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How Does Sleep Affect My Blood Sugar Levels?

Impact Of Sleep And Sleep Loss On Glucose Homeostasis And Appetite Regulation

Impact Of Sleep And Sleep Loss On Glucose Homeostasis And Appetite Regulation

Go to: Introduction Diabetes and obesity are two debilitating chronic diseases that are increasing at an alarming rate worldwide [1, 2]. Voluntary sleep restriction may play a role in the rapid increase in the prevalence of diabetes and obesity, and this chapter will review the evidence for such a link. Sleep restriction or impaired sleep may be more common in modern society than in past decades [3, 4]. A survey study from 1960 found modal sleep duration to be 8.0 to 8.9 hours [5], while another survey study in 1995 observed a modal category of only 7 hours [6]. Recent national data also indicate that a greater percentage of adult Americans report sleeping 6 hours or less in 2004 than in 1985 [7]. Thus, the increase in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes appears to be mirrored by a decrease in average sleep duration in the U.S. In simplistic terms, weight gain occurs when there is positive energy balance, that is, energy intake is greater than energy expenditure (see Figure 1). Sleep restriction could affect endogenous processes related to energy balance, such as impairments in glucose metabolism and an upregulation of appetite. Sleep restriction could also affect exogenous factors such as food choice and increased time available to eat. Sleep loss could also lead to reductions in physical activity or energy expenditure, but evidence in support of this hypothesis is lacking. Both impaired glucose metabolism and excess weight can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Thus, this chapter will first review laboratory studies that examine the effects of sleep loss on glucose metabolism and appetite regulation. The chapter will then review the epidemiological evidence for an association between sleep restriction and diabetes risk, increased body mass index and r Continue reading >>

How Does Your Blood Sugar Level Affect Your Sleep?

How Does Your Blood Sugar Level Affect Your Sleep?

We all know about the rollercoaster effect of sugar highs and lows. But how do blood sugar levels and carbohydrates impact on your sleep? Katrina Rice investigates. Are you the type who constantly eats large and unhealthy meals every day? If yes, you need to know that this is a poor habit that you need to change immediately. Poor eating habits like eating too much every meal time will only cause you to eat more later on. This happens because eating large and unhealthy meals will get your insulin levels to spike up and as soon as your blood sugar drops, your body will start looking for more sugar to absorb which will lead you to crave for more food. You might like: Why poor sleep leads to bad food choices The more you consume food, the more your body sends signals to your brain that you have to eat another large meal later on. The moment your blood sugar drops your cravings, particularly for carbohydrates and other sugars will start to kick in. As you can imagine, once this kind of poor eating pattern starts to develop, it becomes difficult to stop, making you possibly irritable, nauseous, tired and constantly hungry. A pattern like the above can throw you off your focus, energy and mood. It also potentially leads to weight gain and sleep problems. If your body’s insulin levels cannot keep up with the amount of sugar you eat, the excess sugar is stored as fat. This is how weight gain becomes directly related to diabetes and sleep apnea. If not addressed, you will find yourself in a vicious cycle of binge eating, weight gain and disrupted sleeping patterns. How do blood sugar levels affect your sleep? Step 1: Eating sugar-rich foods like pastries, chocolates, and candies can boost your blood sugar thereby providing a burst of energy that causes you to stay up late at ni Continue reading >>

How Can Sleep Affect My Blood Sugar Levels?

How Can Sleep Affect My Blood Sugar Levels?

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications. Continue reading >>

How Blood Sugar Levels Affect Your Sleep

How Blood Sugar Levels Affect Your Sleep

Dr. Doni discusses why eating too much, too late can make it hard to sleep (it’s all about blood sugar). She offers some simple tips to help you take control. In the introduction to this series of articles I gave an overview of 12 things that can disrupt our sleep. This week, we’ll focus on blood sugar – and how eating too much of the wrong things can pull us into a vicious cycle of over-eating and blood sugar fluctuations that can have a serious impact on our ability to sleep. Did you notice that you felt sleepy after your Thanksgiving meal last week? This lull in energy is often attributed to tryptophan, an essential amino acid found in turkey meat that is known to make us feel sleepy. However that sleepiness is also due to a rise in your blood sugar levels as the carbs from your meal make their way into your blood stream. Then, the day after Thanksgiving, did you notice that you felt hungrier or that you craved sweets? This is because, once your blood sugar goes high (the technical term for this is hyperglycemia) for even just one meal, it will always be followed by a dip in blood sugar (hypoglycemia) a few hours later. This dip will make you to want to eat more and repeat the pattern of eating a large amount of carbohydrates. In fact, some people end up eating more the day after Thanksgiving than they did on Thanksgiving itself. As you might imagine, once this pattern starts, it is difficult to get it to stop. The more often you consume large, Thanksgiving-sized meals, the more likely your body is to send the signals that lead you to have another large meal. This is because a rise in blood sugar is followed by a rise in insulin, the hormone which causes the sugar to move into your cells to be used to make energy. Then, when your blood sugar is low again, you a Continue reading >>

