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Diabetes and Insomia Relationship

Having insomnia may be more than just restless nights and exhaustion the day after. It can be the tell-tale signs of impending diabetes.

The relationship of health and good sleep has been taken for granted for much too long. Children are always told to sleep or they will not grow. This is not an empty means of coercing kids to crawl into bed in the middle of the day. It does have some truth.

As we get older, the effects of good sleep remain as crucial for overall repair, maintenance, and health of our bodies. Adults require an average of six to eight hours of sleep per day. How do you know if you’ve slept enough? You should wake up rested and maintain energy for most of the day. But if you do feel a dip in energy level after lunch, don’t worry, its normal. A 15-minute “power nap” should take care of that.

Poor sleep has many causes. But the most common complaint is insomnia. This is usually described as difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently in the middle of the night, waking up too early, or feeling that sleep was not restful. This should have occurred in the presence of enough time to actually try to sleep. So you must have had at least eight hours to try to get good sleep but was unable to. Insomnia results in problems with daytime functioning. This happens to everyone. But if you experience this at least three days a week for at least one month, then it becomes a real concern.

Although we all have difficulties sleeping on occasion, there are individuals who have a tendency to carry this through to become a true sleep disorder. Women and older adults, those with many medical illnesses particularly psychiatric problems, use of certain medicines and those with other sleep disorders are most prone to insomnia.

Sugar problems with lack of sleep
The relationship of health and sleep is an intricate web of effects of the sun on our internal clock, secretion of hormones at the level of the brain and organs, and balance of controls of the nervous system. Disruption within the web spreads effects to all other dependent systems. Usually, the body will go into “survival mode” and cause changes in the body’s control mechanisms. If we were in the caves trying to survive, these mechanisms may be beneficial. Unfortunately, these become maladaptive when within the context of modern living. Somewhere in this web is the system for controlling sugar metabolism, weight, hunger, and sleep. Therefore, diabetes and insomnia do occur together.

Diabetics are prone to insomnia for many reasons. Worry over the illness, multiple medications, odd sensations due to effects of diabetes on nerves, pain or discomfort and hormonal changes. The relationship of obesity and diabetes increases the risk for other sleep problems as well. This increases the chance of snoring and possibly sleep apnea. This is another sleep disorder wherein there is difficulty in breathing while asleep which causes disturbed sleep and fatigue during the day.

On the other hand, insomnia can also perpetuate poor sugar control. Studies have repeatedly shown that poor sleep makes one prone to many illnesses including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. One study found that people who consistently slept less than five hours a day had 300 percent greater chance of developing diabetes!

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