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Diabetes and Sleep: Is There A Connection?

Diabetes and sleep problems commonly go hand in hand. Diabetes can cause sleep loss, which can lead to sleep deprivation and serious health issues. Read on to discover how a lack of sleep can affect your health.

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Diabetes is a specific condition when the body can’t produce insulin properly. When the body can’t produce insulin properly, it leads to excess levels of glucose in the blood.

The most common types are type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and each type comes with specific treats.

When you have Type 1, your pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, so you must take it daily. When you have Type 2 diabetes, your body creates some of its own insulin, which is often not enough. This also means that the body can’t produce insulin correctly.

You may experience or not symptoms, depending on how well you control (or not) blood sugar.

Short-term symptoms will usually include frequent hunger, or frequent thirst, next to frequent urination.

It’s not uncommon for these symptoms to have an impact on how well (or not) you sleep.


Diabetes refers to a broad group of diseases that affect how the body uses blood sugar, otherwise known as glucose. Glucose is vital to your health because it’s a source of energy.

Glucose supplies cells with energy that are further responsible for building muscles and tissues. Glucose is also the main source of fuel for your brain.

The underlying cause of diabetes will always vary by type, but no matter what diabetes type you might have, it can lead to excess sugar in your blood.

As you may know already, too much sugar in your blood can lead to serious health problems. But, what may be the link between diabetes and sleep?

Why Does Diabetes Affect Your Ability To Sleep?

A 2012 study focused on the link between sleep disturbance and diabetes. According to researchers sleep, deprivation can be a serious risk factor for diabetes, which can sometimes be controlled.

Having diabetes doesn’t mean that your sleep will be impacted. It’s more a matter of what symptoms of diabetes that you experience and how you manage them.

Certain symptoms are more likely to cause various issues when you’re trying to rest, such as:

  • High blood sugar can lead to frequent urination
  • High blood sugar can make you feel dehydrated
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Shakiness

Low Sleep, High Blood Sugar

According to scientists, high blood sugar is a red flag for sleep. Sometimes people don’t understand just how important food is, which is why those who are tired eat more.

People ear because they need energy from somewhere, which is why they consume sugar food that can boost blood sugar levels.

Those who want to keep their blood sugar under control need a good night’s sleep – this is the only way to feel great during the day with lots of energy.

The Connection Between Lack of Sleep and Diabetes

Tossing and turning all night is common in people with diabetes. In most cases, this may be the result of common diabetes syndrome, although a separate medical condition may be at the root.

There are some sleep disorders and other disorders that directly affect sleep. They are usually linked to people with diabetes.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder in people with diabetes. Sleep apnea may occur at any age, both in men and women, and always happens during your sleep.

Sleep apnea occurs when your breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the night.

Sleep apnea is more commonly found in people with type 2 diabetes, and there is a reason for this. This is because people in this group often carry excess weight, which can trouble their air passage.

Common symptoms are tiredness and snoring. You are more at risk for sleep apnea if it runs in the family or if you’re obese. Maintaining a healthy body weight for your body type may relieve your symptoms.

You can also wear a special mask or try any other solution that your doctor prescribes for you.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

RLS is a constant urge to move your legs. RLS mostly happens in the evening hours, which makes it harder to fall or stay asleep. The main reason for this condition is a lack of iron.

People who suffer from kidney problems, thyroid disorders, and high blood glucose levels are at higher risk for Restless leg syndrome.


Insomnia is one of the most common disorders in the States. This state is characterized by trouble falling and staying asleep. If you trouble with high stress, you are at higher risk for insomnia.

Important: incoming should be treated by your doctor’s suggestions. Taking an over-the-counter sleeping aid won’t solve insomnia.

Do you have a high-stress job? Are you dealing with some family issues? Do you have love challenges? It would help if you looked into the reason why you can’t fall asleep.

You need to come to its core in order to have a good start for treatment. Seeking professional treatment is usually the best decision if you want to deal with a problem and treat it right.

How A Lack Of Sleep Can Affect Your Diabetes

Experts often link a lack of sleep with an altered hormone balance that can directly affect weight, as well as food intake. So, if you have diabetes, you are likely living in a challenging circle.

A lack of sleep is often compensated by eating an excessive amount of food that you may use to gain energy through calories. This can cause your blood sugar levels to rise significantly and make it harder to achieve a decent amount of sleep. Also, you can find yourself in this challenging and sleepless situation.

A lack of sleep can also increase the risk of obesity. Being obese can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Sleep Is as Important as What You Eat

Sleep should be taken seriously. There can not be health improvement if sleep is poor. Knowing your sleep needs and schedule can help you understand your body and medical history better.

Make sure that you know your family history if diabetes runs through your family.

A medical history will make your health transition easier and help the doctor better understand your needs. Based on your health condition now and medical history, your doctor will be able to prescribe the right therapy.

Did you know that your family history, along with your intake, can affect your risk of developing type 2 diabetes?

When you get too little sleep, it can increase your appetite and reduce your satiety level, which will make you crave firstly sugary foods and carbohydrates.

Over time, indulging in overeating and these cravings can wreak havoc on your insulin and blood sugar levels, as well as your body weight.

Plus, you’re more likely to feel tired and less willing to exercise when you are short on sleep.

Luckily, if sleep deprivation lasts shortly, these effects can be reversed only for a few days, and insulin levels can improve.

If you need to restart your sleep, you will need in general two full nights of sleep, around 10 hours per night, to feel fresh and have enough energy to battle daily obligations easily.

This is comfortable to know when you are in a rush to prepare for an academic test, and you need to stay up longer, or when you need to stay up late for several consecutive nights to meet a specific deadline or deal with a family emergency.

This is fine as an occasional thing, don’t make it a habit. In the long run, it’s best to have between seven to nine hours of sleep so you can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other health problems.

The Bottom Line

Sleep is crucial for regulating many physiologic functions that are directly linked to metabolism. This is why scientists think that sleep habits and sleep disorders are related to diabetes risk.

Insufficient sleep duration and sleep dress restriction can lead to many sleep-related disorders associated with diabetes risk.

This is why it’s important to have regular check-ups, eat properly, stay hydrated, and have enough sleep. Since sleep is crucial for your well-being, so you should maintain it.

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