Diabetes And Sleep Health- All You Need To Know
One of the most common questions medical experts have of their diabetic patients that are complaining about out-of-control blood sugar and insulin levels has to do with whether or not they are getting any sleep each night.
At first, a lot of these patients are wondering “can diabetes cause sleep problems for real?” – but even just a little bit of research will show you that not only can minor sleep deficiencies wreak havoc on your blood sugar and insulin levels. It can also increase the risk factors of your diabetes, too.
When your blood sugar levels are running rampant (and your insulin levels are skyhigh) your kidneys are going to be pushed into double overtime. They are going to do everything they can to flush your body of these excess biochemicals, and that means you’re going to spend a lot of time getting up in the middle of the night and heading to the bathroom.
That’s going to do a number on your sleep schedule as well.
Diabetes and Sleep- How It Impacts Shuteye
As highlighted above, there’s a clear link between diabetes and sleep issues that cannot be denied or ignored.
Not only will poor sleep contribute to increased diabetic activity (especially since people that are tired usually eat a lot more than those that aren’t, searching for more energy from somewhere that they aren’t getting from sleep) but those with increased diabetic activity are also going to sleep less.
This creates a real self-perpetuating cycle and downward spiral that’s only going to make both your diabetic issues and your sleep issues worse and worse as time goes on.
It certainly doesn’t help that lack of sleep and health problems across the board (outside of diabetes) go hand in hand as well.
A lack of sleep is going to do a number on your mental health, your ability to withstand pressure and anxiety, your energy levels, how your body recovers from injury or fights against disease – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
If you aren’t getting enough sleep on a regular basis you’re going to be in big trouble, and not just from a purely diabetic standpoint. You’re really going to be up against it from a number of different areas, all of which are going to conspire to wreck your health and happiness.
Your Blood Sugar And Bedtime
Interestingly enough, there is some research that suggests a lack of sleep (and sleep deprivation, for that matter) can even trigger prediabetic conditions in adults that otherwise might not have had to worry about this disease before.
It turns out that one of the body’s natural reactions to sleep loss looks and operates a lot like insulin resistance. This is a natural precursor to diabetes, and if your insulin resistance inevitably leads to your hormone no longer able to use glucose efficiently it almost always means high blood sugar issues are right around the corner – and that’s going to lead to big trouble from a diabetes standpoint.
Researchers still haven’t been able to conclusively pin down just how much sleep you need to avoid this prediabetic condition, or how frequent sleep deprivation has to be to trigger this prediabetic state, but it definitely isn’t good news for those that chronically aren’t getting anywhere near as much sleep as they would like to.
Can diabetes cause sleep problems?
You bet it can!
But sleep problems can also cause diabetes and that’s important to understand, too.
Lack of Sleep And Your Overall Health
Now that we’ve covered how blood sugar before bed issues can help to trigger insulin resistance in your body, which can in turn lead to a slowdown in the production of insulin and a mismanagement of glucose in your bloodstream, it’s time to talk about how a lack of sleep can negatively impact other areas of your health and wellness as well.
For starters, your mental health is going to decline (sometimes significantly) when you are battling through sleep deprivation or just aren’t getting as much high-quality sleep as you should on a nightly basis.
Each and every one of us has our own “mental bandwidth limit” inside our bodies. Once we are pushed beyond that capacity – through stress, through pressure, and just through juggling a number of mentally taxing responsibilities as part of our day to day lives – we need time to kind of clear the buffer.
Sleep is the best way to clear that buffer out, to back our mental bandwidth backup, and to help us kind of reset and refresh each and every night.
When you aren’t getting quality sleep, however, your mental bandwidth is going to be redlining all the time. New stress and new pressure is going to feel overwhelming, and that can cause a cascade of biochemical and hormonal dumps and reactions throughout the body that manifest physically in some pretty unpleasant ways.
On top of that, a lack of sleep has been linked to issues like depression, anxiety, immune system weakness, and a handful of other issues that can really cripple your overall quality of life.
Combine that with the threat of entering a prediabetic state just because you aren’t getting enough sleep each night and you could be looking at something really scary here.
Why Diabetics May Feel More Tired
Does diabetes make you tired itself?
Well, millions of people living with Type II diabetes (and Type I diabetes, for that matter) would tell you that this disease definitely makes them feel wiped out, worn down, and fatigued on a regular basis – even if they are otherwise getting plenty of sleep.
You can just imagine that if these otherwise well rested individuals living with diabetes are feeling wiped out from this condition that those living with diabetes that aren’t getting enough sleep are in an even worse position.
Not only can tackling the responsibilities of managing diabetes on a day-to-day basis (sometimes on a minute by minute basis) where you out, but uncontrolled blood glucose levels are also going to physically tax you, too. Type II diabetics in particular are very much at risk for hyperglycemia – high blood sugar issues that cause fatigue amongst other symptoms.
Of course, there could be other underlying conditions contributing to your fatigue that you’ll want to investigate as well. Anemia, thyroid hormone issues, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and a whole host of other fatigue inducing conditions are closely linked to or intertwined with diabetes and may also be leading to your feelings of fatigue as well.
As always, it’s a good idea to bring up these issues with your doctor ASAP. You’ll never go wrong shooting for more sleep each night, either.