Managing Diabetes: 3 Bedtime Sleep Routines for People Living With Diabetes by 30Seconds Health
Whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, managing the condition can be challenging. From regularly checking your blood glucose levels to taking medication on time and exercising, managing diabetes can become time consuming.
You must be mindful of the condition from the start of your day until bedtime. But before you set your alarm for the morning, there are some bedtime sleep routines you can follow for better control over diabetes.
Here are three before-bed sleep routines for people with diabetes:
1. Prepare Your Bedroom
About 50 percent of people with diabetes have trouble falling asleep due to frequent thirst, urination, nerve pain and uncontrolled hunger. You can always work with your doctor to keep these things under control, but forming a bedtime routine may help you relax your body and mind for restorative sleep.
- Forming a bedtime routine such as taking a warm bath or reading a book before bed may help you fall asleep.
- Lowering ambient light, minimizing screen usage and staying away from blue lights may also help with restorative sleep. Blue light from electronic devices stimulates the brain, and may keep you awake for longer.
- If you have difficulty falling asleep, you can take measures to help, such as preparing your bedroom for sleep. It may increase your ability to fall asleep when you get comfortable in bed. It's recommended to set the thermostat between 60 degrees F (15.6 degrees C) to 67 degrees F (19.4 degrees C) for optimal temperature for restorative sleep.
- Another idea is to dim the lights and close the curtains, so you don't wake up as soon as the sun rises.
- If you're sensitive to noise, put your smartphone on silent or sleep mode.
- Unplug all devices that make sounds and prepare your room for a quiet night of restorative sleep.
- People with diabetes can also consult their doctor about taking sleep vitamins. These include melatonin, which may help you get more restorative sleep.
2. Bedtime Snacks
Not everyone with diabetes takes prescribed bedtime snacks because they can spike blood glucose levels. But sometimes, people with diabetes experience uncontrolled hunger, which keeps them awake. Therefore, eating bedtime snacks and getting adequate nutrition may help prevent low glucose levels at bedtime. You should consult your physician or dietitian about nighttime snacks.
Make sure to pick light snacks so they do not mess up your digestion and sleep. Go for something nutritious. You can also create a list of healthy snacks so you don't eat something out of temptation. Whole-grain cereal, whole grain crackers, avocados, low-sugar yogurt, peanut butter sandwiches and low-fat cheese may be good nighttime snacks for people with diabetes.
Many people with diabetes experience the dawn phenomenon. One reputable source found that the dawn phenomenon is a spike in blood glucose levels between 2 a.m. to 9 a.m. This spike in glucose levels is due to increased insulin resistance, hormone release or medicines. To help combat this dawn phenomenon, you can eat high-fiber and low-fat snacks before bedtime. (Always consult your doctor.) Such foods may manage your blood glucose levels by keeping them steady. They may also prevent the liver from releasing excess glucose into your bloodstream.
Make sure to eat a small portion of snacks. Do not exceed your regular calorie intake as it may lead to weight gain. Also, you should monitor your blood glucose level in the morning to know which snack suits you best. This bedtime routine may save you from uncontrolled hunger and extremely low blood glucose levels.
3. Check Your Feet for Sensitivity
Prolonged diabetes may cause nerve damage, which can result in a loss of sensitivity in your feet. If you lose sensitivity in the feet, you may see of blisters or infections of the feet. Sometimes infections can become severe.
Spikes in blood sugar levels and poor blood circulation may make it difficult for the body to combat infections. Therefore, people with diabetes are at a higher risk of severe infections that can result in amputation. However, timely treatment and care may prevent infections and lower disease risk. Check your feet for sensitivity before going to bed. Look for sores, ulcers, infections and blisters.
People with diabetes may benefit from washing their feet with antibacterial soap before bed. Dry your feet thoroughly and moisturize them to avoid skin cracks. Elevated blood sugar levels and poor circulation can make skin flaky. Therefore, it's important to use sufficient moisture between the toes to prevent infection in flaky skin.
Living With Diabetes
You can manage diabetes by minimizing the rise in blood glucose levels before bedtime. After dinner, blood sugar levels spike. Insulin resistance may make it difficult for your body to respond to high blood glucose levels. To prevent problems, you may need to make small lifestyle changes, such as going for a walk before bed or following a nighttime routine that includes yoga. Also, consider a light snack before bedtime and limit caffeine intake to avoid excessive hunger, thirst and frequent urination when you go to sleep.
Note: The content on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on 30Seconds.com do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.