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7 tips for getting a good night's sleep

Fall is fully taking hold, schedules are changing, days are getting shorter and you may find that you're having a hard time getting a good night's sleep. Plus, diabetes can contribute to sleep problems. Apnea, or difficulty breathing, is fairly common in people with type 2.1 Neuropathy―damage to the nerves in your feet and legs―can cause pain. And there are those nighttime lows.

If you're not getting enough sleep, you may find you're having a harder time controlling your blood sugar levels.2 Fortunately, it's entirely possible to control these things and enjoy long, restful nights of sleep.

7 helpful tips to try:

  1. Chill out before bedtime. Exercise, chores, errands…try to have it all finished at least an hour before you go to bed.
  2. Go to bed at the same time every day, even on the weekends, if you can. Avoid napping late in the day.
  3. Don't eat a heavy meal right before bedtime, and skip the cocktails or caffeine.
  4. In fact, limit all fluids at least an hour before bedtime to avoid waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Go right before you go to bed, too.
  5. If you're stressed out, try relaxation techniques such as meditating or writing in a journal.
  6. Make your room comfortable―not too cold or hot―and make sure it's quiet and dark. If you use your bedroom as an office or for watching television, rethink this setup. Make your bedroom a place to rest, not get distracted.
  7. We know you love your pets, but they can interrupt your sleep. Try to keep them off the bed (or out of your room altogether if you have allergies). Diabetes alert dogs are excluded, of course.

What's more, it's a good habit to check your blood glucose an hour before bedtime, and experiment with bedtime snacks that can help keep your blood sugar normal overnight. If you're using an insulin pump, you can also stabilize your blood sugar by fine-tuning your basal rates.3

Still having trouble? Talk to your doctor to find out if there's something you can do to sleep better at night.

1Joslin Diabetes Center. Diabetes and sleep problems. Available at: http://www.joslin.org/info/sleep_problems_and_diabetes.html. Accessed October 17, 2016.

2WebMD. The sleep-diabetes connection. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/diabetes-lack-of-sleep#1. Accessed October 17, 2016.

3Diabetic Living. Sleep safe and sound: avoiding overnight low blood sugars. Available at: http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/print/31493?page=0%2C1. Accessed October 17, 2016.

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