoglycemia was mentioned, which is when your body tries to make too much insulin to keep up with the sugar intake and causes a sugar crash. There are approximately 7 million people with undiagnosed diabetes in the world. Fatigue is the most common symptom of diabetes and hopefully leads to people seeing their doctors and being diagnosed to get control of their blood sugar.
Uncontrolled diabetes causes fatigue for many reasons that were also mentioned previously in this article. First of all, blood sugars that are either too high or too low do not deliver fuel to the cells for the body to operate. Secondly, complications that are caused by uncontrolled diabetes such as kidney disease and nerve damage also cause fatigue. The most important thing to do is to control blood sugar.
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What Causes Hyperglycemia In People With Diabetes
- The dose of insulin or oral diabetes medication that you are taking is not the most helpful dose for your needs.
- Your body isnt using your natural insulin effectively .
- The amount of carbohydrates you are eating or drinking is not balanced with the amount of insulin your body is able to make or the amount of insulin you inject.
- You are less active than usual.
- Physical stress is affecting you.
- Emotional stress is affecting you.
- You are taking steroids for another condition.
- The dawn phenomenon is affecting you.
Other possible causes
What Causes Fatigue In Diabetes
Why does too much sugar make you tired? With diabetes, tiredness can result as a result of several factors such as:
- Can insulin resistance cause fatigue? High levels of glucose in the blood, either due to a lack of insulin or due to insulin resistance, can have an effect on the bodys capacity to get sugar from the blood into body cells to meet a persons energy requirements.
- Individuals who are on stronger anti-diabetics including insulin might also experience tiredness as a sign of low blood sugar levels.
- Blood sugar testing is a great way to determine whether high or low glucose levels can be the reason behind fatigue.
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How To Treat Someone Who’s Having A Seizure Or Fit
Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.
Preventing Blood Sugar Spikes
Since we now know the answer to Does high blood sugar make you sleepy?, it becomes pertinent to control and prevent these spikes. A problem averted is a problem solved. Ensure that you are treating your highs immediately without delay with a correction dose. Here is how you can prevent spikes in the first place:
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