Diabetes and Insomnia
How Sleeplessness Affects Diabetes
Researchers from the University of Chicago are carrying out studies which seem to point to a fresh risk factor for diabetes: sleeping disorders. Researchers tested out their theory on a group of healthy young adults using a controlled sleep laboratory.
For three consecutive nights, volunteers for the study were prevented from attaining a good night’s sleep. Later on, it was found that the volunteers were not processing insulin nearly as well as before the study began. This decrease in the body’s efficiency to process sugar was compared to the effects of an individual putting on 20 to 30 pounds. The study thus appears to confirm the findings of previous research that not getting proper sleep puts an individual at an increased risk of both obesity and diabetes.
This newest study reiterates the necessity of getting a sound sleep as a way to keep the body functioning well. Although scientists say that further research into this is needed, it appears that sleep disorders could be as serious a health risk as poor diet or even obesity.
How Diabetes Affects Sleep
Sleep disturbances are very common among those with diabetes. When compared with non-diabetics, individuals suffering from diabetes report higher rates of insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, and unpleasant sensations in the legs that disturb sleep. Therefore, it is not surprising that up to 71% of this population complain of poor sleep quality and high rates of hypnotic use.
In type 1 diabetes, rapid changes in glucose levels during sleep have been postulated to cause awakenings. For individuals with type 2 diabetes, sleep disturbances may be related to obesity or obesity-associated sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.