How to Effectively Deal with Diabetes Associated Sleep Disorders

Man and Woman sleeping peacefully

Whether you have diabetes, are wondering if you do or if you're trying to avoid it, you should know that diabetes and sleep problems go hand in hand. The reasons for this vary. For type 1 diabetes sufferers, rapidly changing glucose levels during sleep cause an interruption in the sleep cycle. Type 2 diabetes sufferers generally have interrupted sleep due to obesity and sleep disorders associated with obesity, such as sleep apnea. Other sleep issues associated with diabetes include restless leg syndrome, depression, insomnia, peripheral neuropathy and high/low blood glucose levels.

Here is a more detailed look at a few of those sleep disorders and tips to deal with them. These tips will help you either avoid diabetes (by getting the appropriate rest your body needs to function properly) or keep it better under control if you’ve already been diagnosed.


Women Annoyed that she can't sleep

Insomnia can be classified in different ways: difficulty in going to sleep, difficulty staying asleep, or waking up around dawn but then having the inability to sleep later that night. Aside from insomnia being downright annoying it can be difficult to deal with the common effects it brings about – like general grogginess, feeling cranky and having trouble concentrating during the day.

Insomnia tips to help you fall asleep:

Sleep Apnea Man sleeping with a CPAP machine

Sleep Apnea can be a contributing factor or a symptom of diabetes as well. It occurs when breathing stops during sleep and is one of the most common sleep disturbances people suffer from. Some symptoms are snoring, waking up numerous times throughout the night and feeling irritable and tired during the day. If you think you might have sleep apnea, see your doctor immediately. Some risk factors for sleep apnea are obesity, smoking, nasal or sinus problems.

Some treatments to help with sleep apnea are:

Restless Leg Syndrome

Women Grabbing her restless legs

Restless Leg Syndrome is an uncomfortable feeling in the legs (or even the arms) such as an ache or twitching. These feelings usually go away with movement, therefore the afflicted are continually moving around and unable to sleep.

To ease the discomfort of restless leg syndrome try the following:

"Wow, wow, wow! I just had the best sleep ever! Your sleep PJ's are the best thing that have been invented. Thank you, thank you! It can take me two hours at night to get to sleep — really it can! I had just received the SleepPhones in the mail and I wanted to try them. I put them on and you don't even know you have anything on your head! So very comfortable - soft, very soft." - Marjory K.

According to, "As many as 70 million Americans may be affected by chronic sleep loss or sleep disorders." If you are one of them, see your doctor, practice good sleep hygiene and get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night to help you stave off or deal with diabetes.

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