Deprivation Nation: How Lack Of Sleep Can Lead To Diabetes

Deprivation Nation: How Lack Of Sleep Can Lead To Diabetes

1 of 2 The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation On the sofa, in front of the TV. On the train, surrounded by fellow commuters. In the movie theater, before the film begins. If you can't stay awake in any — or all — of these places, it's a good bet you're sleep-deprived. This lack of shut-eye does more than make you chronically grouchy; it elevates your risk of high blood pressure and obesity. And now there's a whole new reason to put an end to your sleep starvation: Skimping on rest could increase your chances of getting type 2 diabetes, a disease once believed to be caused primarily by being overweight. In fact, just three consecutive nights of inadequate sleep can elevate a person's risk to a degree roughly equivalent to gaining 20 to 30 pounds, according to a 2007 study at the University of Chicago. "Sleep may be as important as exercise or diet when it comes to developing diabetes," says Eve Van Cauter, MD, a professor of medicine and the senior author of the study. This revelation backs up previous research from Yale and the New England Research Institutes, which showed that people who clock six hours or less of sleep a night are twice as likely to develop diabetes in their lifetime as those who snooze seven hours. Translation? If you're not getting enough rest — even if you're slim and fit — you're putting your health in serious jeopardy. The Connection Between Sleep and Diabetes Here's what we know: Diabetes arises when the body can't properly break down blood sugar, aka glucose, leaving your cells starved for energy. One thing that greatly increases your chances of a blood-sugar malfunction is being overweight. Excess fat makes it harder for cells to properly use insulin, a hormone that helps keep glucose levels normal. So what does sleep have to do with any of Continue reading >>

What One Short Night’s Sleep Does To Your Glucose Metabolism

What One Short Night’s Sleep Does To Your Glucose Metabolism

As a blogger I regularly sleep 3-5 hours just to finish a post. I know that this has its effects on how I feel the next day. I also know short nights don’t promote my clear-headedness and I also recognize short-term effects on memory, cognitive functions, reaction time and mood (irritability), as depicted in the picture below. But I had no idea of any effect on heart disease, obesity and risk of diabetes type 2. Indeed, short sleep duration is consistently associated with the development of obesity and diabetes in observational studies (see several recent systematic reviews, 3-5). However, as explained before, an observational design cannot establish causality. For instance, diabetes type 2 may be the consequence of other lifestyle aspects of people who spend little time sleeping, or sleep problems might be a consequence rather than a cause of diabetogenic changes. Diabetes is basically a condition characterized by difficulties processing carbohydrates (sugars, glucose). Type 2 diabetes has a slow onset. First there is a gradual defect in the body’s ability to use insulin. This is called insulin resistance. Insulin is a pancreatic hormone that increases glucose utilization in skeletal muscle and fat tissue and suppresses glucose production by the liver, thereby lowering blood glucose levels. Over time, damage may occur to the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas (type 2 diabetes), which may ultimately progress to the point where the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin and injections are needed. (source: about.com). Since it is such a slow process one would not expect insulin resistance to change overnight. And certainly not by just partial sleep deprivation of 4-5 hrs of sleep. Still, this is the outcome of a study, performed by the PhD student Esther Donga. E Continue reading >>

