How Does Diabetes Affect My Quality of Sleep?

If you have diabetes, you know that certain lifestyle habits — like exercising, eating a well-balanced diet, and, if needed, taking certain medications or insulin — are necessary to control blood glucose levels. What you may not know is that your quality of sleep is also a very important aspect of being able to successfully managing blood glucose levels.

Diabetes Affect My Quality of Sleep

Scientists have found that getting less than six hours of sleep is associated with higher blood glucose levels. Additionally, people who don’t sleep well tend to eat more — especially more foods that are high in fat — to compensate for the lack of energy. Eating foods that are high in fat and/or sugar contributes to higher blood glucose levels.

Diabetes Can Affect Your Quality of Sleep

Just as your quality of sleep can affect blood glucose levels, blood glucose levels can affect your quality of sleep. For example, when blood sugar levels rise, the body finds ways to remove the excess sugar. One way the body does this is through urine. If your blood glucose levels rise during the night, you may be getting up a few times to go to the bathroom and finding it difficult to sleep through the night. 

How Can I Manage My Diabetes to Achieve Better Sleep?

If you use an insulin pump, a rechargeable insulin pump with integrated continuous glucose monitoring allows insulin pump users to track blood glucose levels throughout the night, identifying hypoglycemic episodes that can affect the quality of sleep. Blood glucose readings that are collected overnight via a CGM are transferred to your insulin pump, allowing you to review last night’s blood glucose trends in the morning. If you notice that you have a spike in blood glucose levels at a certain time, you can adjust your insulin dosage.

It’s important to bring the history of your blood glucose readings to all appointments with your diabetes care team. If your doctor notices a trend in your blood glucose readings that may be affecting your sleep, he/she can work with you in adjusting your insulin dosage at night.

How Can I Sleep Better to Improve Blood Glucose Levels?

If you’re having trouble sleeping, there are a few things you can do to improve your quality of sleep, like:

Following a regular sleep schedule: Try to get to bed at the same time every night and set a time to wake up to help your body adapt to a sleep routine.

Drinking fewer liquids before going to sleep: By reducing the amount of fluid you drink before going to bed, you will reduce your chances of having to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

Exercising in the morning: Exercising in the afternoon, or closer to bedtime, can keep you awake. If you’re exercising in the afternoon and have trouble sleeping, try exercising in the morning.

If you’re having trouble managing blood glucose levels and/or are finding it difficult to sleep well, make an appointment to see your doctor. He or she will discuss techniques you can practice, like setting a sleep schedule, that can help you sleep better. In addition, your doctor can help you adjust your diabetes management plan to improve blood glucose control, allowing you to get more sleep and to sleep longer without waking.

Sources: 

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/diabetes-lack-of-sleep#1

http://www.joslin.org/info/sleep_problems_and_diabetes.html

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/36/3/611

https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/sleep-affects-blood-sugar#1

https://sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/content/sleep-longer-lower-blood-glucose-levels

https://www.prevention.com/health/diabetes/how-sleep-can-improve-your-blood-sugar

http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2014/feb/8-tips-for-better-sleep.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/diabetes-and-sleep#sleep-disorders

A rechargeable battery is a good differentiator since we are the only pump right now that is rechargeable.

Bluetooth radio doesn’t have anything to do with the rest of the sentence. It’s the CGM integration that warns about hypoglycemia.

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