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4 Simple Strategies to Help You Get Some Z’s Through the Night

October 23, 2018

It isn’t uncommon for people with diabetes to experience sleep problems. Having diabetes increases the risk of having a sleep disorder. Many complications associated with diabetes, such as neuropathy, can make it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

In addition, a bad night’s sleep could affect your blood sugar levels negatively. Sleep is as important as diet and exercise in managing diabetes. Read on for other ways to ensure a restful night’s sleep.

Control Your Blood Sugar Levels

Consider this: Well-controlled diabetes leads to better sleep, and better sleep leads to better control of blood glucose levels.

High or low blood glucose can contribute to restless sleep with symptoms that can wake you up during the night. High blood glucose can cause headaches, hunger, thirst and frequent urination. On the other hand, low blood glucose can cause headaches, hunger, night sweats and restless sleep.

Work with your doctor to adjust medication, diet and exercise to avoid low blood glucose overnight.

Check for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing starts and stops while you’re asleep. It is common among people with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Ask your doctor about getting a sleep test if you think you may have sleep apnea.

Turn Off Devices

Two hours before bed, stop checking your email and social media accounts as well as watching or reading on your tablet, e-reader, phone or computer. These devices all emit blue light. Blue light suppresses production of a brain chemical called melatonin, which helps us fall asleep, say researchers at the Lighting Research Center at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.

Learn to De-Stress

Everyone deals with some stress, but people with diabetes are often under even more pressure since they’re balancing the management of a chronic condition with life’s other demands. When you’re stressed, your sleep can be disrupted, the Joslin Diabetes Center says. Find ways to de-stress before you go to bed. Try deep breathing, yoga, reading, or relaxing with activities you enjoy. If you’re awake at night for more than 20 minutes, get out of bed until you’re sleepy again.