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Lack Of Sleep And Blood Sugar Levels

Sleep Longer To Lower Blood Glucose Levels

Sleep Longer To Lower Blood Glucose Levels

Doctors and scientists have known for decades that insufficient sleep affects the body's hormone levels and ability to regulate and metabolize glucose. That means if you're excessively sleepy, you could be at higher risk for weight gain (see "Sleep and Obesity") and even type 2 diabetes. Researchers have tested the relationship between sleep and hormones extensively. In one study, healthy adults were asked to sleep only four hours a night for six nights. After this period of sleep restriction, the subjects' glucose tolerance (their ability to break down glucose) was 40 percent lower on average—reaching levels that are typical of older adults at risk for diabetes, which is characterized by high glucose levels due to insufficient insulin. Additionally, when the sleep-deprived subjects were fed a high-carbohydrate breakfast, their glucose levels stayed significantly higher than when they were well rested—providing further evidence that their bodies were not processing glucose as well. Why would lack of sleep affect hormones and glucose metabolism? Part of the answer may lie in slow wave sleep. When a person enters slow wave, or deep sleep, nervous system activity goes down, the brain uses less glucose, and other changes occur such as an increase in growth hormone and a decrease in the activating hormone cortisol. For this reason, a sufficient amount of deep sleep is thought to be very important to the regulation of glucose in the body. Researchers have seen this in action by manipulating people's sleep stages and looking at the effect it has on their glucose levels. In one experiment, scientists disrupted people's sleep just enough to keep them from entering deep sleep (but not enough to fully wake them). After these nights of deep-sleep deprivation, the subjects' insu Continue reading >>

Why Does High (or Low) Blood Sugar Give Me Headaches?

Why Does High (or Low) Blood Sugar Give Me Headaches?

Susan B. Sloane, BS, RPh, CDE, has been a registered pharmacist for more than 20 years and a Certified Diabetes Educator for more than 15 years. Her two sons were diagnosed with diabetes, and since then, she has been dedicated to promoting wellness and optimal outcomes as a patient advocate, information expert, educator, and corporate partner. Headaches can be debilitating, and patients with diabetes can get headaches from blood sugars dropping too low or climbing too high. As if we didn’t have enough to think about, right? There are many factors that can trigger headaches or even migraines, and blood sugar fluctuations are just one of those factors. The key to avoiding blood sugar-related headaches is keeping blood sugars from spiking or dropping too rapidly. For example, when you are treating a low blood sugar, don’t go on a high carbohydrate-eating binge, even though you may be ravenous. Eat a sensible meal with some protein as directed by your healthcare provider. When blood sugar is too low One of the suspected causes of low blood sugar-caused headaches has to do with the blood vessels in your brain. Your brain needs a readily available supply of glucose in order to function properly. If the brain senses it does not have enough sugar, blood vessels in the brain can spasm, triggering a headache. In the fasting state, stress hormones are also released which can cause vasoconstriction leading to headache. There is also a type of headache that can be seen in patients with diabetes that experience frequent low blood sugars, which are followed by rebound high blood sugars. This rebound phenomenon is often due to hormones that the body releases in response to a low blood sugar in an attempt to regulate itself. When blood sugar is too high High blood sugars can cause l Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Sleep

Diabetes And Sleep

Diabetes can cause sleep problems, and less sleep can increase your risk for diabetes. It’s a cycle that seems to be endless – until taking action to monitor your diabetes and sleep patterns. The cause of diabetes from no sleep is simple. If you are tired, you’re likely to eat more to make up for lost energy – usually in the form of sugar – which spikes blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar is high, your kidneys try to rid the body of the extra sugar and people are generally unable to sleep because of going to the bathroom constantly. Diabetes risk from lack of sleep happens to everyone – men, women, and even teens. A study found that teenage boys who get little “slow-weave sleep” – a sleep stage that helps store memories and recover after sleep deprivation – were at risk for type 2 diabetes. The test did not get the same results from females. Another recent study found that catching up on sleep may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes in the short-term. Think of catching up on sleep like sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday after limited sleep during the week. The study found that catch-up sleep can help keep the risk of diabetes low in young and healthy men. In the study, 19 healthy, young, and lean men were allowed to sleep only 4.5 hours a night for four nights in a row. The study found that most men slept 4.3 hours a night, which caused a significant drop in insulin sensitivity. After this, the men were allowed two days of recovery sleep, up to 12 hours. The men averaged about 9.7 hours a night, and their insulin levels had fully rebounded. You can take control of your diabetes. Blood sugar can easily be tested at home with self-monitoring kits, also known as SMBG – the self-monitoring of blood glucose. A SMBG test, also called a glucose meter or 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 >>

