Sleep Habits And Diabetes
While diet and obesity are big contributors to your odds of having diabetes, studies have found that sleep habits are, too, probably because over time, they can affect how well your cells respond to insulin.
In one study, more than 4,000 people reported the amount of sleep they got each night. Those who got less than 6 hours were twice as likely to have cells that were less sensitive to insulin or to have full-blown diabetes. This was true even after the researchers took other lifestyle habits into account.
Other sleep disruptions and disorders, such as sleep apnea, also seem to raise a personâs odds of having diabetes.
But the risk goes up at the other end of the spectrum, too. For reasons that arenât clear, people who sleep too much — more than 9 hours a night — might also have higher chances of getting diabetes.
Are There Any Newer Technologies To Prevent Hypoglycemia
We are lucky that in this day and age, we can predict hypoglycemia and prevent it through technology like continuous glucose monitors, explains Dr. Shah. Additionally, he notes that there are newer insulins available to help decrease episodes of hypoglycemia.
One of our roles as your doctor is to educate every patient about the self-management of diabetes and to create a personalized care plan, explains Dr. Shah. By self-managing your condition you will really feel empowered enough to take control of your health.
Dr. Shah is located at the Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group Diabetes Center, part of Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group. Call to schedule an appointment at the office in Old Bridge.
Our care network can help you better manage your health. Visit HMHMedicalGroup.org to find a practice near you.
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.
Wake Up At 3 Am And Cant Fall Back Asleep Consider Low Blood Sugar
Do you consistently wake up around 3 a.m. and cant fall back asleep? Many patients first come to me with this complaint. Although the reasons for sleep problems can be complex, waking up too early is often a symptom of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and can be remedied through dietary changes and nutritional therapy.
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Sudden Spikes In Blood Sugar Overnight Are Something That Diabetics Dont Want To Ever Experience
Something like this happening blood sugar soaring while youre sound asleep and totally unaware is a frightening thought.
But people who do not have diabetes dont have to worry about very high rises in blood sugar during sleep.
Actually, sugar can spike in anyone, but in people with normal sugar metabolism, no one notices, says Susan L. Besser, MD, with Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, and Diplomate American Board of Obesity Medicine and board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.
The cause is normal fluctuation in body glucose and metabolism, continues Dr. Besser.
Even though we are asleep at night, the body is still working, still using energy.
At night we arent eating while we sleep , so the body has to use stored sugar to feed itself.
These stores are found in the liver and are released through a hormonal process. In most of us this is used immediately so the sugar doesnt spike.
In someone with diabetes, glycogen is converted to blood sugar , and this happens with everyone but with diabetics the body cannot use this glucose, so the sugar rises.
Prevention Of Low Blood Sugar
Do not skip or delay meals. If your diet plan includes snacks, make sure to take these.
Measure insulin dosage carefully and inject it properly. If you cannot see well, a family member or a visiting nurse can prepare your insulin injections for you.
Take only the prescribed amount of insulin or oral medication for diabetes that your doctor has ordered.
Keep exercise consistent from day to day. Eat a snack or reduce your insulin prior to unusual exercise.
If you are taking insulin, notify your doctor if you have low blood sugars four or more times per week or if you have a severe low blood sugar. Severe low blood sugars are those less than 40 mg., those requiring help from another person, or those which cause you to have a convulsion or become unconscious.
If you are taking oral medication for your diabetes notify your doctor or nurse if blood sugars are running less than 80 mg. or if you have a severe low blood sugar.
Sleep Impacts Insulin Levels
Sleep affects your hormone levels and your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm naturally controls your sleep-wake cycle by responding to things like light and dark levels. Most people have a reasonably consistent circadian rhythm as adults.
There is a small group of nerve cells that form whatâs called the âmaster clockâ in your brain. This internal clock controls hormone secretion, temperature, eating habits, and digestion. To work optimally, it requires a consistent circadian rhythm. Keeping this rhythm is key to regulating your metabolism, insulin, and blood glucose, as well as your sleep-wake cycle.
When your circadian rhythms are out of sync, your body’s metabolic health can declineâand a risk for diabetes can increase.
