How Does Lack Of Sleep Raise Your Risk
Itâs hard to know for certain. Many studies have suggested that short sleepers have irregular eating habits, snack more, and are more likely to eat unhealthy foods.
Other research has found that shortchanging sleep can directly affect how the body makes other hormones, which in turn affect blood sugar. For example, when you stay up late, your body makes more of the hormone cortisol, which affects how insulin works.
Also, growing evidence shows that disrupting your bodyâs biological clock by being awake at night can make your cells more resistant to insulin. In one study, researchers altered the circadian rhythms of 16 healthy volunteers by allowing only 5 hours of sleep each night for 5 nights, much like a sleep-deprived workweek. When those volunteers ate food at night — a time when the body isnât biologically prepared for a spike in blood sugar — their bodies didnât use insulin normally.
Sleep Impacts Insulin Levels
Sleep affects your hormone levels and your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm naturally controls your sleep-wake cycle by responding to things like light and dark levels. Most people have a reasonably consistent circadian rhythm as adults.
There is a small group of nerve cells that form whatâs called the âmaster clockâ in your brain. This internal clock controls hormone secretion, temperature, eating habits, and digestion. To work optimally, it requires a consistent circadian rhythm. Keeping this rhythm is key to regulating your metabolism, insulin, and blood glucose, as well as your sleep-wake cycle.
When your circadian rhythms are out of sync, your body’s metabolic health can declineâand a risk for diabetes can increase.
Research published in the journal âEndocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North Americaâ identifies that sleep deprivation reduces insulin sensitivity. This leads your body to produce more insulin to stabilize blood glucose levels. The more insulin resistant your cells become, the greater the risk that your insulin and blood sugar levels will chronically rise. This eventually leads to glucose intolerance and diabetes.
According to the CDC, even just one night of insufficient sleep can affect your bodyâs ability to use insulin effectively.
Drink Drink Drink Some Water
Dehydration can cause high blood sugars, which means getting hydrated can help prevent and reduce high blood sugars.
Your blood consists partly of water. When you dont drink enough water throughout the day, the other things in your blood become more concentrated! And thus, higher blood sugar levels.
You know that uncomfortable thirst you feel when your blood sugars are high? Give in to it. This is how your body helps flush excess sugar out through your urine, and how you replenish the necessary fluid balance in your bloodstream.
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Symptoms Of Nocturnal Hypoglycemia
It is important for both you and your sleeping partner to know the warning signs. Sleeping through the warning signs is especially dangerous because your blood sugar may go lower before you can correct it. If you sleep alone, you may be at higher risk.
Warning signs occur when your blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dl. When this happens, your body releases hormones like glucagon and epinephrine to increase your blood sugar. This causes warning signs like a racing heart, sweats, and tremors. These warnings are your bodys way of telling you to get more sugar into your system quickly. Hopefully they will wake you from sleep, but some people sleep through.
If hypoglycemia wakes you up, these are the symptoms:
- Being cold and clammy or hot and sweaty
- Feeling shaky and trembling
- A pounding or racing heart
- Waking up with a headache
Your sleeping partner should wake you if he or she notices any of the warning signs or if you are more restless, noisy, or breathing irregularly in your sleep.
Why You Should Check Your Blood Sugar
Testing blood glucose can help you manage diabetes by showing you:
- How well your diabetes treatment plan is working
- How exercise and food affect your blood sugar levels
- How things like stress and illness affect your levels
- How well your diabetes medication is working
- When your blood sugar levels are too high or too low
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Sliced Apple And Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is rich in protein, fiber, and healthful fats, an attractive nutritional profile for anyone looking to help control blood sugar levels.
Try cutting an apple and adding a light spread of peanut butter to each slice. Or, try a different type of nut butter, such as almond or cashew butter.
Aim To Get 7 9 Hours Of Sleep Each Night
Insufficient sleep is related to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. The CDC reports that even one night of poor sleep can negatively affect your bodys insulin efficiency. Sleep loss is also related to impaired glucose tolerance, so optimizing sleep duration and quality may help regulate your blood sugar.
How much sleep should you get? Studies have shown that both people who sleep less than six hours and those who sleep more than nine hours a night have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Aim for between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, and try to be consistent. Some great tips to improve sleep are:
- Dim lights 30 minutes before bed, and make sure the room is dark when you go to sleep.
- Turn off or mute your phone at night to prevent disruptive noise, light, or vibrations
- Try to have a consistent sleep schedule
- Include some exercise during the day, at least one hour before bed. Exercising too close to bedtime can make it hard for some people to fall asleep.
