Many people these days have problems sleeping. Whether it is a sleeping disorder or insomnia, it seems like the majority of people have a sleep deficit each day. With super busy schedules and often long commutes to work, many people face the challenge of getting enough hours of shut-eye each night. For a Type 2 diabetic, the implications of not getting enough restful sleep can be huge. In fact, studies have shown that poor sleep causes worse blood sugar control in Type 2 diabetics.
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Some studies have shown that hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels were worst in people who say that they get too little sleep. But it's not just hemoglobin A1c or blood sugar that's affected by sleeping habits. In fact, insulin can be greatly affected when someone is not getting good sleep on a regular basis. A recent study suggested that the body's ability to use insulin to process sugar in the bloodstream can be hampered by even one night of bad sleep. Researchers think that this might be one of the reasons why Type 2 diabetes is on the rise.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by the body's inability to use insulin properly in order to control blood sugar which is produced from food. (The glycemic index ranks foods on how they affect your blood sugar levels. This index measures how much your blood sugar increases after you eat.) This can lead to all kinds of dangerous side effects including damage to the kidneys, eyes, heart, nerves and major arteries. Type 2 diabetes is linked to lack of exercise and poor diet. It has been reaching epidemic levels over the last several years and now an estimated 180 million people have diabetes around the world.
So what should a person do if they are concerned about how sleep is affecting their insulin levels?
1. First of all, it's important to let your doctor know that you are having sleeping problems to see what they would recommend in your particular case.
2. Some people find that the use of an over-the-counter hormone called melatonin to help regulate sleep levels actually works.
3. Participating in exercise regularly, although not too close to bedtime, also helps many people get their sleep patterns back in order.
4. Cutting out caffeine and refined sugar is also an important component to regulating sleep.
5. In addition, having a regular sleep ritual, such as taking a hot bath before bed, can help many people get their minds and bodies ready for deep sleep.
No matter the cause, it is critical for people with Type 2 diabetes that they get their sleeping patterns and their insomnia under control in order to make the best use of their body's insulin.
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