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Does High Blood Sugar Cause Insomnia

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Sleep Interrupted The Blood Sugar And Sleep Connection

Sleep Can Make Or Break Your Diabetes Control. Here is How!

In my last newsletter, I wrote about how most people with sleep trouble think they have too much energy and simply cant settle down. I also discussed that one of the main causes of insomnia is actually a deep level of exhaustion. Odd as it may seem, the body needs energy to calm or sedate itself for sleep. Without energy, we stay awake, wired and tired.

The second most common cause of insomnia is a silent blood sugar issue that affects one third of Americans. The worst part is, a shocking 90% of people are unaware of this problem until it is too late!

Could you or someone you know be suffering from blood-sugar-related insomnia? Keep reading to learn the facts about this troubling, little-known sleep issue.

Treating Insomnia In Diabetics

Insomnia is rarely treated as a primary affliction. In most medical sectors its important to identify and diagnose insomnia for its implication in other problems, including depression, a common secondary illness to diabetes. As patients get older, the risk for depression escalates. Loss of a loved one, stress, anxiety and a range of other social disturbances can set in motion the symptoms for chronic insomnia. Loss of sleep makes for haywire blood sugar.

Sleep scientists believe that a large part of insomnia symptoms is governed by behavior and sleep belief. Meaningful changes in sleep hygiene that often create immediate reduction in insomnia symptoms include:

  • Creating a routine bedtime and waking time
  • Eliminating stimulants like sugar and caffeine from food and drink close to bedtime
  • Ensuring a comfortable and relaxing sleep environment
  • Making sure loud noises can be contained, bright lights dimmed
  • Avoiding stimulating activities just before bed, including work, exercise, watching TV or using a computer
  • Addition of exercise and/or meditation to a daily routine.

Its imperative that diabetics find a doctor able to address all of their health factors, including insomnia and possibly depression.

Who Is At Risk For Diabetic Insomnia

Consider some of the most high-risk groups for diabetes: the elderly and the obese or worse, a combination of the two. Diabetes among older adults is of epidemic proportions and many just dont properly manage their diabetes while others are just non-compliant with medication and diet.

But as a group alone the elderly are particularly prone to insomnia symptoms for a variety of reasons:

  • Social changes
  • Poor sleep hygiene

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Beyond Sleep Issues The Potential Consequences

As a result of less than ample sleep, people wake up tired and reach for that vanilla latte, sending the blood sugar right back up. Without realizing it, cravings for quick energy drinks, bars, breads, pastas and sweets become the norm. This constant surge of sugar and simple carbs puts significant strain on the pancreas. The result is a condition called prediabetes, which affects 1/3 of the American population and, according to the CDC, 90% of those people dont know it.

In the short term, studies link disturbed sleep with increased cortisol production and weight gain.

Here is a list of therapies to support blood-sugar-related sleep issues:

1. Eat three meals a day with no snacks.2. Eat whole foods avoid processed foods.3. Avoid baked goods, simple carbs and starchy veggies.4. Eat fruits whole and avoid juice.4. Increase intake of non starchy veggies eat lots at each meal.5. Get 1 gram of protein per day for each pound of body weight, just until sleep normalizes.6. Drink 1/2 of your ideal body weight in ounces of water per day.7. Read about Brahmi, Ashwagandha and Sleep Easy for sleep support.8. Read about Beet Cleanse and Sugar Destroyer for blood sugar support.

Turn Off Electronic Devices

Does Diabetes Cause Sleep Problems?

Exposure to bright light even from a smartphone not only disrupts sleep but can also alter your metabolism and mess with your weight. A study published in the journal PLoS ONE in May 2016 found that blue light exposure was linked to an increase in insulin resistance, the bodys decreased ability to move blood sugar from your bloodstream to your cells to be used for energy. According to another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2019, blue light exposure at night may increase the risk of weight gain and obesity. These studies highlight the importance of turning off light sources including your phone, TV, and computer well before bedtime. The NSF recommends shutting off devices at least 30 minutes before bed, though doing so an hour or two earlier, if realistic, is ideal. Keep your bedroom dark throughout the night and youll sleep better, according to the NSF.

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Quick Read Not Sleeping Enough May Contribute To Gestational Diabetes

  • Gestational diabetes, elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy, carries significant risks for both moms and babies.
  • A new study shows that pregnant women who sleep less are more likely to have gestational diabetes.
  • Sleep in pregnancy is challenging. Good eating habits, exercise and avoiding screen time before bedtime can all help, as can making sleep a priority.

Pregnancy is hard workand its definitely not always comfortable. The hours are long, you may have heartburn and hemorrhoids and be sick to your stomach.

