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DIABETES AND SLEEP: WHAT IS THE LINK?

Diabetes is a medical condition in which the body does not produce insulin properly, and this leads to excess blood sugar levels. Of the four different types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2 diabetes are most common. 

Depending on how well you can regulate and watch your blood sugar levels, you may or may not have some chronic symptoms. Short-term symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, hunger, and thirst. These symptoms can affect your sleeping habits. 

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Ability To Sleep?

A study in 2012 was able to find that there is a clear relationship between diabetes and sleep disturbances ( not been able to sleep, having little sleep, or sleeping too much).

Generally, having diabetes does not necessarily mean you are going to have sleeping disorders. It is more about the symptoms of diabetes you are experiencing. Specific signs can pose issues when you are trying to rest 

  • Elevation of blood sugar levels can cause frequent urination even when trying to sleep at night.
  • Extra glucose in the body draws water from tissues, thereby making them hydrated. When your brain senses hydration, you will be prompted to get up and get some water. 
  • Symptoms of low blood sugar, which include dizziness, sweating, and shakiness, which could affect your sleep. 

Are There Sleep Disorders Connected To Diabetes?

The inability to get sound sleep (sleep disorders) and other diseases that affect sleep are more common in people with diabetes. The sleeping disorders associated with diabetes include: 

Sleep Apnea 

To those with diabetes, this is the most frequently experienced sleep disorder. Sleep apnea occurs when breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the night. 

Sleep apnea is more common in people with type 2 diabetes. This is because people with this type of diabetes usually add excess weight, which can shrink their air passage.

Common symptoms of sleep apnea include feeling stressed-up during the day and snoring when sleeping. 

Getting a healthy weight for your body type will help ease off this symptom. You can make use of a special mask to increase air pressure to your throats during sleep.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Restless leg syndrome-RLS is characterized by a persistent impulse to move your legs. It is most common in the evenings and makes it hard to get sleep or to stay asleep. Risk factors for RLS include kidney problems, thyroid disorders, and elevated blood glucose levels.

Insomnia

Insomnia is having regular difficulties in falling asleep. You will be exposed to insomnia if you have high blood glucose levels coupled with stress.


Conclusion

Experts link lack of sleep with hormonal imbalances that can affect appetite for food and body weight. There is a high tendency that your body will try to compensate for lack of sleep by eating an excessive amount of food to try to gain sufficient energy through calories. This can increase blood sugar levels and makes it even harder to sleep. 

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Freeman Fox

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