Most of us know that exercise and a healthy diet low in sugars and grains are key diabetes-preventing life style “musts”. What is not
often known is that the amount and quality of sleep is also vital in protecting against developing the disease, managing it and, in many cases, actually reversing it!
Yes, sleep deprivation directly raises your risk for developing and/or accelerating diabetes. In several studies, men who had sleep loss during the week were actually able to regain control over their insulin levels by simply making up for sleep loss during the weekends! During the study, men only averaged five to six hours. When sleep
hours were increased to eight to nine, their insulin resistance greatly improved as did their immune responses.
Extending hours of deep restorative sleep allowed their bodies to better regulate blood sugar levels and helped to keep excessive amounts of sugar from flowing into the bloodstream. What’s amazing is that simply four nights of sleep deprivation is all it takes to “zap” your insulin sensitivity by a whopping 16 percent! What’s even more shocking is that one study demonstrated that this apparently small amount of sleep loss actually lowers fat cell sensitivity to insulin by 30 percent! I rest my case for deep restorative sleep not only for diabetes but also for weight management and insuring maximizing immune responses. Additionally, clinical observations by Matthew Brady, senior study
author and associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, stated, “These results amount to the equivalent of metabolically-aging someone 10 to 20 years from simply just four nights of partial sleep restriction.”
Feeding Your Fat Cells a Healthy Diet…
Yes, fat cells need nutrition and that equates to adequate amount of restorative sleep. Without it, they can’t convert glucose into useable healthy energy and, therefore, become lethargic – keeping blood sugar levels high, decreasing ability to maintain healthy weight, and leading to insulin resistance and finally diabetes.
As if loss of restorative sleep isn’t enough, people who are tired have more food cravings for unhealthy foods – especially those containing sugar or carbs that convert to sugar. The body has a miraculous mechanism for survival and when these cravings occur, it’s your body’s way of making sure you get enough energy for what it needs to sustain it throughout the day.
Get a Good Night’s Rest by…
- Avoiding caffeine or alcohol, especially about 4 hours prior to bedtime;
- Blocking out all light in your bedroom to assist the body’s natural melatonin to do its job – even light from a digital alarm or cell phone is enough to disrupt the body’s natural ability to produce melatonin;
- Sticking to a sleep/wake routine when possible, even when traveling in different time zones;
- Making up lost sleep on weekends if weekdays are too demanding;
- Keeping your bedroom on the cool side rather than warm and achieve a comfortable sleeping temperature with bed wear and bedding rather than ambient air temperature.
Other Contributing Factors of Disturbed Sleep in Diabetes Patients
According to Elizabeth Bashoff, M.D., at Joslin Diabetes Center, “The important thing to do is first to pinpoint why you are not sleeping.”
There are a wide variety of reasons for disrupted sleep in people with diabetes. Some of the causes
of sleep problems can include:
Sleep apnea is increasingly common, but more frequent among those with type 2 diabetes.
Sleep apnea is also linked to obesity, a risk factor for diabetes. It is also linked to obesity,a huge risk factor for diabetes. Symptoms include daytime fatigue and exhaustion, and nighttime snoring or irregular breathing. Weight loss is by far the most effective treatment.
Leg pain due to neuropathy is very common in people with diabetes and sleep problems. Considering a medical food specifically formulated to assist with neuropathy (Wholistic Medical Food for Peripheral Artery Disease and Circulation) can be a tremendous help without the side-effectscommon with most prescription drugs. It’s easy to add the powder to a protein shake, water or juice
morning and evening to assist in restoring blood supply to the extremities. This proprietary formula is available from the Health Matters Store at www.gloriagilbere.com.
- Nighttime Blood Sugar Lows (Hypoglycemia)
Another reason many people with diabetes might have disrupted sleep is nighttime hypoglycemia.
People with type 1, and those with type 2 who are being treated with insulin or sulfonylurea, are at risk. Symptoms include waking up suddenly with a feeling of impending doom, nightmares, night sweats or morning headaches – often the only symptom is high fasting blood glucose.
Women going through menopause may also experience drenching night sweats, which can be confused with nighttime hypoglycemia – it’s important to find out if the underlying cause is actually hormone imbalances associated with menopause or a low blood glucose response.
Achieving that deep restorative sleep is often challenging, I know frompersonal experience. What I have found has provided most benefit is a
professional product called Sleep Factors that contains a multi-faceted
blend of amino acid precursors and melatonin to promote sleep-inducingbiological activity. Its ingredients are Non-habit-forming and contains 15ingredients including valerian, GABA, 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan, melatonin, and
This extraordinary complex provides an innovative blend of nutrientsthat promotes soothing and restful sleep. The unique ingredient combination wasspecifically chosen to promote healthy circadian rhythms and help relax tense
muscles. While most medications cause morning sleepiness, Sleep Factors is
designed to provide the patient with restful slumber and a rejuvenated body andmind upon awakening. Take 1-2 capsules about 30-45 minutes before bedtime. Makesure you create a peaceful, quiet, cool and dark environment in which topromote sleep. This professional product is available from the Health Matters
Store at www.gloriagilbere.com.