Lack Of Sleep Linked To Gestational Diabetes

Lack Of Sleep Linked To Gestational Diabetes

AsianScientist (Jan. 9, 2017) – Poor quality sleep has been linked to developing diabetes while pregnant. These findings, published in the journal SLEEP, suggest that addressing sleep concerns during pregnancy could potentially reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). GDM, which is diagnosed by high blood glucose levels, is one of the most common health problems during pregnancy. Unmanaged high glucose levels in pregnancy can result in complications that can affect both mother and child including pre-term labor, obstructed labor, birth trauma, high blood pressure for mothers, and increased risk of mother and fetal deaths. Sleep has been identified as one of the factors that affects glucose metabolism, and some studies have indicated that short sleep is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. However, few studies have examined the relationship between sleep and GDM, especially in an Asian population. Recent work suggests that adults in Singapore are among the most sleep-deprived in the world. This lack of sleep could contribute to GDM in Asian women, who are already at increased risk of GDM compared with Caucasian women. To determine if short sleep duration is associated with increased risk of GDM, Associate Professor Joshua Gooley from Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS) and Dr. Cai Shirong from the National University of Singapore, analyzed the sleep and glucose levels of participants in the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) study. The researchers surveyed 686 women on their sleep patterns and measured their glucose levels in a standard clinical test (oral glucose tolerance test) at 26 to 28 weeks of gestation. Of the 686 participants who had their glucose levels measured, 131 (19 percent) were diagnosed with GDM. Statistica Continue reading >>

How Sleep Affects Blood Sugar

How Sleep Affects Blood Sugar

Did you know that there is a connection between the amount of sleep you get and your blood sugar levels? This can have significant impacts on your weight, your sleep quality and your overall, long-term health. In a recent study, after 6 nights of only 4 hours of sleep or less, subjects had similar blood sugar levels that mimicked prediabetes. This means that just one week of disrupted sleep can be enough to undermine your overall health in a serious way. Too often people are deprived of the sleep that their bodies need to function properly. This means that there are a lot of people out there at risk of diabetes, heart disease and other serious health concerns. Are you one of those people? When your blood sugar levels are too high, your kidneys jump in to lend a hand to help alleviate the problem. This results in nighttime trips to the bathroom, so that the excess glucose can leave your body via your urine. By interrupting your sleep, your body is stopping you from getting enough of each stage of sleep. This leaves you tired, causes brain fog, and has a number of consequences for your overall health. Plus, if your blood sugar levels remain out of balance, your body might start burning the wrong kind of energy through the night. LifeSpa.com explains: “Today, because of undetected blood sugar issues, many people never go into fat metabolism during the night at all, instead attempting to burn sugar and carbs through the night as they did during the day. With sugar and short chain carbs delivering only short, quick emergency bursts of energy, sleeping through the night becomes an insurmountable task.” This imbalance can lead to insomnia because, while fat burns long and slow and allows you to sleep for the 8 hours you need, carbs and sugars don’t last. This means you w 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 >>

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 >>

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 Spikes: Causes, Symptoms, And Prevention

Blood Sugar Spikes: Causes, Symptoms, And Prevention

Diabetes is a disease that causes a person's blood sugar to become too high. This can lead to various complications. A person with diabetes must be careful to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Glucose comes from the food we eat. It is the main source of energy for the body. The pancreas secretes substances, including the hormone insulin, and enzymes. Enzymes break down food. Insulin makes it possible for body cells to absorb the glucose we consume. With diabetes, either the pancreas is unable to produce insulin to help the glucose get into the body cells, or the body becomes resistant to the insulin. The glucose stays in the blood instead. This is what raises blood sugar levels. High blood sugar is known as hyperglycemia. Contents of this article: Causes of blood sugar spikes People with diabetes have to be especially careful about keeping their blood sugar levels under control. There are several reasons why blood glucose levels may spike. These are: Sleep: A lack of sleep can be especially bad for people with diabetes, because it can also raise blood sugar levels. One study performed on Japanese men found that getting under 6.5 hours of sleep each night increases a person's risk for high blood glucose levels. Prioritizing healthy sleep and promoting sleep hygiene are good habits for everyone, but especially for people with diabetes. Stress: When under a lot of stress, the body produces hormones that make it difficult for insulin to do its job, so more glucose stays in the bloodstream. Finding a way to keep stress levels down, such as yoga or meditation, is essential for people with diabetes. Exercise: Having a sedentary lifestyle can cause blood sugar levels to go up. In addition, exercise that is too difficult can cause stress and blood glucose levels to ri Continue reading >>

