Healthcare News

Sleep disturbances can worsen diabetes symptoms. Here are tips to improve sleep | Health


Diabetes is a complex lifestyle disorder that affects every part of the body, causing complications like neuropathy and retinopathy but one aspect that is often overlooked is the effect it has on a person’s sleep cycle. Sleep plays a vital role in maintaining our physical and mental health and in preventing the onset of chronic diseases, both directly and indirectly, as good-quality sleep helps in maintaining glucose metabolism and reducing insulin sensitivity.

Sleep disturbances can worsen diabetes symptoms. Here are tips to improve sleep cycle for diabetics (Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash)
Sleep disturbances can worsen diabetes symptoms. Here are tips to improve sleep cycle for diabetics (Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Neha Verma, Head – Department of Psychology and Wellbeing at Fitterfly, revealed, “People with diabetes may experience frequent urination and excessive thirst that can keep them up at night, affecting their sleep. Conversely, sleep deprivation can lead to cravings for unhealthy food and nighttime snacking, increasing the risk of weight gain and diabetes. Inadequate sleep can also reduce the hormone leptin and increase ghrelin, making a person hungrier than usual. Sleep habits also play a significant role in how cells respond to insulin. Sleep disruptions like sleep apnea can increase the risk of diabetes.”

She suggested, “It is crucial to ensure a restful night’s sleep to improve dietary habits and keep metabolic conditions at bay. Simple steps like eating healthy, maintaining a sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and strenuous exercise before bedtime, and creating a comfortable sleep environment can improve sleep quality. Identifying the root cause of sleep deprivation and managing it promptly is essential. Innovative solutions like digital therapeutics are available to manage blood sugar levels and reverse them through a combination of lifestyle changes and medication adherence. However, prevention is always better than cure, and getting a good night’s sleep should be a priority for everyone.”

According to Dr Vishal Sehgal, President at Portea Medical, modern day habits like late night scrolling through devices can often lead to mindless eating or late-night snacking and this can lead to insomnia, weight-gain and obesity, resulting in rise of blood sugar level. He explained, “When a person does not sleep well, combined with stress and other lifestyle issues, it increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Multiple studies have shown that repeated awakenings during the night, insufficient sleep, excessive sleep, and irregular sleep all promote glucose intolerance. Furthermore, if a person has prediabetes or diabetes, poor sleep will worsen the condition.”

He elaboarted, “Over time, diabetes can increase the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, with increased likelihood of atherosclerosis, a condition that leads to blockage of arteries and obstruction of blood flow to the heart. It is equally important for healthcare professionals to check the symptoms of insomnia or sleep-apnea in diabetics, as this can majorly affect the treatment. Today, it is possible to ensure that you get optimum sleep with home sleep tests and remote assistance for any factors that may be hampering it. Home healthcare organizations are enabling people to get access to treatment of sleep disorders which ensure that the intervention is done at the right time. Your sleeping patterns can go a long way in determining your overall health and well-being.”

Bringing her expertise to the same, Runam Mehta, CEO at HealthCube, said, “Sleep deprivation is an under-recognized factor for diabetic patients, and it is shocking that the prevalence of insomnia in India is around 9.8%. Research has shown that sleep deprivation can impair insulin sensitivity, leading to higher blood sugar levels and increased insulin resistance. In addition, the lack of sleep can increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can further disrupt glucose metabolism. Insomnia can also lead to an increase in the ranks of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, salt retention and inflammatory markers. All of these can contribute together to worsen diabetes even further.”

She recommended, “Sleep plays a crucial role in controlling diabetes hence, it is essential for diabetic people to prioritise good sleep habits. Sleep goals such as 7-8 hours of sleep every night, practicing good sleep hygiene, keeping track of blood sugar levels, and having a healthy diet can help easing the diabetes symptoms. Patients with diabetes are mostly diagnosed with insomnia or sleep apnea which makes their situations even more difficult. It is very crucial for them to seek proper medical treatment for any underlying sleep disorders to keep diabetes at bay.”


Source link