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Sleep and Blood Sugar: Can Sleeping Improve Blood Sugar?

Sep 27, 2023Sleeping0 comments

Sleep is the center of our well-being. I’ve already covered how sleep can help you lose weight. It’s also key to keeping your mental health in proper shape. Now, sleep and blood sugar could be another promising area.

According to experts, sleep could influence diabetes management. So, there’s another reason to improve your sleep. That’s because sleep affects many areas: eating habits, insulin sensitivity, and more.

So, what’s going on here?

How sleep and blood sugar relate on the surface

According to the CDC, proper sleep is vital to prevent several conditions. Among them, we have heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. That’s because sleep impacts many management areas. You might eat more or worse, for instance.

Overall, you need between 6 and 8 hours of sleep every night. If you don’t reach that, numerous issues might arise. And, most of them relate to blood sugar and its complications:

  • Increased insulin resistance.
  • Hunger, cravings, and higher chances of eating junk food.
  • Losing weight becomes more difficult and slower.

As you can see, sleep and blood glucose relate on a surface level. Sleep might not shift your blood sugar directly. Though, many of its complications can feed into diabetes.

That said, sleep does a bit more than that.

Poor sleep and blood sugar complications linked together

As mentioned, poor sleep can worsen your blood sugar levels. And, plenty of research supports that statement. One study found that African Americans with poor sleep showed higher glucose levels. Experts have found the same in Europeans and Asians.

The study went through 800 participants under sleep apnea testing. The metrics included sleep length and waking up frequency. Participants with sleep apnea and pattern disruption had increased blood sugar. That escalated to a 14% increase if severe sleep apnea was present.

Does sleep change your blood sugar levels?

The link between sleep and blood sugar is complicated.

As the Sleep Foundation explains, sleep can cause blood sugar shifts. Curiously, sleep can cause increases and decreases. That’s because our circadian rhythm raises blood sugar at night. That said, these natural elevations aren’t dangerous.

On the other hand, sleep can cause blood sugar to decrease if it’s too high. That’s because proper sleep improves insulin sensitivity. As such, lack of sleep can worsen insulin resistance. That’s also true for partial deprivation, or sleep deprivation for a night.

Experts have pointed out several reasons behind this relationship. Some of them include the following:

  • Increasing cortisol, which increases glucose.
  • Reducing insulin sensitivity.
  • Increasing growth hormone, which is accompanied by glucose increases.
  • Causing oxidative stress, which impacts glucose.

How to improve sleep and blood sugar in check

So, what can you do to improve sleep and blood glucose? Luckily, WebMD has plenty of advice to that end.

The first step is to improve your sleep. So, prioritize maintaining a regular sleep schedule. That’s true for your weekends and holidays. Adding a bit of physical activity can help out a lot.

Then, we have blood sugar. Once you’re sleeping properly, you can do a few more things. For instance, don’t eat too late and work out more. Similarly, seek proper treatment if you’re at risk of diabetes.

The holistic takeaway

sleep and blood sugar - baby yawing

The relationship between sleep and blood sugar is fairly straightforward. Essentially, sleeping is good for you. Poor sleep correlates with high blood sugar. Thus, make sure you’re getting your seven hours of sleep.

If you need a bit more help with that, I have a tip. Glucotrust tackles most areas of blood sugar management. And, that includes helping you sleep better. Make sure you check it out!


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