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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 >>

Lack Of Sleep And Its Effect On Blood Sugar Levels

Lack Of Sleep And Its Effect On Blood Sugar Levels

More than 29 million Americans suffer from diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with millions more falling into the “prediabetes” range. Keeping blood glucose levels under control is essential to good health, both for people with diabetes and those who do not have the disease. Although most people know that dietary choices and exercise affect blood sugar levels, many do not realize that sleep can also have a dramatic effect on glycemic control. Failing to get enough sleep or getting poor quality sleep can have serious effects on your blood sugar. This is unhealthy for all individuals but particularly dangerous for those with diabetes or prediabetes. How the Body Regulates Blood Sugar Levels Glucose, a type of sugar, is the body’s primary energy source. Cells throughout your body depend on glucose to continue operating. When you eat a meal, your stomach breaks carbohydrates down into glucose molecules. This glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it circulates throughout your body. The body prefers for blood sugar levels to be kept within a tight range. To achieve this, a hormone called insulin is released by the pancreas into the bloodstream. Insulin tells your body’s cells to increase their uptake of glucose from the blood, resulting in lower blood sugar levels. If blood sugar levels dip too low -- such as after an intense bout of exercise -- another hormone signals the liver to release its excess glucose stores to restore balance. People with diabetes have a difficult time responding properly to insulin. Those with type 1 diabetes are unable to produce insulin, making them unable to keep their glucose levels under control. Individuals with type 2 diabetes gradually become insensitive to insulin over time, making it dif 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 >>

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 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 >>

Can Getting More Sleep Improve Blood Sugar Control? What One Month Of Tracking My Sleep Revealed

Can Getting More Sleep Improve Blood Sugar Control? What One Month Of Tracking My Sleep Revealed

Twitter summary: Get more sleep! I use more insulin+ have worse BGs w/ less sleep. Academic studies show less sleep negatively impacts diabetes+much more. “Adam, you can sleep when you’re dead,” said one of my friends who seemed particularly fond of sleep deprivation. Funny, but I couldn’t help recalling the years of advice we’ve all heard to get more sleep. So I began wondering – is the more-sleep bandwagon just public health rhetoric, or is there really something to it? In the past few months, this issue has gained a lot more attention, (see below), especially as sleep relates to diabetes. This article summarizes my personal experience tracking my own sleep over the past two months, a research review of sleep and diabetes, and strategies to improve your sleep. The Surprising Results from Tracking My Sleep I recently visited a friend who works for Teach for America in Miami. His schedule requires him to wake up before the sun rises, meaning a lot of very tired mornings. He’s a big fan of an iPhone app called Sleep Cycle, and after he told me about it, it got me hooked. The app uses the iPhone’s accelerometer to sense movement as you sleep, and it has two great features: 1) it allows you to track your sleep very easily, and 2) it has an “intelligent” alarm clock that awakens you when you’re in light sleep. The ability to easily and painlessly track my sleep was my favorite part of the app. It gives time in bed and a “sleep quality score” (0-100%). To assess the impact of sleep on my diabetes, I compared my Sleep Cycle data to my blood glucose and insulin pump data. The results of tracking my sleep over a month were fascinating. While I cannot say the results below show a causal effect (formal academic studies below do that), I believe two thing Continue reading >>

Sleep And Metabolism

Sleep And Metabolism

Sleep is important in regulating metabolism. Mammalian sleep can be sub-divided into two distinct phases - REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM (NREM) sleep. In humans and cats, NREM sleep has four stages, where the third and fourth stages are considered slow-wave sleep (SWS). SWS is considered deep sleep, when metabolism is least active.[1] Metabolism involves two biochemical processes that occur in living organisms. The first is anabolism, which refers to the build up of molecules. The second is catabolism, the breakdown of molecules. These two processes work to regulate the amount of energy the body uses to maintain itself. During non-REM sleep, metabolic rate and brain temperature are lowered to deal with damages that may have occurred during time of wakefulness.[1] Normal metabolism[edit] After eating, the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin signals muscle and fat cells to absorb glucose from food. As a result, blood glucose levels return to normal.[2] Sleep deprivation and Type 2 diabetes[edit] Insulin-Resistant Metabolism Baseline levels of insulin do not signal muscle and fat cells to absorb glucose. When glucose levels are elevated, the pancreas responds by releasing insulin. Blood sugar will then rapidly drop. This can progress to type 2 diabetes.[2] Sleep loss can affect the basic metabolic functions of storing carbohydrates and regulating hormones. Reduction of sleep from eight hours to four hours produces changes in glucose tolerance and endocrine function. Researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center followed 11 healthy young men for 16 consecutive nights. The first 3 nights, the young men slept for the normal 8 hours. The next 6 nights, they slept for 4 hours. The next 7 nights, they spent 12 hours in bed. They all had the same diet. They foun Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Sleep

