Diabetes and sleep problems have been known to go hand in hand, because if a persons’ blood sugar levels are high then the kidneys are working overtime, which will result in getting up more frequently during the night to urinate. On the other hand, a person that is tired during the day (due to poor quality of sleep), may reach for a sugary snack that will not only provide a boost of energy, but also raise their blood glucose levels.
Insomnia and other sleep disorders/disturbances are linked to obesity, and excess weight is a direct link to metabolic syndrome (a pre-medical condition to Type 2 diabetes). In some past medical studies, individuals who get less sleep than their body requires tend to weigh more than individuals who get quality sleep.
Documented research has confirmed that sleep deprivation disrupts the delicate balance of sugar levels in the blood. Most recently researchers have found that when deprived of sleep, the cell function in the pancreas (a vital organ that plays an important part in regulating blood sugar levels) of mice was significantly altered.
In addition, older mice that are deprived of sleep, are unable to effectively defend the added stress to their cells.
These studies have a strong argument that states that sleep deprivation alters the cell function and disrupts blood sugar levels, which may raise the risk of getting diabetes. As stated, when in combination with age – it is more difficult to manage these metabolic/cellular changes.
Let’s sum up the facts:
- Sleep deprivation leads to weight gain, and obesity is a leading cause of Type 2 diabetes.
- The natural aging process may also affect a person’s quality of sleep, which can cause diabetic symptoms.
- Lack of sufficient sleep affects the body’s ability to properly control blood glucose levels.
- Imbalanced sleep patterns can not only increase the risk of diabetes, but it can also aggravate the current situation.
- Too little sleep decreases the natural production of insulin.
Diabetes is a disease that happens when a person’s body does not produce adequate insulin, or when the body doesn’t properly use insulin. Blood sugar levels rise when insulin is not functioning properly, and this elevated blood sugar can cause damage to nerves, eyes, heart and kidneys.
Studies are continuing in New York City (Columbia University) and Chicago, but the evidence is clear, that diabetic risk increases, due to lack of sleep, and if sleep disorders are properly treated then diabetic control may be improved.