Sleep Hacks To Lower Your Blood Sugar

Sleep Hacks To Lower Your Blood Sugar

As a diabetic, you probably already know how important it is to eat right, exercise, and take your meds. Here’s something you may not know about controlling blood sugar: Sleep plays a vital role in maintaining normal blood sugar levels. Get less than six hours on most nights and you're three times more likely to have elevated blood sugar levels, according to research published in the Annals of Epidemiology. Even just one sleepless night can interfere with your body's ability to use insulin (and therefore regulate glucose), according to Dutch researchers. Too little sleep also leads to more weight gain: In a national survey of 87,000 people, one-third of participants who slept less than six hours were obese. And when researchers at Columbia University analyzed 20 years' worth of data on more than 68,000 women, they found that those who got five hours or less weighed about five pounds more and were 15% more likely to become obese than those who slept seven hours. Most adults need between seven and nine hours a night, yet one in five Americans regularly sleeps less than six hours, and nearly 70% of women report frequent sleep troubles, according to national polls. The best strategy to improve sleep, according to experts: Hit the sack and set your morning alarm for the same time every day (even on weekends)—maintaining a consistent sleep schedule keeps your biological clock in sync so you rest better. Here are 9 more tips to help you sleep well and stay healthy: Skip afternoon coffee breaks The caffeine from your favorite latte can stay in your system for about eight hours; even if you can fall asleep, you may not be resting soundly. Alcohol has the same effect: Though sipping a glass or two of red wine may make you drowsy, a few hours later, the alcohol levels in your Continue reading >>

How Stress Affects Blood Glucose Levels

How Stress Affects Blood Glucose Levels

Stress can increase your blood glucose levels. Stress can also cause you to turn to unhealthful behaviors such as overeating, eating unhealthful foods or smoking. Managing your stress and relaxing more will help you and your baby stay as healthy as possible. Identify sources of stress Being pregnant, preparing for a new baby and learning to manage gestational diabetes are stressful things on their own. But you also lead a life in the real world, with all it stresses and tensions. Stress has many sources. Name some of your main sources of stress and see if you can identify an action to reduce or eliminate complications of gestational diabetes for you and your baby. You might find that simply learning as much as you can about gestational diabetes will relieve much of your worry. How to reduce your stress level Find opportunities to rest: sit, lie down, put your feet up. Talk to friends, family and your partner about your concerns and stresses. Lower your expectations of yourself. The house can be messy, the laundry can fall behind and you can be less than perfect. You're helping your baby grow and be healthy, and that's your first priority. Get enough sleep. Ask for help in getting tasks done. Ask a friend to drive, a sister to help set up the nursery, your partner to grocery shop. If possible, hire out tasks like yard work and house cleaning during your pregnancy. Know and accept your limits. Let friends and family know that for now, you have to take special care of yourself and your baby. When you need rest. excuse yourself and go rest. When you feel overwhelmed, take on less. Be physically active every day. It's a great stress reliever. Add relaxation to each day. Listen to your favorite music at work. Take a bubble bath. Close your eyes and do nothing except breathe d Continue reading >>

Do You Bolt Awake At 3 A.m.? Low Blood Sugar Symptoms May Be To Blame

Do You Bolt Awake At 3 A.m.? Low Blood Sugar Symptoms May Be To Blame

You’re exhausted and you need your eight hours of sleep, but you suddenly bolt awake around 3 or 4 a.m., energy coursing through your veins and mind churning anxiously. What gives? Waking up in the middle of the night is simply one of many low blood sugar symptoms. Why Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar Can Cause You to Be Awake at 3 a.m. Sleeping through the night represents a long period without food when blood sugar can drop too low. This is bad news for the brain, which depends on glucose for energy. The brain is highly active at night, transforming short-term memory into long-term memory,[1] and carrying out repair and regeneration.[2] In response, the adrenal glands, two walnut-shaped glands that sit atop the kidneys, release stress hormones. These stress hormones raise blood sugar back to a safe level. Unfortunately, stress hormones also raise, well, stress. Hence the anxious awakening during night’s darkest hours. Eating at 3 a.m. Can Help You Fall Back to Sleep A quick fix for this and other low blood sugar symptoms (below) can be as simple as eating a small amount of protein—with perhaps some fat thrown in—when you wake up too early. This could a spoonful of nut butter, a few pieces of meat, or a hard-boiled egg. Some find this stabilizes blood sugar levels enough so they fall back asleep. Do not, however, eat something starchy at this time, such as bread or cereal, as it will spike blood sugar levels, causing them to drop too low again. Daytime Tips to Avoid Waking Up at 3 a.m. Every Night Although a quick snack may help you fall back asleep, it’s better to prevent waking up in the first place. If you are waking up regularly at 3 a.m., chances are you suffer from low blood sugar symptoms. Signs of low blood sugar include: Sugar cravings Irritability, light Continue reading >>

