Diabetes and Sleep: What You Need to Know

Listen to Episode 31 of The Diabetic Toolbox Podcast: Diabetes and Sleep: What You Need to Know

You probably know that watching what you eat is important for managing diabetes. Still, you may need to realize how your sleep can also significantly impact your ability to manage the disease.  Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control found that one in three adults in the U.S. does not get enough sleep, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. 

     Not getting enough rest will make it difficult for you to manage your diabetes; it will affect what you eat, how you eat, and how your body responds to insulin.  If you are living with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, ask yourself whether you prioritize sleep.  Learning more about the connection between diabetes and rest can help protect your health.

     The Sleep Foundation advises that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.   Sleep deprivation can cause hormonal changes.  When you are short on rest, your body will seek to compensate for the lack of energy by craving foods that are high in fat, sugar, and calories; while you may get a spike in your energy level for a little while, eating this way could backfire as it could cause your blood sugar to rise. In addition, when too much sugar is in your blood, your kidneys must work harder, which means you will be making frequent trips to the bathroom, causing further sleep disruption.

     To help improve your sleep, try cutting back on caffeine after 2 p.m. For years my 3 p.m. pick-me-up was a large, iced coffee with cream and sugar, so I feel your pain.  But the caffeine in coffee, colas, chocolate, and some medications can interfere with your ability to fall asleep.  Sleep to a regular sleep schedule even on the weekends; too often, we try to make up for sleep by sleeping in on Saturday, but that might interfere with your body’s natural rhythm and make a good night’s sleep harder.  Make a ritual out of going to bed, taking a warm shower or bath, putting on your favorite PJs if you sleep in PJs, and turning off all electronics, the hardest thing I had to do was take my television out of my room, but now I can say I don’t miss it.  Turn off your phone or silence it if you use it for an alarm.  These little tricks will signal your body  and mind that it is time to rest.

     Treat conditions like sleep apnea, RLS, or restless leg syndrome.  Sleep apnea causes pauses in your breathing while you are asleep; it is often associated with diabetes and obesity. A Continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP mask can aid in opening the airways and providing relief.  RLS is a nervous system disorder that causes an overpowering urge to move your legs; doctors consider it a sleep disorder because the cravings usually occur when you are resting.  Try to remedy the condition with massage, exercise, and hot baths; your doctor may prescribe medication to help you manage RLS if symptoms persist.

Sleep is restorative and one of the most underrated and natural tool to heal our bodies and manage our weight.  Unfortunately, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 34 million Americans are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, 86 million folks over the age of 20 are prediabetic, and worldwide the World Health Organization estimates that 422 million are living with diabetes.    Learning to regulate your sleep can help you control your blood sugar better; if sleep issues persist, please get in touch with your doctor for assistance.  Getting the proper amount of sleep can help you manage the symptoms of diabetes and your overall health to lead the productive and active life you were meant to live.

With Peace & Love,



Ready to get moving? Download the Diabetes Walking Kit and Lose Eight pounds in 30 days. The walking kit is designed to help you naturally lose your first on next eight pounds, lower your blood sugar, and increase your mobility. It includes an easy-to-follow walking calendar, my 14-day clean eating program; plus, I am offering a free 60-minute session with me to help you get started.  Total value $125.   Click this link: https://buff.ly/31HlCrH.

Looking for an inspirational gift for yourself or someone you love?  visit The Diabetic Toolbox Store and get 20% off your entire purchase.  Your purchases help us continue podcasting and provide free virtual and in-person yoga and diabetes prevention classes. Thank you. Click this link to shop https://buff.ly/31HlCrH.

Published by Renee Reid

Welcome to the Diabetic Toolbox, where we are helping midlife folks win the battle against prediabetes. If you are prediabetic or have a family history of type 2 Diabetes you will find tools and tips to help you to lose weight naturally, heal your mindset, and strengthen your body through yoga and walking. So, if you are ready to heal connect and grow, you are in the right place. Join the Movement! Hosted by award-winning podcaster, certified health coach, and yoga teacher Renee Reid.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: