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Sleep in Diabetes Management

Sleep in diabetes management

One in three individuals does not get sufficient sleep, discovered by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Yet, sleep is part and parcel of everyday life. But when it’s robbed away due to diabetes or life stresses it’s a nightmare.

While sleep disorders are common in people living with diabetes, multiple factors in sleep disorders come to play. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), they include;

  • pain or discomfort associated with peripheral neuropathy,
  • restless legs syndrome,
  • periodic limb movements,
  • dramatic changes in blood glucose levels which, lead to hypoglycemic (Low sugar level) and hyperglycemic (high sugar level) episodes in addition to depression.

What is Sleep all About?

Nonetheless, sleep can be restored in diabetes management. In order to see how sleep can be restored, we need to first understand what sleep is all about.

Sleep which is important for mental health and enhancing bodily functions is a process that consists of five stages.  It is considered a complex behavioral and physiologic process that is also highly active and dynamic while it enhances restorative action to the body. In the first two stages of sleep, which are categorized as “light sleep”, muscles begin to relax, while heart rate and breathing slow down.

Stages three and four are categorized as “deep sleep” or “non-REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep” which is considered to be restorative. These stages are beneficial to people living with diabetes as there is a decrease in blood pressure, improved heart rate, and an increase in cardiac activity.

Also in these stages, brain functions are restored while metabolic, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems are modulated. In the fifth stage, known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is associated with dreaming, strengthening memory, learning, and problem-solving. This means that this stage is essential for refreshing your mind.

Managing Sleep in Diabetes

Diabetes sleep disorders have been associated with diabetes itself or other complications associated with diabetes. Other than that, shorter sleep duration has been linked to higher risks of developing obesity, metabolic disorders, and diabetes.

Nonetheless, there are various ways to develop a healthy sleep pattern. People living with diabetes need to establish regular rise time and bedtime hours. Also, establishing regular relaxing, pre-sleep routines such as listening to soft music every night before sleeping is important, in addition to a comfortable sleep environment such as a comfortable bed and nightclothes.

Exercise in the late evening is also encouraged as it helps one to go into a deep sleep to rest. However, intense exercise can also hinder sleep especially if it’s done in the evening.

It is also important to avoid consuming caffeine in the evening. Local traditions have also encouraged eating sufficient low-carb foods at supper time so as to avoid waking up at night feeling hungry.

However, if the above tips do not work, therapists use cognitive behavioral therapy on patients. It involves a structured program that helps patients identify behaviors that lead to a lack of sleep. It helps patients overcome the root cause of sleep disorders.

For further consultations on lack of sleep, feel free to contact our doctors on Afyacode Type 2 diabetes is more common than type I diabetes. According to the International Diabetes Federation(IDF), 90 percent of those with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes. Globally, more than 450 million people have diabetes.