The hormone insulin aids in the movement of blood glucose to cells such as the liver, fat, muscles, and other tissues so that it may be utilized as an energy source. When the body struggles to produce insulin or whenever the insulin itself is unable to effectively transport glucose into those cells, insulin resistance develops. As a result, there is an accumulation of glucose in the blood, frequently referred to as high blood sugar, which is a defining sign of diabetes. The kidneys, heart, and other organs may suffer grave repercussions if this is not handled.
The relationship between diabetes and sleep is complex, and many persons with type 2 diabetes have trouble falling or staying asleep. The good news is that improving sleep quality and, consequently, general health may be accomplished by paying close attention to nutrition, exercise, as well as blood sugar levels.
Effect of Sleep on Blood Sugar Levels
According to estimates, one in two persons with type 2 diabetes experience sleep issues as a result of their variable blood sugar levels and associated symptoms. Insomnia and weariness the next day can result from low blood sugar (known as hypoglycemia) or high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) throughout the night. Feelings of melancholy or stress related to the disease itself can additionally keep you up at night, as is the case with many chronic disorders.
The kidneys overcompensate for high blood sugar levels by making a person urinate more frequently. These repeated restroom visits during the night result in disturbed sleep. Additionally, headaches, excessive thirst, and fatigue that make it difficult to fall asleep are also symptoms of high blood sugar.
On the other hand, a lack of food for a prolonged period or the use of the incorrect dosage of diabetic medication can also cause blood sugar levels to fall at night. When a person wakes up, they can experience nightmares, a heat wave, or be agitated or perplexed.
Sleep Apnea to Spike Glucose Levels
Sleep apnea has been demonstrated to raise insulin resistance among non-diabetic as well as non-overweight individuals, even if it does not directly cause type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association is a nonprofit organization that supports research to treat, prevent, and manage diabetes as well as public education about the disease. According to the American Diabetes Association, as many as one in four patients with type 2 diabetes also have OSA, and a further quarter have another respiratory condition that is connected to sleep.
People who are classified as overweight and obese are more likely to have type 2 diabetes as well as OSA. Even after accounting for weight, OSA still seems to have an impact on glucose management and insulin resistance. In combination, these outcomes result in decreased glucose metabolism along with insulin resistance.
Depending on the patient’s unique circumstances, their doctor might be able to suggest further sleep remedies for diabetes or sleep aids for diabetics. To determine whether a sleep disorder is the cause of the sleep issues, they may decide to do a polysomnogram, often known as a sleep study. Once discovered, secondary sleep disturbances can be addressed with specialized therapy like a CPAP machine.