Diabetes And The Importance Of Sleep

Diabetes And The Importance Of Sleep

To paraphrase the old Cole Porter love song: Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it. Let's do it, let's . . . sleep? "Sleep is a biological imperative," says Stuart Quan, M.D., a Harvard Medical School professor of sleep medicine and editor of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. "You can't not sleep," he says. Virtually all animals sleep. Fruit flies have been shown to have sleep cycles, and even sea sponges have sleeplike periods, Quan says. While experts have different theories on why we sleep, it's well proven that getting too little has serious consequences for your health and diabetes. Shorting yourself on shut-eye can worsen diabetes and, for some people, even serve as the trigger that causes it. People who don't sleep enough may: -- impair the body's use of insulin. -- have higher levels of hormones that cause hunger. -- crave junk food. No snooze, you lose People who don't get enough sleep often have higher levels of chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. Lack of sleep also can increase production of cortisol (the body's primary stress hormone), impair memory and reflex time, elevate blood sugar, and increase appetite -- ultimately promoting weight gain, says Carol Touma, M.D., an endocrinologist at the University of Chicago who focuses on sleep research and metabolism. And the more you weigh, the worse you sleep. Research by Madhu H. Rao, M.D., an endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, found that a person's body mass index (BMI) affects slow-wave sleep, the deep sleep cycles needed for maximum rest. Very preliminary results of Rao's current research on the effects of sleep restriction in healthy volunteers show an increase in insulin resistance in the range of 10 to 15 percent. But mysteries remain. Will sleeping m Continue reading >>

Sleep Interrupted? The Blood Sugar And Sleep Connection

Sleep Interrupted? The Blood Sugar And Sleep Connection

In my last newsletter, I wrote about how most people with sleep trouble think they have too much energy and simply can’t settle down. I also discussed that one of the main causes of insomnia is actually a deep level of exhaustion. Odd as it may seem, the body needs energy to calm or sedate itself for sleep. Without energy, we stay awake, “wired and tired.” The second most common cause of insomnia is a silent blood sugar issue that affects one third of Americans. The worst part is, a shocking 90% of people are unaware of this problem until it is too late! (1) Could you or someone you know be suffering from blood-sugar-related insomnia? Keep reading to learn the facts about this troubling, little-known sleep issue. First Comes Stress, Then Come Cravings Sleep disorders affect an estimated 50-70 million Americans and, as I discussed in my last newsletter, much of this is caused by stress and exhaustion. When under stress, the adrenals go shopping for energy. Their favorite stop is the pancreas, where stress generates insatiable cravings for sweets to create the energy the adrenals can no longer provide. Before you know it, Americans are waking up to a sugar-laced cup of coffee or two. In an attempt to pick the healthy choice, we might sip green tea to keep us going through the morning. Lunch might be a salad and a diet soda. Then, as the blood sugar starts plummeting, bringing on the all-too-well-known afternoon crash, dark chocolate is passed around the office as if you had called room service. By the end of the workday, either a workout, latte or a nap is the only thing getting us home without falling asleep. The Band-aid Cure To remedy this, some of us have adopted a diet that was originally formulated for folks with severe hypoglycemia”the “six small meals a 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 >>

Can A Lack Of Sleep Be A Cause Of Diabetes?

Can A Lack Of Sleep Be A Cause Of Diabetes?

Some of the recent studies have suggested that improving sleep quality in diabetics would have a similar beneficial effect as the most commonly used anti-diabetes drugs. Many of my friends who are academics with many deadlines get inadequate amount of sleep. They like to know whether insomnia and diabetes are related. 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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