Tossing and turning, a restless mind, frequent bathroom breaks. Everyone knows a poor night’s sleep is no fun. For people with diabetes, these rough nights may happen more frequently than they should. Here are six tips to try the next time you’re struggling to get some much-needed shut-eye.
1. Eat a snack.
Not only can nighttime lows cause sleeplessness, but blood sugar levels that drop too far can be dangerous. Try checking your glucose before you hit the hay. If your blood sugar levels are low, a small bedtime snack
may help you fall asleep and stay asleep longer. To avoid nighttime lows, try foods that are low in fat and contain between 15 and 30 grams of carbohydrate. A piece of toast, an apple, or a cup serving of cereal and milk are all nutritious and satisfying options.
2. Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Tummy sleepers beware: Spending the night face-down
can put unnecessary pressure on your spine and joints. Sleeping on your stomach can also make it more difficult to breathe throughout the night. For optimal circulation and cushion for your body, WebMD
recommends rolling over to your side or back. NOTE: Waking up frequently due to shortness of breath is a sign of a serious, but treatable, condition called sleep apnea. If you feel tired frequently or have difficulty sleeping most nights, it’s important to talk to your doctor about your concerns.
3. Go before bed.
If you have high blood glucose, trips to the bathroom may come more frequently
than you’d like. This is because your kidneys are working on overdrive to push the extra sugar out of your body. To avoid those annoying 3 a.m. restroom runs, use the bathroom right before you go to bed.
4. Get your 8 hours.
Do you need an alarm clock to wake up in the morning? If so, that means you’re sleep deprived. According to WebMD
, more than 40 percent of the world’s population isn’t getting enough shut-eye. Sleep deprivation can cause tiredness, irritability, and low productivity. However, there are a few more serious consequences, too. Not getting enough sleep can lead to impaired glucose tolerance and the overproduction of ghrelin
, a hormone that can stimulate your appetite and cause unhealthy food cravings. To keep your body in top condition, the National Sleep Foundation
recommends adults get at least 7-8 hours each night.
5. Sweat it out.
Not only can a good workout help control your blood sugar levels, but it can also lead to a better night’s sleep
. Just 30 minutes, five days a week can get your heart pumping and muscles moving enough for you to feel tired at the end of the day. Regular exercise is also great for reducing stress levels–no more restless minds or internal to-do lists made at midnight! For a heart-pumpin’ workout, try one of these six exercises. You don’t even need a gym!
6. Begin a bedtime routine.
It can be nearly impossible for your body to relax after a thrilling movie or an exciting night out with friends. Instead of crawling into bed right after a long day, take some time to settle down. Dim the lights, put on soft music, read a book, or even take a warm shower. A routine “quiet time” before bed will let your body know it’s time to slow down and relax.
What helps you fall asleep when the going gets tough? Tell us in the comments below!
Photo courtesy of Bart van Leeuwen