Diabetes And Sleep

Tweet Sleep can affect your blood sugar levels and your blood glucose control can also affect your sleep, which results in trouble sleeping. Difficulty getting a good night's rest could be a result of a number of reasons, from hypos at night, to high blood sugars, sleep apnea, being overweight or signs of neuropathy. If you have blood sugar levels that are either too high or too low overnight, you may find yourself tired through the next day. Lethargy and insomnia can both have their roots in blood sugar control and can be a key in re-establishing a healthy sleep pattern.. Getting a good night’s sleep The following may help to promote better sleep: Keep your blood glucose under control Ensure your bed is large and comfortable enough – and pillows at a comfortable height Ensure your room is cool (around 18 degrees celcius) and well ventilated Ensure your room is dark and free from noise – if this is not possible, you may benefit from a sleeping blindfold or ear plugs Incorporating a period of exercise into each day Stick to a regular bed time Can a lack of sleep be a cause of diabetes? Research has shown that sleep deprivation and insulin resistance may be linked. People who regularly lack sleep are will feel more tired through the day and more likely to eat comfort foods. A good night’s sleep is important for our hormones to regulate a large number of the body’s processes, such as appetite, weight control and the immune system. Trouble sleeping from high sugar levels High blood sugar levels can impact upon your sleep. It could be that the high levels make it less comfortable for you to sleep – it may make you feel too warm or irritable and unsettled. Another factor is if you need to go the toilet during the night. For people with regularly high blood sugar l Continue reading >>

The Importance Of Sleep In Blood Sugar Regulation

The Importance Of Sleep In Blood Sugar Regulation

Quality of sleep is an often overlooked and under appreciated factor in overall health and blood glucose regulation. You see, type 2 diabetes is a condition rooted in a disruption of hormones and lack of sleep affects our hormones, therefore it can directly influence blood sugar levels, which is what I’m about to explain. How much sleep are you getting right now? A full 8 hours? Or is it around 6? According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average person is sleeping 6 hours and 40 minutes on work days and 7 hours 25 minutes on weekends. Not quite the full 8 hours we really need. Sleep is absolutely essential to healthy bodily function – for brain function, mental alertness and focus, mood stability, healing and repair of blood vessels, immune function, and like I already pointed out, hormonal regulation – which is the most important factor for you as a diabetic. Circadian Rhythm The human body functions on an internal biological clock, it’s known as your circadian rhythm. Basically this just means the 24 hour sleep/wake cycle that your body naturally goes through each day. When your circadian rhythm is altered or ignored, this leads to metabolic imbalance – things going wrong with your natural metabolic functions. This is one of the reasons shift workers tend to have increased health problems and why we experience jet lag when traveling across time zones – because it affects our natural cycle. Your circadian rhythm is basically ruled by the interaction of hormones in the body. The stress hormone cortisol, which gets directly influenced with lack of sleep, is also directly tied to insulin and blood glucose regulation. Remember that diabetes is a condition rooted in a disruption of hormones (most specifically insulin and glucagon) and anything that distur Continue reading >>

The Sleep-diabetes Connection

The Sleep-diabetes Connection

Whenever diabetes patients enter Lynn Maarouf’s office with out-of-control blood sugar levels, she immediately asks them how they are sleeping at night. All too often, the answer is the same: not well. “Any time your blood sugar is really high, your kidneys try to get rid of it by urinating,” says Maarouf, RD, the diabetes education director of the Stark Diabetes Center at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. “So you are probably getting up and going to bathroom all night long -- and not sleeping well.” Diabetes and sleep problems often go hand in hand. Diabetes can cause sleep loss, and there’s evidence that not sleeping well can increase your risk of developing diabetes. Maarouf says high blood sugar is a red flag for sleep problems among people with diabetes for another reason. “People who are tired will eat more because they want to get energy from somewhere,” she says. “That can mean consuming sugar or other foods that can spike blood sugar levels.” “I really push people to eat properly throughout the day and get their blood sugars under control so they sleep better at night,” Maarouf says. “If you get your blood sugar under control, you will get a good night sleep and wake up feeling fabulous with lots of energy.” “There is some evidence that sleep deprivation could lead to pre-diabetic state,” says Mark Mahowald, MD, director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center in Hennepin County. According to Mahowald, the body's reaction to sleep loss can resemble insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. Insulin’s job is to help the body use glucose for energy. In insulin resistance, cells fail to use the hormone efficiently, resulting in high blood sugar. Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough in Continue reading >>