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Impact Of Eggs On Blood Sugar Levels
Eggs are inexpensive and jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats. One medium egg contains 63 calories, 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat — most of which are heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Their protein and fat content, along with their lack of carbohydrates, makes eggs an excellent choice if you’re watching your blood sugar levels. Enjoy this versatile food for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but consume egg yolks in moderation if your cholesterol is high.
Sleep Impacts Brain Function
Glucose is fuel for the brain. It provides the energy needed to carry out its functions. When youâre sleep-deprived, the metabolic activity in your brain decreases significantly.
Overall, studies state that sleep deprivation has damaging effects on brain functionâparticularly functions such as alertness, attention, decision making, and cognitive processes.
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How To Lower Morning Blood Sugar
Whether a morning high is caused by the dawn phenomenon or something else, here are a few things you can try to lower your blood sugar levels:
Physical activity when you wake up can help bring your glucose level down. Even going for a walk can be helpful.
To learn about exercise guidelines and glucose management strategies, click here.
Read Adam Browns take on walking the most underrated diabetes exercise strategy.
Eating a light breakfast can help keep a morning high from increasing even more. Taking your mealtime insulin will help lower your blood sugar.
Adam Brown suggests eating a breakfast that is low in carbs, and notes that sometimes mealtime insulin has to be adjusted in the morning. One of his favorite breakfasts is chia pudding, since it has little impact on glucose levels see what else he eats for breakfast here.
Catherine Newman has six popular, low-carb, delicious recipes in The Morning Meal.
Intermittent fasting and time-restricted feeding approaches to meal timing can also help people keep morning blood sugar levels in range. Read Justine Szafrans Intermittent Fasting: Stabilizing My Morning Blood Sugars to learn more.
For additional ways to navigate mornings, read seven strategies from Adam Brown in A Home Run Breakfast with Diabetes.
This article is part of a series on time in range.
Replies On Why Is My Blood Glucose Increasing Overnight
The increase in blood sugar may be due to either the Dawn effect or the Somogyi Effect.
The dawn effect is caused by not having enough insulin in your body at night. While we sleep, glucose is released into our body as a response to hormone stimuli. The release of these hormones to repair and maintain your body causes an increase in blood glucose levels during the first hours of the morning. If you take insulin, you should increase your insulin dosage at night or take it later in the evening.
The Somogyi effect differs from the dawn effect because it is caused by too much insulin at night, and there is a dramatic decrease in blood glucose between 2-4 am. Because of this drop, the body compensates by increasing glucose in the body, thus causing the high blood suger upon awakening. The only way to differentiate between the two is to check your blood sugar between 2-4 am. If you do not currently take insulin, then this probably is not the problem because it is caused by too much insulin at night.
I wish mine only spiked that much!
My blood sugar is around 90-120 when I go to sleep and when I wake up its between 260-300!! It is so frustrating!!!!I have tried everything! I just dont know what to do anymore. I spend all day trying to get my blood levels back in check only to have it ruined at night!
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How To Prevent The Dawn Effect
At this moment, I believe that you know a bit more about how your body works. Now you know why you have low blood sugar at 3:00 am and high blood sugar after waking up.
It is quite clear which action you have to take if you will have a Somogyi or a Dawn effect. But, both effects give high fasting blood sugar levels so how will you know which effect you are experiencing?
Just continue reading further because you are on the right track
How Are You Sweetening Your Coffee What You Add To Your Cup May Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels
Whether you were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have been living with the condition for several years, you know how fickle blood sugar levels can be, and how important it is that they stay controlled.
Proper blood sugar control is key for warding off potential diabetes complications, such as kidney disease, nerve damage, vision problems, stroke, and heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health . Plus, keeping your levels in check on a daily basis can help you stay energized, focused, and in a good mood, explains Lisa McDermott, RD, CDCES, a diabetes specialist with the Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network.
According to the American Diabetes Association , proper medication, effective meal planning, regular exercise, and regular blood sugar checks can all help you keep your levels within a healthy range. The ADA recommends blood glucose stay within 80 to 130 milligrams per deciliter before meals and below 180 mg/dL two hours after the start of a meal. Furthermore, the organization recommends getting an A1C test, which measures your average blood glucose over the past two to three months, at least twice per year if your levels are stable and you are meeting treatment goals.
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What Is The Somogyi Effect
A second possible cause of high blood sugar levels in the morning is the Somogyi effect, sometimes also called rebound hyperglycemia. It was named after the doctor who first wrote about it.
