Diabetes and sleep

continued over


too hot. If you get cold, put on a pair of

socks or another layer. You should try to

eradicate noise (including snoring - see

sidebar) so keep some earplugs handy if

night-time noises in your neighbourhood

collude to keep you awake (or wake you

up). Some people can sleep in almost

any circumstances, others are like the

princess and the pea - little things can

impede sleep, such as birdsong at dawn

along with the light from daybreak. If

you've ever picked up the eye mask

given away on airplanes on a long flight,

now's the time to employ it in domestic


Decisions and dilemmas

The clear winner in terms of causing

sleep loss is old-fashioned stress. Money

worries, feuds with our families or a bad

run-in with your boss can tip us over the

edge in terms of getting any sleep. Our

minds are full of anxiety, worry or even

anger and it keeps us awake. We all have

to find our own ways to navigate those

nights - it's whatever works for you.

Some people get up and walk around,

others read. What you should not do is

lie in bed watching the minutes tick by.

Hide bedside clocks and radio alarms

(especially those with bright digital

displays) under something. Try not to

count the hours until you have to get up

either. Counting sheep is not as daft as it

sounds - by focussing on a simple task

you can try to divert you mind from mulling

things over and keeping you awake.

Food and drink

Eating late (close to your bedtime) is said

to delay the onset of sleep as the body

is busy digesting your dinner. But the

common consensus at the moment is that

eating carbs such as pasta in the evening

can release serotonin, which helps ease

you into sleep. Ideally, avoid caffeine later

in the day (some say after noon), which

includes checking for caffeine in your tea

or hot chocolate.

Bad behaviours

A heap of things can contribute to poor

sleep patterns. Burning the candle at both

ends is one way of putting it - taking too

much on, staying up to late on a whim.

Exercise at any point in the day will help to

leave the body feeling usefully tired, while

booze and drugs (including nicotine from

smoking) are stimulants that could keep

you awake (or wake you in the night).

Gizmos and gadgets

Despite the rise and rise of sales of smart

phones, tablets and ebook readers,

there's evidence building that the light

given off by these devices acts as a

stimulant, which is not what you want

before you try to go to sleep, and TVs in

bedrooms tend to have the same effect if

you're watching shows into the night.

Diabetic difficulties

Good diabetes control can still include

the occasional hypo, and these can be

at night. You're not awake to start feeling

the onset of symptoms, so if you do

wake with a hypo then you're likely to be

quite far gone and in a state of confusion

due to waking up and having the hypo.

Keeping a blood test meter nearby can

be helpful in case you need proof you're

having a hypo (it's certainly good to record

them in case you can build up a pattern

that will help you adjust your medication

to avoid recurrences. You should also

keep a sugar supply in a bedside drawer

or similar so you don't have to fumble

around to treat it.


  1. Desang diabetes magazine diabetes information
  2. Bayer Contour Link USB blood test meter for Medtronic insulin pump
  3. Desang diabetes magazine diabetes information
  4. Page 0004
  5. Abbott FreeStyle Libre System
  6. Sitting is the new enemy
  7. Needle sharps Needlebay
  8. Diabetes food news
  9. Accu-Chek Mobile blood glucose system
  10. Diabetes and Sleep
  11. Diabetes and sleep
  12. night time hypos
  13. Simple sleep solutions for diabetes
  14. Carbohydrate value of olives and olive oil
  15. Carb content of olives
  16. Counting carbohydrates
  17. Accu-Chek Combo insulin pump
  18. Desang diabetes kitbags

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