How Sugar Impacts Sleep
Most people have learned about the importance of a healthy diet, yet many still indulge in the occasional late-night sugar craving. However, eating sugar may contribute to poor sleep. If you’re consistently waking up groggy instead of energized, there’s a chance that your sweet tooth could be part of the problem.
How Can I Prevent From Feeling Tired All The Time
Preventing fatigue with diabetes is a pretty challenging thing to do. The first thing that needs to be done is a visit to see your physician to make sure that the causes of fatigue is not due to another issue. Other things that can be done are:
- Keep blood sugar levels in a normal range
- Make sure that you are getting enough sleep
- Take a power nap during the day if you are able
- Try to limit the stressors in your life
- Ask for help from others when its possible
Later in this article there is more information about how to reduce fatigue and regain energy. The main goal is to try to minimize complications from diabetes such as kidney disease and nerve damage because of the increase in the risk of fatigue that they bring.
The main goal is to regain a level of energy that allows you to function and manage your disease and your life. All people want a quality of life, and fatigue doesnt allow that to happen.
How Does Sugar Affect Sleep
A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates has been shown to make people feel sleepy and fall asleep faster , but it also causes poor sleep quality and more nighttime awakenings . There’s no clear evidence that sugar causes the sugar high that’s been blamed for hyperactivity in children, although it’s possible that some children may react to sugar this way.
Sugar is the simplest type of carbohydrate . Other types of carbohydrates include starches and fibers, which are considered complex carbohydrates because they are made of multiple simple sugars. Many studies on diet and sleep group together the effects of all three carbohydrate types, rather than look at sugar’s specific impact. Nevertheless, examining the effects of carbohydrates on sleep helps shed some light on how sugar might affect sleep.
High-carbohydrate diets elevate levels of tryptophan , an amino acid that promotes sleep. Sugar also suppresses orexin , a neurotransmitter responsible for promoting alertness. Although sugar makes you sleepy, this reaction seems to be offset by poor sleep quality later in the night, including difficulty maintaining sleep and a lower proportion of restorative deep sleep.
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What Causes Tiredness In Diabetes
When you are a patient of diabetes, there are several changes that are experienced by your blood. Your blood flow tends to become very slow as the blood gets thicker, like a maple syrup. Due to this, the blood does not reach to the inner cells in an appropriate manner to give enough oxygen and energy to different body parts and organs in the body. This results in tiredness and you tend to feel sleepy at all times.
Another reason for tiredness caused in the diabetic patients is that the condition leads to inflammation. This acts as a sign to the brain that it needs to take some rest and this process causes the fatigue amongst all the people who suffer from diabetes.
Finally, diabetes is known to give rise to a host of complications in its patients. People often experience the lack of red blood cells in their body. This again leads to tiredness. Other complications such as kidney failure, heart-related conditions, as well as damage to various body nerves cause tiredness in the people who have diabetes.
Fatigue is also caused due to very high or very low blood glucose levels. the same is explained in the following paragraph:
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.
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High Blood Sugar Causes
You may be thinking that hyperglycemia can happen just from eating a super-sugary food, but its not really as simple as that. Sure, eating a lot of sugar or carbs can elevate your blood sugar level, but thats typically when your pancreas kicks into gear and creates insulin to move that glucose into cells throughout the body.
But when someone has diabetes, this finely tuned system gets thrown out of whack. In type 2 diabeteswhich accounts for 90% to 95% of diabetes in adults, according to the CDCthe body either cant make enough insulin or cant utilize insulin well, according to the NIDDK. If someone has prediabetes, their blood glucose will be higher than normal but not quite in the type 2 diabetes range yet, per the NIDDK. And in type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin or makes very little.
In any case, the result is extra sugar hanging around the bloodstream, making you feel like total crap in the short term and putting your health at risk in the long term.
What Are Clinical Trials For Low Blood Glucose
Clinical trialsand other types of clinical studiesare part of medical research and involve people like you. When you volunteer to take part in a clinical study, you help doctors and researchers learn more about disease and improve health care for people in the future.
