Improve Your Sleep and Glucose Numbers
Feb. 26 2021
Sleep quality has a big impact on how easy it is to manage type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that restorative sleep supports health improvements like lowered stress, better blood sugar control and improved insulin sensitivity. This means improving sleep quality could support a path toward remission.
We’re here to help you understand the why and how. Let’s start with the basics.
Poor Sleep Quality and Elevated Blood Glucose
Poor sleep contributes to the complications of type 2 diabetes for several reasons. Sleeping less than 6 hours a night, sleeping more than 8 hours, or an irregular sleep schedule has been shown to result in elevated blood sugar. Consistently elevated blood sugar causes insulin resistance – the main reason that people develop type 2.
How Elevated Glucose Interferes With Restful Sleep
People with type 2 diabetes tend to experience sleep disturbances due to elevated blood sugar. Overnight thirst or multiple trips to the bathroom can keep you from entering deep sleep. Other symptoms like irritability and night sweats can also be barriers to feeling rested. Sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, are more challenges that contributing to poor sleep.
Tips for Better Zzzzzzs
Maintain healthy day-time levels for a restful night.
Balanced blood sugar levels overnight begin with healthy levels from the day into the evening. It can be especially helpful to eat meals earlier in the evening and nighttime snacks so your body has time to lower blood sugar before you head to bed.
Keep it to one drink and choose carefully.
In those managing diabetes, alcohol can cause both hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, and hyperglycemia, high blood sugar. Much of it has to do with the type and amount of alcohol consumed. High and low blood sugar has a negative effect on sleep quality so it’s best to avoid these complications by limiting how much you drink to the CDC recommendation.
Move throughout your day.
Regular exercise makes a positive difference in sleep quality. Moving your body burns off excess sugar and when combined with a low carbohydrate eating plan, can result in balanced blood sugar and improved insulin sensitivity. Being active also alleviates many sleep disruptions that occur with diabetes, such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and depression. Being active can even help you recover from a poor night’s sleep. A vigorous walk around the block can give you more energy, and a more restful night’s sleep.
Limit your screen time.
TVs and smartphones emit a type of light that tricks our body into thinking it’s daytime. Try to turn off TVs and put away tablets and smartphones to support restful sleep. Adopt a pre-sleep ritual including mindful exercises or a warm shower instead of stimulating devices.
Keep a regular bedtime.
Adopting a regular sleep routine allows your body to know when it’s time to wind down. Sticking to a consistent bed-time and awake-time can support an energetic day.