If your blood sugar drops too low in the middle of the night while you are sleeping, your body will release hormones in an attempt to rescue you from the dangerously low blood sugar. The hormones do this by prompting your liver to release stored glucose in larger amounts than usual. But this system isnt perfect in a person with diabetes, so the liver releases more sugar than needed which leads to a high blood sugar level in the morning. This is the Somogyi effect.
How Do Glucose Levels Change Overnight
A persons blood sugar levels change during the night, mainly, because of two processes:
A person can identify how their glucose levels change during the night by taking various readings.
- The dawn phenomenon. Between roughly 3:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., blood sugar levels surge as part of the process of waking up. This causes high blood sugar levels in the morning.
- The Somogyi effect. Glucose levels drop significantly between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. The body responds by releasing hormones that raise blood sugar levels again. It can release too much of these hormones, leading to high blood sugar levels in the morning.
Eating a bedtime snack can prevent blood glucose levels from dropping very low during the night and lessen the Somogyi effect.
A person can determine how their glucose levels change throughout the night by taking readings at various points, such as just before bed, between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., and again when waking up.
Understanding how the body is processing blood sugar is the first step toward picking more healthful snacks in the evening and before bed.
According to the American Diabetes Association , being overweight or having obesity increases the risk of diabetes-related complications. A variety of bedtime snacks can fit into a balanced, healthful diet.
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Understanding High Blood Sugar At Night
Blood sugar, also called glucose, is the body’s main source of energy. The body gets most of its glucose by metabolizing the carbohydrates in food, per Kaiser Permanente. For people with diabetes, their systems struggle to manage glucose correctly, leading to high blood sugar. But the treatment of diabetes can also cause low blood sugar .
“Some diabetes medications lower blood glucose levels during the night,”Jo-Anne Rizzotto, a registered dietitian nutritionist and director of educational services at Harvard’s Joslin Diabetes Center, tells LIVESTRONG.com. “But if blood sugar levels drop too low, the liver responds by releasing stored glucose.” This nocturnal release of glucose can cause high blood sugar during the night and into the next morning, known as the Somogyi effect. The good news? “People with type 2 diabetes don’t have this issue unless they’re on glucose-lowering medications,” says Rizzotto.
The Somogyi effect should not be confused with the so-called “dawn phenomenon,” another cause of high morning blood sugar, Rizzotto says. The dawn phenomenon is a product of human evolution it occurs in all people and involves the body pumping out extra glucose in the early morning hours to get the body ready to wake up.
Baby Carrots Cherry Tomatoes Or Cucumber Slices
Non-starchy vegetables are a great choice for a snack. They are very low in calories, fats, and carbohydrates, while offering plenty of vitamins and minerals.
These vegetables also provide antioxidants and a good dose of fiber to boost heart and gut health. For more protein, add a low-fat cheese slice to this low-calorie snack.
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Preventing Low Blood Sugar Levels
Here are some other tips to help you avoid low blood sugar levels:
- Eat all your meals and snacks on time and try not to skip any.
- Take the right amount of insulin.
- If you exercise longer or harder than usual, have an extra snack.
- Dont take a hot bath or shower right after an insulin shot.
- Stick to your diabetes management plan.
- Check your blood sugar levels regularly, so you can tell if your blood sugars are running too low and your treatment plan needs adjustment.
- Carry something containing sugar with you at all times and take it right away if you have symptoms. Dont wait to see if the symptoms will go away they may get worse!
Alcohol and drugs can cause major problems with your blood sugar levels, so avoiding them is another way to prevent diabetes problems. Drinking can be particularly dangerous even deadly for people with diabetes because it messes up the bodys ability to keep blood glucose in a normal range. This can cause a very rapid drop in blood glucose in people with diabetes. Drug or alcohol use is also dangerous because it may affect someones ability to sense low blood sugar levels.
Learning how to recognize the signs of low blood sugar levels and get them back to normal is an important part of caring for diabetes. Keeping track of your blood sugar levels and recording lows when they occur will help you and your diabetes health care team keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
What Are The Signs Of Hypoglycemia
An individual may frequently wake up in the middle of the night as a result of nighttime hypoglycemia. In other instances, though, people may know if they experienced hypoglycemia during their sleep if they notice the following symptoms:
- Waking up with a headache
- Waking up in a sweat
- Getting unusual feelings of tiredness throughout the day
- Experiencing anxiety or heart palpitations
- Feeling confused, dizzy or weak
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