Researchers are studying many aspects of low blood glucose levels in diabetes, such as
- how to diagnose and treat low blood glucose among people with diabetes
- medicines that can treat symptoms of low blood glucose in people with hypoglycemia unawareness
- educational approaches to reduce fear of low blood glucose, which can make it harder for you to control your diabetes
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How To Treat Someone Whos Unconscious Or Very Sleepy
Follow these steps:
They may need to go to hospital if theyre being sick , or their blood sugar level drops again.
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.
Why Does Diabetes Make You Tired Read On To Know Why
Do you feel like laying on the bed even after waking up or doing nothing at all and still feeling tired all the time?
Having that lazy and drowsy feeling all the time can be irritating. But being a diabetic, did you know that tiredness can be related to diabetes?
Well, I can say that for sure because it used to happen with my uncle. My uncle was diagnosed with diabetes 5 years ago and his medicines were started at that time only. 2 years back, he started complaining about being tired and lazy all the time even when his job was simple.
When his complaints increased, he finally consulted his Doctor who saw my uncles blood sugar level trend and said that his blood sugar fluctuations are the reason behind his increasing tiredness.
From that moment onwards, he started improving his lifestyle and got his energy and normal blood sugar levels back. This is a happy ending to my uncles short story but did you know how diabetes makes you tired? No?
In this blog, were going to explain this common feeling that everyone experiences but dont talk about much. Lets understand the science and tips to get active again!
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What Can I Do To Fix This And Get Healthy Again
With some minor life-style changes, you can see and feel big improvements quickly. Here are some things you should focus on:
- Lose Unwanted FatThis may not be fun, but its very important and its the first step in keeping your glucose in check.
- Eat Better Natural FoodsThis means lower glycemic foods, less carbohydrates, healthy proteins and fats. It also means to stay AWAY from processed, man-made foods. Also, make sure you eat often smaller meals throughout the day to stabilize your blood sugar and have lots of fiber as well.
- Exercise Daily Aerobic & AnaerobicExercise utilizes the carbohydrates you eat, so it keeps your blood sugar stable. Having more muscle also improves insulin sensitivity, which means less insulin is needed.
- Proper SupplementationThere are specific natural herbs, vitamins and minerals that can help stabilize your blood sugar, while also improving insulin sensitivity.
Simply making some small adjustments in each of these categories will mean fast results for you. Which means more energy, less body fat, better cognition and you’ll simply look and feel YOUNGER!
Why Am I Having Lows
If you are experiencing low blood sugar and youre not sure why, bring a record of blood sugar, insulin, exercise and food data to a health care provider. Together, you can review all your data to figure out the cause of the lows.
The more information you can give your health care provider, the better they can work with you to understand what’s causing the lows. Your provider may be able to help prevent low blood sugar by adjusting the timing of insulin dosing, exercise and meals or snacks. Changing insulin doses or the types of food you eat may also do the trick.
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How To Identify Blood Sugar Spikes
Fatigue is associated with a myriad of other conditions, as well as just day-to-day life and other stressors, so it alone cannot tell you whether you are experiencing a blood sugar spike. People with diabetes are encouraged to keep tabs on their blood sugar levels to detect any sudden changes. This is one of the ways they can identify when blood sugar spikes happen.
The most common cause of high blood sugar is improper insulin production. Insulin is the hormone that is tasked with regulating blood sugar levels, and if it is not being produced at high enough levels or at all, it can lead to high blood sugar levels.
There are few reasons why insulin levels in the body are inadequate, including:
- Eating too much
- Not receiving enough insulin from treatment
- Having a malfunctioning diabetes pump
- Having insulin that is ineffective at managing blood sugar levels
Other risk factors that should be taken into consideration include weight, age, history of smoking, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure levels. These can all contribute to diabetes.
