How to sleep
If you're not getting enough sleep, you may find you're having a harder time controlling your blood sugar levels.1 Diabetes can contribute to sleep problems, including Apnea (difficulty breathing)2, Neuropathy (damage to the nerves in your feet and legs), and nighttime low blood sugar. Fortunately, it's entirely possible to control these things and enjoy long, restful nights of sleep.
How to sleep with diabetes
- Chill out before bedtime. Exercise, chores, errands…try to have it all finished at least an hour before you go to bed.
- Go to bed at the same time every day, even on the weekends, if you can. Avoid napping late in the day.
- Don't eat a heavy meal right before bedtime, and skip the cocktails or caffeine.
- 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.
- If you're stressed out, try relaxation techniques such as meditating or writing in a journal.
- 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.
- 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
Also, be sure to talk to your doctor to find out if there's something you can do to sleep better at night.
Try these tips for sleeping better, whether you have diabetes or not. Get a better night's sleep using a few simple methods outlined in this infographic.
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International Diabetes Foundation. About diabetes: prevention. Available at: http://www.idf.org/prevention. Accessed June 30, 2015.
1WebMD. The sleep-diabetes connection. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/diabetes-lack-of-sleep#1. Accessed October 17, 2016.
2Joslin Diabetes Center. Diabetes and sleep problems. Available at: http://www.joslin.org/info/sleep_problems_and_diabetes.html. 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.