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Sleeping For Better Blood Sugar Control: All You Need To Know

A study on over 4000 people found that those who received less than 6 hours of nighttime sleep were twice as likely to have cells that are relatively less sensitive to insulin.

Written by Tavishi Dogra |Updated : March 17, 2023 9:27 PM IST

World Sleep Day 2023: Diabetes is a complicated lifestyle disorder. The condition affects every organ in the body, causing complications over time, such as neuropathy and retinopathy, among others. However, one aspect that has not been discussed so far is its effect on one's sleep cycle. People with diabetes experience excessive thirst and frequent urination, which can keep them awake most of the night, affecting their sleep. The reverse is also true. When we sleep, our blood sugar levels increase. This fluctuation overnight is regular and not a cause for concern. However, when a person is a sleep deprived, it can adversely affect their blood sugar levels. Sleep deprivation can contribute to the craving for unhealthy foods and induce a nighttime snacking habit. When blood sugar levels spike, our kidneys need to work extra to remove the excess glucose in the body leading to frequent urination, especially at night, disturbing our sleep. Ultimately, it becomes a vicious cycle.

Inadequate sleep can reduce the hormone leptin (which indicates contentment) and increase ghrelin, which makes you feel hungrier than usual. This makes you eat more, leading to a spike in blood sugar levels. Our sleep habits can also majorly affect how our cells respond to insulin. For instance, a study on over 4000 people found that those who received less than 6 hours of nighttime sleep were twice as likely to have cells that are relatively less sensitive to insulin. Sleep disruptions, including conditions like sleep apnea, also increase the odds of diabetes in individuals. Similarly, a person's blood sugar levels also impact their sleep quality. This is why ensuring a restful night's sleep is imperative since it might improve our dietary habits and keep metabolic conditions like diabetes at bay.

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8 Tips For A Good Night's Sleep

Neha Verma, HOD of Psychology & Wellbeing, Fitterfly, shares eight tips to follow for quality rest at night

  1. Avoid caffeinated beverages before bedtime since they stimulate your senses and keep you awake at night. Another avoidable habit is smoking and drinking.
  2. Eat healthy throughout the day. Keep a 1-2 hour gap between dinner and bedtime to control your blood sugar levels at night.
  3. Do not undertake strenuous exercises before bedtime as they increase alertness, making falling asleep harder.
  4. Keep your daytime naps to under 30 minutes. A 20-minute power nap has varied benefits for your energy levels.
  5. Make sure to create a sleep schedule and follow it. Over time, the body will get used to this pattern.
  6. The blue light from devices interferes with your circadian rhythm (the body's natural sleep cycle).
  7. Ensure your room is cosy and comfortable, with the right ambience. Avoid watching any devices.
  8. Have a light dinner which is also less oily and spicy.

In Conclusion

It is imperative to identify the root cause of sleep deprivation and manage it promptly. Technology-based 360-degree solutions such as digital therapeutics (DTx) are now making it possible to control blood sugar levels and reverse them through lifestyle changes and medication adherence. It is a comprehensive and structured system integrating dietary changes, personalization, workout routine, and continuous monitoring. However, as they say, prevention is always better than cure. So, in this case, catch up on that elusive sleep today!

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