Lack of sleep causes diabetes? Know how to improve your sleep patterns

Sleeping for 7-9 hours in a 24-hour period is not a sign of laziness. You should never feel guilty for taking a proper rest of up to 8 hours. Sleeping should be as important as eating, working or breathing for you. Did you know lack of sleep could increase risk of diabetes?

Well, sleep deprivation has always been associated with lack of concentration, mood swings and various health problems. But a recent study published in PubMed Central claims that having an insufficient amount of sleep can increase your risk of diabetes. According to the study, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that insufficient sleep duration and/or sleep restriction in the laboratory, poor sleep quality, and sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea have all been associated with diabetes risk.

Lack of sleep and diabetes
It is possible that you are yawning your way to diabetes. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Sleeping for 6 hours or less is not recommended for the healthy functioning of your body. Health Shots reached out to Neha Verma, Department Head of Psychology and Well-being, Fitterfly, says sleep problems are common among diabetics. “I have in my clinical practice, seen that around 80 percent of the diabetic population faces major sleep issues ranging from insomnia to sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome etc. Sleep is disturbed because of various symptoms related concerns of diabetes, like frequent visits to the washroom at night for urination,” says Verma.

Sleep deprivation can lead to metabolic changes in the body which as a result can increase your glucose levels and increase your risk of diabetes. According to the expert, “Taking care of your sleep becomes even more important because your sugars are already high and if you are deprived of sleep further, it will increase the sugar levels more. No medication will help unless you work on your sleep.”

lack of sleep and deprivation
Less than 6 hours of sleep can increase your glucose levels. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Mentally, you get tired, but physically, you don’t feel tired enough to get good sleep. This further affects your glucose levels and increases your chances of developing diabetes. So, it is a vicious cycle. And if one has to step out of this vicious cycle, it is very important to take care of your sleep. 

Here are some ways to improve your sleep patterns and reduce the risk of diabetes:

  1. Fix your sleep time

You need to fix your sleeping times. You will have to fix a time when you go to bed and a time when you wake up. “Even if you don’t get sleep, you are supposed to go to bed by that time and fix up a time when you have to wake up whether or not you want to sleep more. So likewise, if you start fixing this time, then your mind starts getting conditioned and your body clock functions accordingly,” suggests Verma. 

  1. Make your sleep environment comfortable

Be as comfortable as you can be while sleeping. That can be achieved by choosing comfortable bedding and pillows, keeping the room temperature moderate, lighting a small candle or an incense or a tea light in the room. 

lack of sleep and diabetes
Make sure you sleep comfortably! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
  1. Decrease your coffee or tea consumption

Reducing your caffeine intake, whether it is through coffee or tea, during the day and before going to bed can go a long way in enhancing your sleep quality. 

  1. Reduce stress

Going through some kind of personal or work related stress can be a huge reason for sleepless nights. “Approaching a mental health professional can really help you understand how you can declutter your mind, how you can make it stress free before sleep so that when you go to bed, your mind knows that it has to switch off itself from all the tensions and worries of life and just sleep,” says Verma.

  1. Reduce your screen time

Excessive use of gadgets and digital time are also causing major disruptions in the sleep patterns. We understand that it is not possible to go on a digital detox in this age and time but try to minimize it by replacing that time with some real-time activities.

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