Too Little Sleep May Fuel Insulin Resistance

Too Little Sleep May Fuel Insulin Resistance

People who consistently get too little sleep face bigger concerns than daytime fatigue and crankiness. Over the long term, sleep deprivation also increases the risk of serious health problems including obesity and type II diabetes. Scientists have come up with a number of plausible explanations for this increased risk. Various studies have shown, for instance, that how much we sleep can affect blood sugar levels, hormones that control appetite, and even the brain's perception of high-calorie foods. A small new study, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, adds a key piece to the puzzle by drilling down to the cellular level: Sleep deprivation, the study found, impairs the ability of fat cells to respond to insulin, a hormone that regulates metabolism and is involved in diabetes. In the study, seven healthy young men and women spent a total of eight days and nights in a sleep lab. They were allowed to sleep normally on four of the nights, and on the other nights they were limited to just 4.5 hours. In order to neutralize the effects of appetite or overeating, the researchers strictly controlled the participants' meals and calorie intake. After the four nights of sleep deprivation, blood tests revealed that the participants' overall insulin sensitivity was 16% lower, on average, than after the nights of normal sleep. Moreover, their fat cells' sensitivity to insulin dropped by 30%, to levels typically seen in people who are obese or who have diabetes. "This is the equivalent of metabolically aging someone 10 to 20 years just from four nights of partial sleep restriction," says Matthew Brady, the senior author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. "Fat cells need sleep, and when they don't get enough sleep, they bec Continue reading >>

Why Blood Sugar Levels Rise Overnight

Why Blood Sugar Levels Rise Overnight

get the scoop When you go to bed, your blood sugar reading is 110, but when you wake up in the morning, it has shot up to 150. Why does this happen? To understand how blood sugar levels can rise overnight without your eating anything, we have to look at where glucose comes from — and where it goes — while we sleep. During the day, the carbohydrates we eat are digested into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream. Some of this glucose goes to the liver, where it is stored for later use. At night, while we are asleep, the liver releases glucose into the bloodstream. The liver acts as our glucose warehouse and keeps us supplied until we eat breakfast. The amount of glucose being used is matched by the amount of glucose being released by the liver, so blood sugar levels should remain constant. what is the dawn phenomenon? A rise in blood sugar level between approximately 3 A.M. and the time you wake up is called the “dawn phenomenon.” The liver is supposed to release just enough glucose to replace what is being used, and insulin works as the messenger to tell the liver how much is enough. But if there's not enough insulin (as with type 1 diabetes), or if there's enough insulin but it cannot communicate its message to the liver (as with type 2 diabetes), the liver starts to release glucose much too quickly. In addition, levels of hormones such as cortisol begin to increase in the early morning hours, which can contribute to altered insulin sensitivity. The result? Blood sugar levels rise. This is why blood sugar levels can go up between the time you go to bed and the time you wake up. what can you do about it? You might be able to make changes in the timing of your meals, medications, or insulin injections to help prevent dawn phenomenon. First, keep a detailed rec Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar: What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning

Blood Sugar: What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning

There are two reasons why your blood sugar levels may be high in the morning – the dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect. The dawn phenomenon is the end result of a combination of natural body changes that occur during the sleep cycle and can be explained as follows: Your body has little need for insulin between about midnight and about 3:00 a.m. (a time when your body is sleeping most soundly). Any insulin taken in the evening causes blood sugar levels to drop sharply during this time. Then, between 3:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., your body starts churning out stored glucose (sugar) to prepare for the upcoming day as well as releases hormones that reduce the body's sensitivity to insulin. All of these events happen as your bedtime insulin dose is also wearing off. These events, taken together, cause your body's blood sugar levels to rise in the morning (at "dawn"). A second cause of high blood sugar levels in the morning might be due to the Somogyi effect (named after the doctor who first wrote about it). This condition is also called "rebound hyperglycemia." Although the cascade of events and end result – high blood sugar levels in the morning – is the same as in the dawn phenomenon, the cause is more "man-made" (a result of poor diabetes management) in the Somogyi effect. There are two potential causes. In one scenario, your blood sugar may drop too low in the middle of the night and then your body releases hormones to raise the sugar levels. This could happen if you took too much insulin earlier or if you did not have enough of a bedtime snack. The other scenario is when your dose of long-acting insulin at bedtime is not enough and you wake up with a high morning blood sugar. How is it determined if the dawn phenomenon or Somogyi effect is causing the high blood sug Continue reading >>