Meanwhilesurprise!youre getting bigger everywhere you look, sometimes even your feet.

Your body is flooded with hormones. Add that to your changing emotional landscape and its no wonder youre having trouble sleeping.

Unfortunately, the results of a recent study suggest that pregnant women who sleep less than 6 hours and 15 minutes a night are almost three times more likely to have gestational diabetes as those who sleep more.

Exercise During The Day

You will sleep better at night if you get in some physical activity during the day, with as little as 10 minutes of aerobicexercise showing benefits, the NSF says. This is because exercise increases your internal body temperature and then later in the day, when it drops back down to normal, it triggers a feeling of drowsiness and helps you drift off to sleep, the foundation reports. Exercise can also help you burn calories and maintain a healthy weight, Strohl says. If youre overweight, even a small amount of weight loss can help you better control your type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends trying to exercise about five or six hours before bedtime. Youll sleep better at night if you exercise earlier in the day.

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Check Your Blood Sugar Before Bed

For everybody with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, its absolutely critical that they check their blood sugar before going to bed to make sure theyre not going to have an episode of low blood sugar during the night, says Helena W. Rodbard, MD, medical director of Endocrine and Metabolic Consultants, a private practice in Rockville, Maryland, and past president of the American College of Endocrinology.

If your blood sugar levels are low at bedtime, eat a healthy snack before going to sleep. The size of the snack should be in proportion to the dip in blood sugar. For instance, a small drop in blood sugar requires only a small snack. If you use an insulin pump, consider temporarily reducing the active dose of insulin.

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Exploring The Connection Between Blood Sugar And Insomnia

How Lack of Sleep Affects Insulin Resistance & Blood Sugar? รข Dr.Berg

Todays society is full of stimulation. From the technology you use to the foods you eat, there are many things you come in contact with throughout the day that will stimulate your brain. All of this stimulation and activity can make it difficult to sleep, and many adults suffer from insomnia as a result. Consider the connection between certain activities, such as blood sugar and insomnia.

Medication and Insomnia

For some, turning to medications may be the first step in addressing insomnia. However, a few of these medications have strong side effects, are not tolerated well and may lead to a chemical dependence. While medications may help you short-term, they do not address the underlying causes of insomnia. Medications might not work well as a long-term solution to your sleep issues.

Blood Sugar Stability and Insomnia

Often, insomnia is linked directly to blood sugar imbalances. If you cant fall asleep, or if you can fall asleep but not stay asleep, a blood sugar imbalance may be to blame. Read on to learn how your blood sugar affects your quality of sleep and what you can do to get a better nights rest.

What Is Insomnia?

Facts about Insomnia

Insomnia is common in adults, and the National Institutes of Health report that approximately 30 percent of the general population suffer from some sleep disruption. About 10 percent of people who suffer from insomnia have daytime functional impairments that are associated with a diagnosis.

Poll Results

Unable to Fall Asleep

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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

Complications From Lack Of Sleep

If you get less than 7 hours of sleep per night regularly, your diabetes will be harder to manage. Too little sleep can:

  • Increase insulin resistance.
  • Make you hungrier the next day and reduce how full you feel after eating.
  • Make you more likely to reach for junk foodsthose that are high in carbs and sugar.
  • Make it harder to lose weight.
  • Raise blood pressure and seriously increase the risk of a heart attack.
  • Make your immune system less able to fight infections.
  • Increase your risk of depression and anxiety.

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Sleep For A Good Cause

Getting good sleep is important for your mind, your body, and your diabetes.

There are many reasons to get a good nights sleep. If you have diabetes, there are even more. Learn how sleep affects your diabetes management.

A good nights sleep can feel like a luxury. Balancing school, work, physical activity, and your family may cause you to go to bed later than youd like. One in three US adults isnt getting enough sleep, and over time, this can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression.

If you have diabetes, too little sleep negatively affects every area of your management, including how much you eat, what you choose to eat, how you respond to insulin, and your mental health.

Proper rest isnt just important for your diabetes managementit may also put you in a better mood and give you more energy!

How To Prevent Nocturnal Hypoglycemia

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Start by talking to your doctor about a bedtime blood sugar target. Ask about your risk for hypoglycemia and if you should get a glucagon kit. Dont miss dinner, exercise before bedtime, or drink alcohol at night. Have a sugar and protein snack before bedtime, like a wheat cracker with cheese.

