Diabetes and Sleep

diabetes and sleepDiabetes can cause sleep problems, and less sleep can increase your risk of diabetes. It’s a cycle that seems to be endless – until taking action to monitor your diabetes and sleep patterns.

The cause of diabetes from no sleep is simple. If you are tired, you’re likely to eat more to make up for lost energy – usually in the form of sugar – which spikes blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar is high, your kidneys try to rid the body of the extra sugar and people are generally unable to sleep because of going to the bathroom constantly.

Diabetes risk from lack of sleep happens to everyone – men, women, and even teens. A study found that teenage boys who get little “slow-wave sleep” – a sleep stage that helps store memories and recover after sleep deprivation – were at risk for type 2 diabetes. The test did not get the same results from females.

Another recent study found that catching up on sleep may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in the short-term. Think of catching up on sleep like sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday after limited sleep during the week.

The study found that catch-up sleep can help keep the risk of diabetes low in young and healthy men. In the study, 19 healthy, young, and lean men were allowed to sleep only 4.5 hours a night for four nights in a row. The study found that most men slept 4.3 hours a night, which caused a significant drop in insulin sensitivity. After this, the men were allowed two days of recovery sleep, up to 12 hours. The men averaged about 9.7 hours a night, and their insulin levels had fully rebounded.

You can take control of your diabetes.

Blood sugar can easily be tested at home with self-monitoring kits, also known as SMBG – the self-monitoring of blood glucose. An SMBG test (also called a glucose meter or blood sugar meter) helps you improve control of your blood sugar levels, allowing you to make the necessary adjustments to medicines, diet, etc. Medical professors suggest having a self-test kit at home for anyone who has diabetes. Please talk with your doctor before purchasing or using a self-monitoring kit.

As you know, diabetes and sleep are related, so tracking both blood sugar and sleep is important to keep insomnia and diabetes at bay. Luckily, tracking your sleep at home is now possible with Somnology’s Plex Sleep Scanner. The scanner monitors breathing patterns, pulse, and oxygen levels during sleep. You can then share this data with your doctor to help them diagnose and continuously monitor any sleep disorders.

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