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Sleep For Diabetics


Diabetes and Sleep

Blood glucose control can affect your sleep

Sleep can affect your blood sugar levels and your blood glucose control can also affect your sleep, which results in trouble sleeping.

Difficulty getting a good night’s rest could be a result of a number of reasons, from hypos at night, to high blood sugars, sleep apnea, being overweight or signs of neuropathy.

If you have blood sugar levels that are either too high or too low overnight, you may find yourself tired through the next day.

Lethargy and insomnia can both have their roots in blood sugar control and can be a key in re-establishing a healthy sleep pattern..

Getting a good night’s sleep

The following may help to promote better sleep:

Keep your blood glucose under control

Ensure your bed is large and comfortable enough – and pillows at a comfortable height

Ensure your room is cool (around 18 degrees celcius) and well ventilated

Ensure your room is dark and free from noise – if this is not possible, you may benefit from a sleeping blindfold or ear plugs

Incorporating a period of exercise into each day

Stick to a regular bed time

Can a lack of sleep be a cause of diabetes?

Research has shown that sleep deprivation and insulin resistance may be linked.

People who regularly lack sleep are will feel more tired through the day and more likely to eat comfort foods.

A good night’s sleep is important for our hormones to regulate a large number of the body’s processes, such as appetite, weight control and the immune system.

Trouble sleeping from high sugar levels

High blood sugar levels can impact upon your sleep. It could be that the high levels make it less comfortable for you to sleep – it may make you feel too warm or irritable and unsettled.

Another factor is if you need to go the toilet during the night. For people with regularly high blood sugar levels this can have a pronounced impact on your ability to get a good night’s sleep. If this is the case, be sure to mention this to your health team.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and diabetes

Obstructive sleep apnea affects people’s ability to breathe during sleep. It is most common in people who are 35-54 and particularly in people who are overweight, as this can have an impact on their ability to breathe adequately at night

Sleep Apnea and Diabetes

Sleep apnea can be an early warning sign of diabetes developing

Sleep Apnoea, also called sleep apnea, is a common breathing disorder that affects many people whilst they sleep, could be an early warning that diabetes development is underway.

Numerous medical studies have linked obstructive sleep apnoea with greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

According to experts, side effects directly related to sleep apnoea could influence the metabolism of people as they sleep.

The condition is surprisingly common, to the extent that sleep apnoea has been termed: ‘the silent epidemic’.

Sleep apnoea affects as many as one-tenth of middle-aged men, and manifests itself as an interruption of breathing during the hours of sleep.

The correlation between sleep and diabetes is well-proven, with interruptions to deep sleep a key part of diabetes risk.

Obesity makes both diabetes and sleep apnoea more likely.

Why does sleep apnea damage the body and lead to greater risk of diabetes?

Sleep apnoea is thought to be dangerous because it affects the concentration of oxygen within the bloodstream.

It also plays havoc with sleep patterns, and can lead to daytime fatigue in more serious cases.

The actual mechanism that causes sleep apnoea to influence oxygen

If I have sleep apnea, am I a diabetic?

Not necessarily, but having sleep apnoea does mean an increased risk of developing diabetes.

Is OSAS the same as sleep apnea?

OSAS stands for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome.

Dawn Phenomenon (Liver Dump)

Dawn phenomenon occurs in the morning

Dawn phenomenon is the term given to an increase in blood sugar in the morning caused by the body’s release of certain hormones.

It is a relatively common phenomenon amongst diabetics.

Although often confused, Dawn Phenomenon is different from Chronic Somogyi Rebound, because it is not brought on by nocturnal hypoglycemia.

How is dawn phenomenon caused?

Dawn effect occurs when hormones (including cortisol, glucagon, epinephrine) are released by the body, causing the liver to release glucose.

The dawn effect therefore describes abnormally high early morning increases in blood glucose:

Usually abnormally high blood glucose levels occur between 8 and 10 hours after going to sleep for people with diabetes

Why does the dawn phenomenon occur?

Researchers think that the release of the above-mentioned hormones may give rise to a brief period of insulin resistance which would also explain a rise in blood glucose levels.

Somogyi Phenomenon – Rebound Hyperglycemia

Somogyi phenomenon is also known as rebound hyperglycemia

The Somogyi phenomenon (also known as post-hypoglycemic hyperglycemia, chronic Somogyi rebound) describes a rebound high blood glucose level in response to low blood glucose.

Amongst those people with diabetes who manage their blood glucose using insulin injections, this may take the form of high blood sugar in the morning due to an excess amount of insulin during the night.

The Somogyi effect is controversial despite being widely reported.

Why is rebound hyperglycemia called The Somogyi effect?

The Somogyi phenomenon was named after a Hungarian-born professor called Dr. Michael Somogyi.

He prepared the first insulin treatment given to a child with diabetes in the USA, and also showed that too much insulin would make diabetes management unstable and more difficult.

Is Somogyi Phenomenon the same as Dawn Phenomenon?

No, although they are often confused by healthcare professionals.

The Dawn Effect (or Dawn Phenomenon) is a morning rise in blood sugar which occurs as a response to waning levels of insulin and a surge in growth hormones.

How does Somogyi Phenomenon occur?

Somogyi theorised that prolonged levels of untreated hypoglycemia could lead to stress (due to low blood sugar) and a high blood sugar levels rebound.

This is a defensive response by the body as it released endocrine hormone glucagon, backed up by the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine.

This means an instant increase in blood glucose, and stress hormones cause insulin resistance for several hours, and this in turn leads to elevated blood sugar.

How do I avoid Somogyi rebound?

Somogyi phenomenom is avoidable in several ways. Firstly, intense blood glucose testing allows the individual experiencing Somogyi effect to detect and then prevent the circumstances leading to it.

Testing blood sugar regularly using a traditional blood glucose meter helps to catch low blood sugar levels before any rebound occurs.

Night testing of blood glucose levels is also important, and adjusting insulin in response may also be appropriate.

Somogyi rebound can be a challenge to avoid. The need to keep blood sugar levels stable whilst still adjusting insulin to take account of a complex lifestyle involving stress and exercise can be really difficult.

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