Sugar is not allowed to sleep, and poor sleep leads to a deterioration in sugars. What can be done to break this vicious cycle?
Author’s column of the Good-Evil Editor. We analyze slippery topics and sensitive issues. It is allowed to read to people with immunity to diabetic humor, who are ready to perceive the truth without false gloss.
The presence of diabetes makes you always be on the alert. Ideally, life should be subject to organization and advance planning. But the question is not even about the regime, but about a conscious approach to food – quantity and quality, and physical activity. Another special point is the ability to recognize any triggers that can lead to bad sugars.
Unfortunately, there remains one of the most important components for health, which is the most difficult to control – the quality of sleep. A healthy 8-9 hour sleep is a powerful mechanism in the body that takes care of all systems. Its low quality or deficiency leads to unexpected and very serious consequences.
The problem of insomnia at a certain stage of life is observed in 30% of the adult population. The percentage goes up when it comes to falling asleep and quality of sleep. Most adults sleep less than 6.5 hours, which is catastrophically short. This sleep deprivation can have various effects on our physical and mental health.
Lack of sleep affects even the reasonableness of our choices. Studies show that after a night of sleep that lasted less than 7 hours, people tend to choose more high-calorie, fatty and sugary foods, and also consume significantly more than in the day after a full sleep of 7.5-8 hours. Since sleep and wakefulness (except for periods of increased physical activity) are approximately the same energy-consuming periods for the body, one hour of sleep deprivation does not compensate for the energy that a person will consume after lack of sleep.
When you feel well rested, you will be more able to make smart decisions about food and your overall lifestyle. This means that it will be much easier to resist temptations, which will also have a positive effect on blood sugar.
With diabetes, sleep problems are a familiar situation to many. A hindrance to good sleep is often sudden changes in glycemia at night, as well as anxiety and overexcitation of the nervous system.
How to get healthy sleep back?
1. Sleep and wake times
Just like you remember your meal times, you should have some kind of schedule for bedtime as well. In order for the body and mind to accept the rules of the game, you should go to bed and get up at about the same time regularly. It will be much easier for you to fall asleep quickly when the schedule becomes familiar.
Another argument for a sleep schedule is that you have a fixed dinner time. This will keep the sugars stable throughout the night. The necessary actions for an even glycemic profile will be predictable.
To motivate yourself to set a sleep routine, use the help of applications. There are many options that will allow you to turn the process of acquiring a habit into a game.
2. Evening routine
Evening routine helps to fall asleep effectively. It can be a set of measures that you will be happy to perform daily. For example, taking a bath, writing in a diary (and it’s not just about self-control diary), 5 minutes of meditation or breathing practice … simple things that relax your body and mind for a good night’s sleep.
3. NO technique before bed
Make it a habit to turn off all devices 30 minutes to 1 hour before bed. We are talking about TV, computer and phone. The blue glow emitted by the screens knocks down the production of melatonin, a substance that helps to fall asleep. By the way, the same applies to the cold light of “daylight” lamps. In the evening, you should have a lamp that simulates warm light.
4. Coffee Time
Although people with diabetes may benefit from coffee consumption, it should be remembered that too much can cause the release of the continsular hormone cortisol.
But in the matter of sleep, it is important to remember that coffee delays the moment of fatigue, and does not eliminate it. We wrote about the mechanism of interaction of caffeine with adenosine receptors here.
It is important to understand that while caffeine is walking in our body, it is difficult for us to fall asleep and sleep is more superficial. In addition, caffeine taken close to bedtime can create an imbalance between the processes that are responsible for regulating sleep/wake. This is the process of accumulation of adenosine (when fatigue and drowsiness sets in) and the circadian rhythm of the body.
When caffeine takes the place of adenosine at adenosine receptors, it is more difficult for a person to fall asleep. This delays the time for falling asleep, and the circadian rhythm is a more constant phenomenon, while dictating that we should sleep. When the caffeine is eliminated from the body, the circadian cycle can move into a state close to wakefulness and sleep will be very superficial. After a night of such sleep, the level of adenosine will not be able to drop to normal and you will feel overwhelmed.
However, perhaps you were deceived by the feeling when, after a sleepless night, a second breath opened up and you suddenly felt a surge of strength? This is how the circadian rhythm brings the body into a state of active vigor. Unfortunately, by the evening, when it is on the decline, yesterday’s and in addition today’s adenosine pile on the body with a vengeance. And this is in the event that you did not replenish the body with coffee during the day, driving yourself into the trap of a vicious circle.
To avoid this problem, set a caffeine intake rule. The half-life of this substance is 5-6 hours. To fall asleep easily and sleep deeply, try to drink your last cup of coffee 10 hours before bedtime. You have a kind of 6-hour morning window for coffee.
5. Non-alcoholic mode
You may be able to fall asleep faster after drinking alcohol. However, studies show that sleep after alcohol is fragmented, and the processes of transferring information into long-term memory occur with 50% efficiency from that which we have after nights without alcohol.
Sleep deprivation, travel and diabetes
Traveling can make you more tired Many diabetics find it harder to control their blood sugar during this time. Try to give yourself time to get a good night’s sleep so you don’t have to drastically increase your inulin doses, increasing your risk of hypoglycemia.
A separate issue is the change of time zones, which can ruin your sleep and insulin therapy.
Enter a healthy 8-hour sleep as a habit. This will help you better control your sugar. The best sugars will let you sleep better. Sleep and self-control have a two-way relationship. Let yourself be more rested, more motivated and healthier!