Improving My Sleep With A Glucose Monitor

Improving My Sleep With A Glucose Monitor

Do bad glucose levels lead to bad sleep? Does a bad night sleep impact blood glucose levels the next day? At the recent Quantified Self Amsterdam conference, we had a workshop on metabolism and sleep. During the workshop, we got a chance to meet and talk with type 1 diabetic patients who have been using continuous glucose monitors for years — and know deeply how sleep and glucose levels are related. It turns out there’s so much more to glucose than just what we eat — sleep is a fundamental part of the equation. Measuring Sleep I’ve measured my sleep with the Fitbit and the emFit for the last year. Both are great — giving insights into sleep, and giving a history of times slept/how well we slept over time. While the Fitbit is great for starting out looking into sleep, the emFit is a prosumer device, giving more detail with minute-by-minute heart rate, Heart Rate Variability (how well rested the body is — see below section for more) and breathing patterns. The emFit is even used for medical research and for managing chronic diseases like epilepsy. Does Blood Glucose Impact Sleep Some of the worst nights sleep I’ve had is when my glucose levels have gone too low during the night (hypoglycaemia), cause by very low carb evening meals. I’m restless. I’m cold. I wake up with a headache and feeling groggy the next morning. When blood sugar goes too low, the liver will release new glucose, but it looks like this only happens when I’m awake. In above, the levels only went back up when I woke up. This looks like what’s called ‘rebound hyperglycemia’. We talked about glucose levels impacting sleep during the workshop in Amsterdam. Some of the type-1 diabetics in Amsterdam would sometimes load up on carbs before bed to improve sleep. Seth Roberts has done a Continue reading >>

How Sleep Affects Your Blood Sugar

How Sleep Affects Your Blood Sugar

Your sleep habits can affect many things about your health -- your weight, your immune system, even how well your brain works. But it also plays a key role in controlling your blood sugar (or glucose), which affects your chances of getting diabetes. It’s tied to whether the hormone insulin, which removes glucose from the blood, is working the way it’s supposed to. Blood sugar levels surge while you’re sleeping, usually around 4 to 8 a.m. for someone with a normal sleep schedule. (It’s called the dawn effect.) In a healthy person, insulin can handle the surge by telling muscle, fat, and liver cells to absorb the glucose from the blood, which keeps your levels stable. For people who have diabetes or who are likely to get it, insulin can’t do that job very well, so blood sugar levels will rise higher. 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 person’s odds of having diabetes. But the risk goes up at the other end of the spectrum, too. For reasons that aren’t clear, people who sleep too much -- more than 9 hours a night -- might also have higher chances of getting diabetes. It’s hard to know for certain. Many studies have suggested that short sleepers (those who get less than 6 hours per night) have irregular eating 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 >>

How Staying Up Late Screws With Your Blood Sugar

How Staying Up Late Screws With Your Blood Sugar

Your body could pay the price for too many late nights: Skimping on sleep may raise your diabetes risk, finds recent research from the University of Chicago. In the study, young, healthy men who were limited to just 4.5 hours of shuteye for 4 consecutive nights showed 30 percent higher levels of fatty acids in their blood than when they were allowed to snooze for 8.5 hours. Here’s what might be happening: When you’re short on sleep, your body tends to pump out growth hormone for longer periods of time, and secrete higher levels of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Those hormonal changes seem to prompt cells in your body to release more fatty acids into your bloodstream, says lead study author Josiane Broussard, Ph.D. All those fatty acids make it harder for your body to produce enough of the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar. Without enough insulin, your glucose can build up in your blood, instead of being absorbed by your body. This can cause your blood sugar to skyrocket, putting you on the road to diabetes. Usually, only people who have diabetes or who are obese have elevated fatty acid levels. But if you consistently miss sleep over time, the study suggests you could be on your way to developing both of those conditions. The good news: You should be able to reverse the effects. According to Broussard, the preliminary data hints that simply getting enough solid shuteye may help regulate your blood sugar and improve other metabolic parameters. Need help falling—and staying—asleep? Follow our sleep doctor’s tips for the 5 Best Ways to Snooze Better Every Night. Continue reading >>

Sleep Deprivation Directly Affects Blood Sugar Levels

Sleep Deprivation Directly Affects Blood Sugar Levels

Research at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) has shown that a person's blood sugar levels are adversely affected by just a single instance of sleep deprivation. After a sleep of only four hours, the sensitivity to insulin drops by almost a quarter. The effects are apparent both in healthy volunteers and iin patients with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes patients have to bear in mind that if they have a night with inadequate sleep, they will need to inject extra insulin after eating a meal. It is inadvisable for most people, but particularly for this group of patients, to have their sleep restricted on a regular basis. A high level of blood sugar is harmful to blood vessels and organs. For diabetes patients, who have problems regulating their glucose levels, this can lead to vascular disease, damage to their eyesight and disturbed kidney function. So far, little is known about this reduced sensitivity to insulin after an instance of sleep deprivation. 'Changing activity of the autonomous nerve system caused by sleep deprivation probably plays a role,' says Professor Hans Romijn of the Department of Endocrinology. Further research is expected to shed light on this phenomenon. As part of their research, PhD candidate Esther Donga and her colleagues looked at the effects on glucose levels of a sleep of just four hours. They studied nine healthy volunteers and seven patients with type 1 diabetes. They then compared the regulation of blood sugar in the same group after a sleep of 8.5 hours, using a constant insulin infusion. For both groups, insulin sensitivity dropped by 20 to 25 per cent. This applied both to fatty tissue and to the liver, and probably also to the muscles. The results appeared recently in the online publication Diabetes Care (Partial sleep restriction d Continue reading >>

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