Sleep and Diabetes

March is National Sleep Awareness Month, so this is a good time to focus on Law of Health #7: Rest.

Goal: To improve your sleep habits in ways that will improve your diabetic health, and to determine your optimum amount of sleep needed.

There is a definite connection between sleep and diabetes, according to sources that we have researched. Too little sleep can raise your diabetes risk. If you already have diabetes, sleep loss can undermine blood sugar control. Studies have shown that sleeping too long, as well as not enough each night, can increase the risk for diabetes.

According to one source, sleep deprivation’s effect on diabetes is similar to insulin resistance, which prevents your body from using the insulin it makes.

Lack of sleep increases hunger for high-carb high-fat foods—the worst combination possible for diabetics.

Likewise, diabetes increases one’s risk for sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.

The average sleep requirement is 7.5 hours of sleep, but your requirement may be as little as 6 hours or as much as 10 hours. It is said that if you need an alarm clock to wake up, you are probably not getting enough sleep. Because, if you were, you would wake up before the alarm clock rings.

Experts recommend keeping the same bedtimes and wake times every day.

It’s important for people with diabetes and prediabetes to be screened for OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea). Insomnia, like other sleep disorders, often goes un-diagnosed, including in people with diabetes. The increased incidence of RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) in people with diabetes may be a result of nerve damage (neuropathy) that occurs with diabetes. When sleep problems are more serious, diabetes tends to be more severe and less well controlled.

More references on sleep and diabetes can be found at

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