How diabetes is affected by insomnia


diabetes insomnia How diabetes is affected by insomnia A guest post by Alia Haley.

The benefits of a good night’s sleep and conversely, the consequences of quality sleep deprivation generally are well-documented. The durations of adequate and inadequate sleeping may vary though, depending on age. However, that is not the subject of this article. Recent studies have increasingly been establishing a connection between quality sleep deprivation and Diabetes Type 2. In other words, quality sleep deprivation can cause Diabetes Type 2.

Does this mean that all I need to do to combat diabetes is get a good night’s sleep?

Yes and no.  Sleep deprivation has a direct correlation to blood sugar control.  But before you go running for that sleep aid  remember this solution is not always cookie cutter.

In the studies however which were conducted on a group of U.S. citizens, have offered concrete evidence and concluded that adequate sleep can help one prevent or contain Diabetes 2, among other health benefits.

How does quality sleep deprivation cause Diabetes Type 2?

The suspicion was always there. The number of Americans sleeping less than 7 hours a day doubled between 1959 and 2002. The incidence of Diabetes Type 2 increased at about the same time, so medical experts were always curious about any possible relation between the two events. An experiment, which was a week long, was conducted in 1999 on a group of young people who had been declared medically fit. The young people were asked to sleep in a lab for just four hours for six days in a row. After a week, the glucose metabolism of the people matched those of old people. So that is something to think about.

A study conducted in 2008 established that duration of sleeping hours does not impact Diabetes Type 2 as much as does deep and quality sleep. Sleeping, as an activity, has two stages — Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and non-REM. The latter has four more stages and slow-wave sleep is the deepest of these. The slow-wave sleep totally relaxes and soothes your body and your body reaches this stage after travelling through a number of sleep stages. So even if you sleep a certain number of hours but wake up before the slow-wave stage, the body metabolism changes and the risk of Diabetes Type 2 increases.

What about people who are already diagnosed with Diabetes?counting sheep How diabetes is affected by insomnia

It is simple, diabetic people with quality sleep deprivation aggravate the condition. In fact, diabetic people tend to suffer from a condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) which causes sleep deprivation. Obviously, diabetics face an uphill struggle in containing diabetes.

So is good sleep the key to a non-diabetic life?

It is important to realize that sleep (or the lack of it) is just one of the factors which influence Diabetes Type 2, but it is an important factor alright. We can safely conclude that someone with regular and quality sleep drastically reduces the probability of Diabetes.

Scientists and experts are yet to find the key to quality sleep. The answer lies deep and entangled somewhere among human genes, biological clock, Memory lapses causes,good sleeping habits, lifestyle and eating habits. With so many factors affecting human sleep, it is understandable that any conclusive finding is going to take some time.

Till then, we will have to make do with good diet, exercise, regular sleeping habits, nutritional health supplements and an overall healthy lifestyle

About the author: Alia Haley is a blogger and writer. These days she is busy with renovation of her home. Beside this she loves writing on topics like child development and parenting.

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  1. This explains so much… *doses off as he types*

  2. I don’t have insomnia, but I do have a circadian rhythm disorder and it affects so much more than sleep patterns, including my diabetes.

    Because my CRD is so rare, I had to make informational pamphlets (with the help of my sleep specialist) to give my other health care providers to help them understand why it is important for them to understand my CRD when treating me for other conditions.

    These are two of the scientific data concerning diabetes from my pamphlet that show why my CRD caused me to develop diabetes and why the lack of sleep I often get (I have to go without sleep if I want to go grocery shopping, go to class, etc. because my sleep happens at the wrong times) makes my diabetes worse:

    Lack of sleep causes healthy young people to test like older, diabetic people:

    Van Cauter, et. al. researched the effects of sleep deprivation by subjecting healthy young people (college freshmen) to a restricted regimen of four hours’ sleep per night for six nights. Among other effects, the team found that less than a week of sleep deprivation caused increased levels of cortisol, insulin resistance, and ghrelin and decreased levels of leptin.

    Spiegel K, Leproult R, Tasali E, Penev P, and Van Cauter E. (2004). “Sleep curtailment results in decreased leptin levels, elevated ghrelin levels and increased hunger and appetite.” Annals Int Med 141(11):846-50. and Spiegel K, Leproult R, L’Hermite-Balériaux M, Copinschi G, Penev P and Van Cauter E. (2004). “Impact of sleep duration on the 24-hour leptin profile: relationships with sympatho-vagal balance, cortisol and TSH.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab 89(11):5762-71.

    Mice with the “clock” cells removed from their pancreas (effectively what has happened to me through developing a CRD) develop diabetes:

    Mouse studies at Northwestern University have shown that mice develop diabetes when the molecular clock in the beta-cells of the pancreas is disabled. The pancreas clock operates on a 24-hour cycle and the mice who had their pancreas clocks disabled developed both insulin resistance and abnormally low levels of insulin.

    Biliana Marcheva, Kathryn Moynihan Ramsey, Ethan D. Buhr, Yumiko Kobayashi, Hong Su, Caroline H. Ko, Ganka Ivanova, Chiaki Omura, Shelley Mo, Martha H. Vitaterna, James P. Lopez, Louis H. Philipson, Christopher A. Bradfield, Seth D. Crosby, Lellean JeBailey, Xiaozhong Wang, Joseph S. Takahashi, Joseph Bass. (2010). “Disruption of the clock components CLOCK and BMAL1 leads to hypoinsulinaemia and diabetes.” Nature, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/nature09253

    There’s not much I can do about my CRD other than live around it. It’s incurable and intractable. (And rare enough that no one is even working on a cure.) An article about my Circadian Rhythm Disorder in the New England Journal of Medicine said “this rare syndrome is extremely debilitating in that it is incompatible with most social and professional obligations.” Extremely debilitating is about right! I get to choose between sitting around on disability at a sub-poverty level or frequently going as long as three days without sleep (which is what I’m currently choosing) to make it through university, followed by a lifetime of similarly (or worse) serious sleep deprivation to maintain employment.

    But my diabetes does not like it at all!

    I’m working on figuring a better way through life, but until I come up with a way to earn a living without punching a time clock, I’m stuck with one health condition that makes all my other health conditions that much worse.

  3. Thank you for your thoughtful present of having written this article. The message seems to be given to me specifically. Our son also had a lot to learn from this – though he was the individual that found your site first. Most of us can’t imagine a more superb present than a gift to encourage that you do more.

  4. Diabetes among older adults is of epidemic proportions and many just don’t properly manage their diabetes while others are just non-compliant with medication and diet.


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