Sleep Can Help Manage Your Diabetes

Sleep Can Help Manage Your Diabetes

Poor Sleep = High Blood Glucose Levels?

Often, people with diabetes blame what they ate or their inactivity as the culprit for an out-of-range blood glucose level. But there are other health behaviors that can affect blood glucose levels, and poor sleep habits is a common – and maybe unnoticed – one.

Not only do poor resting habits affect the circadian rhythm, which can lead to higher blood glucose levels, but they also increase low-level stress, increasing heart disease risk factors.

Dreaming of obtaining a good night’s rest and in target blood glucose? Let’s do some problem solving. If you find your blood glucose levels elevated in the morning after being in target range when you went to sleep the night before, start working on your sleeping habits and see if your blood glucose levels improve.

If you have trouble falling asleep, adopting a nightly routine before going to bed – taking a warm shower, reading a book or listening to relaxing music – may be helpful behaviors to wind down after a busy day. But what you eat can also help your sleeping patterns.

 A recent randomized crossover study on sleep and diet published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine revealed a higher intake of fiber was associated with a better night of sleep. Participants in the study consumed fixed meals provided by the study, and the meals that were higher in fiber and lower in saturated fat and sugar resulted in a more restful sleep (more time in the stage of deep, slow wave sleep).
Even better, the meals that improved shut eye would also work well for managing blood glucose.

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