Research published in the journal âEndocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North Americaâ identifies that sleep deprivation reduces insulin sensitivity. This leads your body to produce more insulin to stabilize blood glucose levels. The more insulin resistant your cells become, the greater the risk that your insulin and blood sugar levels will chronically rise. This eventually leads to glucose intolerance and diabetes.
According to the CDC, even just one night of insufficient sleep can affect your bodyâs ability to use insulin effectively.
How To Prevent The Dawn Effect
At this moment, I believe that you know a bit more about how your body works. Now you know why you have low blood sugar at 3:00 am and high blood sugar after waking up.
It is quite clear which action you have to take if you will have a Somogyi or a Dawn effect. But, both effects give high fasting blood sugar levels so how will you know which effect you are experiencing?
Just continue reading further because you are on the right track
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Preventing Night Time Hypoglycemia
A useful first step towards preventing hypoglycemia is to test your blood glucose levels before bed.
For people on two or more insulin injections per day can help prevent hypos over night keeping blood glucose levels above 6.5 mmol/l before going to bed.
If over night hypos are suspected, carry out a test at 3am. Together with a before bed and first thing in the morning test, this can help to understand how your sugar levels are behaving over night.
If sugar levels are dropping too low over night, you may need to adjust your insulin doses. Speak to your doctor if you need help with correctly adjusting your insulin
The other way to prevent sugar levels going too low is to take some carbohydrate before bed.
Hypos can also be prevented by:
- Ensuring you basal insulin dose is not too high
- Reducing your night time/evening long acting insulin following exercise
- Taking carbohydrate before bed following an evening/night of drinking
- Not missing out dinner or any snacks you would usually have
Concerned about hypos? Join the Hypo Awareness Program for a comprehensive guide towards improving hypo awareness »
Dont Drive When You Have Low Blood Sugar
Its dangerous. If youre driving and you have hypoglycemia symptoms, pull off the road, check your blood sugar, and eat a sugary food. Wait at least 15 minutes, check your blood sugar, and repeat these steps if needed. Eat a protein and carbohydrate source before you drive on. Be prepared. Keep a sugar source, such as glucose tablets, in your car at all times for emergencies.
Allina Health: âNon-diabetic Hypoglycemia.
Endotext: Non-Diabetic Hypoglycemia.
UW Health: âNutrition Management of Low Blood Sugar without Diabetes .â
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: âHow to Give an Emergency Glucagon Injection to Treat Low Blood Sugar.â
American Diabetes Association: âHypoglycemia .â
Joslin Diabetes Center: âDriving with Diabetes,â âHow To Treat A Low Blood Glucose,â âIs Low Blood Glucose Dangerous?â âOral Diabetes Medications Summary Chart,â âPrandin âOral Hypoglycemic Agent.â
Journal of the American Medical Association: âFactitious Hypoglycemia Due to Chlorpropamide: Report of a Case, with Clinical Similarity to an Islet Cell Tumor of the Pancreas.â
AMN Healthcare: âAdvances in Diabetes, Part II: Oral Medications.â
Physiciansâ Desk Reference: âAllopurinol,â âCoumadin,â âProbenecid.â
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: âLow Blood Glucose .â
Hormone Health Network: âNon Diabetic Hypoglycemia.â
University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics: âHypoglycemia .â
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Tips For A Better Night Sleep
Getting into a consistent sleep routine will improve your overall health and you may start to see subtle improvements in blood sugar as well. The following tips sleep tips may help to promote better sleep:
Check and monitor your blood glucose to keep it under control
Establish a regular bedtime routine
Ensure your bed is large and comfortable enough
Ensure your room is cool and well ventilated
Ensure your room is dark and free from noise
Incorporating a period of exercise into each day
To stay informed on more information regarding diabetes and sleep issues read an essay on diabetes and subscribe to our blog. And remember, you can always contact us here at The Alaska Sleep Clinic for any questions regarding how diabetes can affect your sleep at 855-AKSLEEP .
How To Treat Someone Who’s Having A Seizure Or Fit
Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.
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Limit Alcohol At Night
Alcohol consumption can also increase the risk for nighttime hypoglycemia, so avoid regular consumption of alcohol. On special occasions, drink only in moderation no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men and don’t wait to indulge with a before-bed nightcap. If you do have a drink in the evening, enjoying it with food can minimize the chance of low blood sugar while you sleep.
What Should Blood Sugar Be At : 00 Am And How To Maintain It
It is important to maintain a 3:00 am blood sugar level between 100180 mg/ dL and prevent it from dropping. Make sure that you are following these guidelines:
How to manage low blood sugar? Know it all from our expert Dr Arpit.
Now that you know why you are waking up in the middle of the night with low blood sugar, lets discuss another phenomenon that diabetics experiences, called high fasting blood sugar.
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What Are The Warning Signs Of Early Morning Hypoglycemia
Whenever you experience low blood sugar levels at 3:00 am, your body will show symptoms that are not always the same for everyone. These symptoms include:
How To Differentiate Between The Two Effects If You Suspect High Fasting Blood Sugar
If your sugar level shoots up every morning after you wake up, then always check your 3:00 am sugar.
If sugar at that time comes low then this is a Somogyi effect. You should always consult your doctor as root cause analysis of hypoglycemia is required. There may be a need for drug dose reduction but it all depends on clinical judgment.
But if your 3:00 am sugar comes out to be normal or on the higher side, then its a dawn effect. It requires clinical judgment, your dose may need to be increased or changed.
Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels should be managed at priority since low sugar causes our body to get deprived of energy and causes symptoms such as tiredness, weakness, fatigue, lethargy, shivering, and extreme hunger.
If sugar levels are not managed at this stage, it can further lead to unconsciousness or coma. Unawareness of hypoglycemia phases could be dangerous due to the same reason and hence must be looked for!
On the other hand, hyperglycemia or high blood sugar levels are also important to be managed as it can further lead to complications. Constant high blood sugar levels can impact kidneys, eyes, nerves, heart and brain.
You must work on managing your blood sugar levels within the normal range in order to live a healthy and happy life. Do improve your lifestyle by eating timely, exercising daily, going for doctor follow-ups and taking insulin or medicines on time. For more information, read this blog.
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Blood Pressure And Sleep In Type 1 Diabetes
Blood pressure normally declines during sleep loss of this decline is associated with increased risk for sustained hypertension, as well as an accelerated rate of development of complications . In two separate studies that did not include a control group, adults with type 1 diabetes who were ânon-dippersâ had shorter sleep durations as measured by PSG and wrist actigraphy . Larger studies that include a control group are needed to confirm whether short sleep duration increases the risk of or accelerates the development of cardiovascular and microvascular complications and whether this is specific to type 1 diabetes.
What Can Cause Low Blood Sugar Levels
Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely are:
- skipping meals and snacks
- not eating enough food during a meal or snack
- exercising longer or harder than usual without eating some extra food
- getting too much insulin
- not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise
Also, some things may increase how quickly insulin gets absorbed into the bloodstream and can make hypoglycemia more likely. These include:
- taking a hot shower or bath right after having an insulin injection increases blood flow through the blood vessels in the skin, which can make the insulin be absorbed more quickly than usual
- injecting the shot into a muscle instead of the fatty layer under the skin
- injecting the insulin into a part of the body used a lot in a particular sport .
All of these situations increase the chances that a person may get hypoglycemia.
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What About The Glycemic Index
Your daily carb total, spread steadily across the day, is one key to good blood sugar control. Some people also use the glycemic index , a rating of how individual foods raise blood sugar levels. Beans and whole-grain breads and cereals have a lower GI than white bread and regular pasta. Juice has a higher GI than whole fruit. Craving a high-GI food? Eat it along with a lower-GI choice to help control your levels.
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How To Fall Asleep If You Wake Up At 3 Am
A quick fix for waking up at 3 a.m. can be as simple as eating a small amount of protein, with perhaps some fat thrown ina spoonful of nut butter, a little bit of meat, or a hard-boiled egg. For some people this raises blood sugar to a healthier level and sustains it so they can fall back asleep. Its best not to eat something sweet or starchy because this will just cause blood sugar to spike and crash again.