Link Between Sleep & Diabetes: Everything You Need To Know

Link Between Sleep & Diabetes: Everything You Need To Know

According to National Sleep Foundation, 63% of American population do not get enough daily sleep. Do you also know that most people who suffer from diabetes often have poor sleeping habits? This includes irregular sleeping schedule, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. And although little has been mentioned about caregivers and parents of diabetes patients, they are more likely to acquire poor sleeping habits and have a higher tendency to suffer from sleeping problems and consequently develop Type 2 diabetes themselves. So if you have diabetes or are currently caring for someone who has diabetes, this article will educate you more about how sleeping disorders can affect your health and how you can get better sleep. This article will cover the following topics: Relationship Between Sleep and Diabetes Your health and sleep go hand in hand. When you do not sleep enough, your body does not get the needed time to repair. As a result, you tend to be unfocused and irritable, and you suddenly have the urge to eat. If this scenario sounds too familiar to you, maybe you should rethink about the relationship between sleep and your diabetes. The Missing Link — Hormones Sleep plays a crucial role in restoring our body cells. Under healthy conditions, after eating, the pancreas secretes insulin to signal fat cells and muscles to absorb the glucose from food to be used for energy creation and prevents the body from using fat as energy source. This chain of reaction causes the blood glucose levels to resume normal. And to prevent the individual from feeling hungry, the body produces the hormone leptin to depresses the appetite. However, when it comes to diabetes individuals, the muscle and fat cells fails to respond to insulin. This causes a high glucose level in the bloodst Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Sleep Apnea: How Sleep Affects Blood Glucose And Diabetes

Diabetes And Sleep Apnea: How Sleep Affects Blood Glucose And Diabetes

Treat Apnea to Control Diabetes? Sleep apnea can affect diabetes control in many ways. Struggling for air may put your body into fight-or-flight mode, releasing stress hormones that can raise blood glucose levels. If you're tired, you won't want to take that walk around the block after lunch. While you're at work, you might keep snacking to stay awake. But can treating sleep apnea lead to better blood glucose control? Arvind Cavale, M.D., an endocrinologist in Feasterville, Pennsylvania, refers about 60 percent of his patients with type 2 diabetes for sleep studies. Cavale says treating sleep apnea reduces insulin resistance, improves alertness and motivation, and leads to more stable blood glucose levels. "We use correction of sleep apnea as a tool in controlling diabetes," he says. Does This Sound Like You? This is not a happy scenario: You're soooo tired. As soon as your head hits the pillow, you're asleep. But a little while later, someone nudges you awake. You go back to sleep. Just as you get into a deep sleep, you're nudged again. Sleep ... nudge ... sleep ... nudge. All night long. The next day, you might wake up with a headache, snap at your family over breakfast, have trouble concentrating at work. Irritability. Car accidents. Depression. High blood pressure. All because of those nightmarish nudges throughout the night. If you have obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA), you're getting those nudges. It's your body fighting for air. And sleep apnea may be one explanation for difficulty in controlling blood glucose and blood pressure levels. With OSA, something partly or completely blocks your airway when you're asleep. It could be your tongue. It could be the soft tissues in the back of your throat relaxing too much. Snoring is a sign that air is being forced p Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar And Sleep Problems: How Blood Sugar Levels Impact Sleep

Blood Sugar And Sleep Problems: How Blood Sugar Levels Impact Sleep

November is National Diabetes Month and Alaska Sleep Clinic is dedicating this month’s blog posts to raising awareness for diabetic complications and how they correlate with sleep disorders and overall tiredness. SLEEP PROBLEMS AND SNORING MAY PREDICT DIABETES Studies have shown that individuals who consistently have a bad night's sleep are more likely to develop conditions linked to diabetes and heart disease. Loud snoring sleepers (many of whom may have sleep apnea), compared to quiet sleepers, double (2x) their risks of developing certain types of metabolic syndrome(s); including diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. This likelihood also increased dramatically to 80% in those who found it difficult to fall asleep and to 70% for those who woke up feeling not as refreshed. Blood Sugar and Sleep Problems Sleep can affect your blood sugar levels, and your blood glucose control can also affect your sleep. It’s a vicious cycle. As the amount of sleep decreases, blood sugar increases, escalating the issue. Lack of sleep has been shown to increase blood sugar levels and the risk of diabetic issues. Higher blood sugar means less long-lasting fat metabolism in the night and even less sleep. Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine found that people who slept less than 6 hours a night had more blood sugar complications compared to those who received 8 hours of sleep. HIGH BLOOD SUGAR - HYPERGLYCEMIA Sleepless and restless nights hurt more than your mood and energy; it is a form of chronic stress on the body. When there is added stress on your body this results in having higher blood sugar levels. When researchers restricted people with type-1 diabetes to just 4 hours of sleep, their sensitivity to insulin was reduced by 20% compared to that after a full nig Continue reading >>

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