Poor Sleep may be one Cause of Diabetes

Poor Sleep may be one Cause of Diabetes

When we think about the factors that allow diabetes to occur, chances are we first think about our weight, our diet and our lifestyle. These are the obvious causes we have all associated with the disease, but research shows that our sleep patterns may also play a role.

The link between sleep and diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that occurs mainly when our body is unable to break down blood sugar (glucose). This usually happens when our body is either unable to produce enough insulin or to become resistant to its effects. As a result, our cells will be deprived of glucose, our body’s main source of fuel, and we will feel tired faster and suffer from many unpleasant symptoms. In most cases, type 2 diabetes is linked to factors such as obesity, poor diet, age and genetic predisposition, but more recently, research suggests otherwise.

One possible factor that may contribute to the disease – sleep deprivation.

In 2007, researchers at the University of Chicago found that sleep deprivation in young adults reduced their ability to regulate blood sugar levels in just three consecutive nights of less sleep carrying the same increased risk of gaining 20 pounds. -30 kilos! Boston Medical University investigated a similar situation, finding that people who slept less than 6 hours / day were more prone to complications of diabetes than those who slept 8 or more hours.

Why is this happening ? How can sleep deprivation affect our insulin levels ?

There are two main ways in which sleep can affect the chances of developing diabetes. The first is the lack of sleep that makes us eat. Basically, poor sleep can increase levels of gherkin, a hormone that stimulates hunger, while reducing the natural appetite suppressant. The result is that we wake up with a craving for sweets, carbohydrates, heavy foods, resulting in consuming more food during the day. In fact, it is estimated that those who do not get enough sleep can consume up to 300 extra calories a day and all of these extra foods affect your blood sugar levels and therefore weight gain, increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Sleep deprivation also causes the release of less insulin after eating, which means that your blood sugar is not metabolized efficiently, not to mention that our body will release more cortisol, the stress hormone, which will continue to negatively affect the patterns of our sleep. Who is most at risk? If we do not get proper sleep and try to monitor our blood sugar levels, we may feel that we are stuck in a vicious circle, where disturbed sleep causes high blood sugar.

However, some people are more at risk of being exposed to this cycle than others for various and surprising reasons.

Postmenopausal women: According to recent research, postmenopausal women are considered to be at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, especially if they suffer from hot flashes and night sweats. In fact, night sweats were associated with a 20% increased risk of developing diabetes! This is probably due to the fact that night sweats are known to disrupt the normal course of sleep, as well as to increase sensitivity to insomnia.

Patients with apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects around 1.5 million people in the United Kingdom and is characterized by upper airway obstruction. This is responsible for waking up many times during the night and causing symptoms such as loud snoring.

Anxiety: As mentioned earlier, sleep deprivation can cause the body to release more cortisol, which in turn can affect issues such as night sweats, hot flushes and eating disorders. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, pushing it into a mode of struggle, where the body assumes that its life is threatened. As a result, the nervous system will keep us in a state of insomnia and alertness, making it not only difficult to achieve sleep, but also to achieve deep sleep (NREM).

Poor diet: Following bad eating habits is probably the leading cause of diabetes, but it can also affect other factors such as sleep deprivation, stress and hot flashes. Consuming excessive amounts of sugary foods and caffeinated beverages and beverages will affect sleep habits, fuelling the vicious cycle of sleep and overeating. not to mention that these foods can also help increase stress.

How can we reduce the risk ?

The good news is that the effects of short periods of sleep deprivation can be reversed. In fact, insulin levels can improve after just two nights of complete sleep. However, sleep deprivation can be a difficult issue to deal with.

Let’s look at some steps we can take to avoid this

1 – Practice good sleep hygiene Sleep hygiene and the routine we follow before going to bed can have a huge impact on the way and quality of sleep. It is important to create a comfortable environment to sleep and to avoid distractions – not to allow ourselves to transfer our work to our bedroom and try to reduce the use of devices such as cell phones, smartphones and tablets before bedtime. Make sure your bedroom is not too hot and that the mattress does not cause discomfort. If you continue to have trouble sleeping, it may be worth trying the mild sleep-promoting formulation, with valerian and hops and ideally taken about 30 minutes – 1 hour before bedtime. It can help to achieve deep and natural sleep.

2 – Eat food to improve sleep. It is no secret that diet affects the chances of developing diabetes as well as sleep patterns, so diet is a high priority. Let’s start by reducing our consumption of white granulated sugar and processed carbohydrates by focusing our attention on foods that increase sleep. It is also important to think about what we eat before bed – the wrong snacks can make a big difference. It is also vital to keep our bodies hydrated. When our blood sugar levels are high, the kidneys are strained more to try to remove any excess from the body, which can cause dehydration. Instead of a cup of coffee, it might be better to drink a bottle of water when we feel tired.

3 – Fight hot flashes. Postmenopausal and menopausal hot flashes are a major cause of sleep deprivation, so it is important to try to address the issue immediately. Start by trying to identify foods that could cause your hot flashes – spicy foods, salty foods and caffeinated beverages and soft drinks are some of the common suspects. Again, it is important to stay hydrated – if you sweat, you will lose fluids that can lead to dehydration. It is also worth trying the natural treatment of hot flashes and night sweats, such as sage tablets, which are traditionally used to combat menopausal sweating and hot flashes. If you are After menopause, there are many factors that could cause sweating, so it may be worth talking to your treating physician to find the underlying cause.

4 – Maintain your physical energy Maintaining your good physical condition is an amazing way to deal with so many problems, such as stress, sleep deprivation and night sweats. Many studies have shown that aerobic exercise allows us to reduce stress and depression, which can lead to increased mood. It is also believed that even lower-level physical exercise could help improve body temperature control.

5 – Defeat stress The concept of stress is mentioned at almost every point on the list above, however, its impact on mental and physical well-being should not be underestimated. Whether it is work, family or other commitments, most of us we do not devote an hour to ourselves, which is the real problem as we need time to breathe and relax. Let’s try to dedicate a part of the day to focus on ourselves and avoid toxic habits that fuel negative emotions, such as bad eating habits, isolating ourselves from the rest of the world. Mild forms of exercise such as yoga and tai chi teach breathing techniques that help us relax in times of tension or stress. But the best and most basic thing we can really do is be kind to ourselves, love him and take care of him. Herbal remedies with passionflower or oats can also be helpful in treating anxiety and insomnia.