If you have had symptoms of nocturnal hypoglycemia, work with your doctor on a prevention plan. This may include switching to a longer acting insulin that does not peak during sleep, or changing your insulin dose. You might be asked to set an alarm and check your blood sugar in the early morning for a while. For people at high risk for nocturnal hypoglycemia, a continuous glucose monitor may be the best solution. A CGM can check your blood sugar every 5 minutes and can set off an alarm if your sugar gets too high or too low.

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What Is The Connection Between Sleep Apnea And Diabetes

Though sleep apnea does not directly cause diabetes, it is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and has been shown to increase insulin resistance, even in non-diabetic and non-overweight people. The American Diabetes Association estimates that up to one in four people with type 2 diabetes also suffers from OSA, and a further quarter of type 2 diabetics suffer from another sleep-related breathing disorder.

Both OSA and type 2 diabetes are more common in people who are overweight and obese. However, OSA appears to affect insulin resistance and glucose control even after controlling for obesity. Not only does OSA cause sleep fragmentation that interferes with slow-wave sleep, but it also periodically cuts off the bodys oxygen supply. Together, these effects lead to insulin resistance and impaired glucose metabolism.

In many studies, short-term sleep apnea treatment appears to improve blood sugar levels, while long-term CPAP treatment improves blood sugar and insulin resistance. However, other studies have failed to find improvements in blood glucose levels after treating OSA, leading some researchers to believe the connection could be due to other variables such as weight.

More research is needed to further characterize the nature of the connection, but it is clear that physical health plays an important role in sleep apnea and diabetes. A combination of weight loss and CPAP treatment may be the most effective way to treat sleep apnea in people with type 2 diabetes.

How To Stabilize Your Blood Sugar Overnight

The most important thing you can do to stabilize your blood sugar is monitor your glucose levels at bedtime, during the night, and when you wake up to look for patterns. This will help you determine whats going on in your body and how you can fix it. While there are many strategies people use to stabilize blood sugar at night, every person is different youll have to look for trends in your body, experiment with ways to lower glucose levels over a period of time, and learn what works best for your body.

  • Check your blood sugar before bed. If its already high, your blood sugar levels may remain high throughout the night. To address this, youll want to start by adjusting when you eat your evening meal and what it consists of, and how much mealtime insulin you take to cover it.

  • Avoid eating lots of food close to bedtime. For diaTribe writer Adam Brown, the key to staying in range overnight is low-carb, early dinners, with no snacking after dinner.

  • Consider eating less food at night and taking more basal insulin to cover your evening meal.

  • Check your blood sugar during the night, between midnight and 3am. If you were in range before bed but have high glucose levels between midnight and 3am, you may need to adjust your basal insulin dosage and timing. If you are low during that time, you may experience a rebound high blood sugar later on this is usually associated with overcorrecting the low.

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    The Alarming Truth About How Sugar Ruins Your Sleep

    Sugar is bad sugar is evil sugar is the devil. We all know that, although that doesnt stop us from heaping it over our Weetabix every morning and adding it to tea and coffee.

    Too much sugar can lead to weight gain, causes tooth decay and increases the risk of diabetes. But it also has another profound effect it messes with your sleep, and in such a way that your sleeplessness will leave you with a craving for more sugar.

    A 2016 study found that people who have diets high in sugar tend to sleep less deeply and display greater restlessness at night. According to Dr Michael Breus AKA the sleep doctor a US clinical psychologist who specialises in sleep disorders, too much sugar leads to a tendency to eat later in the day because blood sugar levels are zigzagging out of control. That adversely affects sleep, and your disrupted sleep will, in turn, produce an even greater craving for sugar the next day. The vicious circle is complete.

    Having too much sugar at night can be detrimental to our health. When you eat sugar, your blood sugar levels rise and your pancreas releases insulin, which helps the sugar to be taken back into the cells, giving them fuel to run on, says the dietitian Alex Evans. Eating sugar late at night overstimulates you. It gives you energy and makes you ready for activity, but that is not what were trying to do at night. Were designed to shut down towards the end of the day.

    Sugar Adrenaline And Cortisol

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    Simple carbohydrates, such as white rice, soda, and white bread are broken down in the body quickly. They have a higher glycemic index and create a faster increase in blood sugar compared to complex carbohydrates, which break down more slowly. High glycemic index foods cause your body to release insulin. The drop in blood sugar afterward can lead to the release of adrenaline and cortisol, which are stress hormones that research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says may interfere with sleep.

    Another function of insulin is to maintain the health and growth of brain cells. As blood sugar levels increase, the brain becomes more resistant to insulin, and brain function reduces. A study that followed 5,000 people over 10 years found that people who have higher blood sugar levels have faster rates of cognitive decline. Alzheimer’s is now often referred to as “type 3 diabetes,” due to this relationship between blood sugar and brain function.

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