For a person without diabetes, insulin levels are unlikely to be considered at all. This is why it can be helpful to keep a food log and note levels of fatigue or other symptoms following every meal. If fatigue generally sets in after eating, it could be a sign that its attributed to blood sugar levels. If this does happen, it may indicate that a person should follow up with their healthcare provider and have their blood sugar levels checked.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar Levels
Signs of high blood sugar levels include:
- Peeing a lot: The kidneys respond by flushing out the extra glucose in urine. People with high blood sugar need to pee more often and in larger amounts.
- Drinking a lot: Someone losing so much fluid from peeing that often can get very thirsty.
- Losing weight even though your appetite has stayed the same: If there isnât enough insulin to help the body use glucose, the body breaks down muscle and stored fat instead in an attempt to provide fuel to hungry cells.
- Feeling tired: Because the body canât use glucose for energy properly, a person may feel unusually tired.
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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
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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Are Some People More Susceptible To Blood Sugar Crashes Than Others
Have you ever noticed that youâre suffering from a terrible afternoon slump, when your lunch companion who ate exactly the same meal seems just fine?
We saw blood sugar crashes in plenty of our PREDICT participants, who underwent continuous glucose monitoring for two weeks. But they were more common in some people than others. And even identical twins, who share all their genes, could have different glucose responses after eating the same foods.
The mechanism behind blood sugar crashes isnât fully understood, and it may vary between people. One theory is that if your blood sugar levels are not well controlled, the insulin-secreting cells in your pancreas can become damaged and don’t produce enough insulin as your blood sugar begins to rise after eating. In response, your body âpanicsâ and releases excessive insulin later on, causing a crash.
Another idea is that your blood sugar responses depend on the microbes that live in your gut. We all have a unique set of microbes, so we all process our food differently, causing unique responses to food, even when we’ve eaten precisely the same thing.
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How Can I Prevent Low Blood Sugar
Your best bet is to practice good diabetes management and learn to detect hypoglycemia so you can treat it earlybefore it gets worse.
Monitoring blood sugar, with either a meter or a CGM, is the tried and true method for preventing hypoglycemia. Studies consistently show that the more a person checks blood sugar, the lower his or her risk of hypoglycemia. This is because you can see when blood sugar levels are dropping and can treat it before it gets too low.
If you can, check often!
- Check before and after meals.
- Check before and after exercise .
- Check before bed.
- After intense exercise, also check in the middle of the night.
- Check more if things around you change such as, a new insulin routine, a different work schedule, an increase in physical activity, or travel across time zones.
Blood Sugar And Sleep Problems
Sleep can affect your blood sugar levels, and your blood glucose control can also affect your sleep. Its a vicious cycle.
As the amount of sleep decreases, blood sugar increases, escalating the issue. Lack of sleep has been shown to increase blood sugar levels and the risk of diabetic issues. Higher blood sugar means less long-lasting fat metabolism in the night and even less sleep.
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine found that people who slept less than 6 hours a night had more blood sugar complications compared to those who received 8 hours of sleep.
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When To See A Doctor
A person with diabetes should see their doctor regularly to monitor and manage their diabetes.
They may also wish to consult a doctor who specializes in treating new or worsening fatigue that interferes with daily life.
People should seek medical attention for fatigue that occurs alongside other symptoms, such as fever, chills, or malaise, as these could indicate an infection.
If A Person Is Unconscious
If a person loses consciousness because of severe hypoglycaemia, they need to be put into the recovery position and given an injection of the hormone glucagon . The injection will raise their blood glucose level.
The injection should be carried out by a friend or family member who knows what theyre doing, or by a trained healthcare professional.
You should dial 999 to request an ambulance if:
- a glucagon injection kit isnt available
- theres nobody available whos trained to give the injection
- the injection is ineffective after 10 minutes
Never try to put food or drink into the mouth of someone whos unconscious as they could choke.
If youre able to give a glucagon injection and the person regains consciousness, they should eat some longer-acting carbohydrate food, such as a few biscuits, a cereal bar or a sandwich.
You should continue to monitor the person for signs of recurring symptoms in case they need to be treated again.
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