Most people require at least 7 hours sleep – do you regularly get 7 hours or more sleep? If not, you’re missing an opportunity to improve your health (and make diabetes management easier). Check this video for some tips on how you can improve your sleeping and, at the same time, your health.
If you’ve been watching my videos, you will know that I love bringing you “aha moments.” I recently listened to researchers present interesting new findings about sleep and the big “aha moment” was their recommendation that we need to expand our definition of health to include sleep! I’ve been preaching this forever and the research keeps rolling in- sleep is a big deal…… and with diabetes it’s not always so easy. But poor or inadequate sleep – especially less than 6 hours – is clearly associated with higher blood sugar, increased insulin resistance, higher blood pressure, a significantly increased risk for heart disease, and even a poor diet linked to disruption of hunger hormones…..research shows poor sleep results in 300 additional calories per day. A whopping 50% of people with type 2 diabetes have sleeping issues. It’s like poor sleep is perfectly designed to mess up everything about our diabetes management efforts.
But diabetes can seem perfectly designed to mess up our sleep patterns too, with blood sugar up’s and down’s, frequent urinary demands, and for some of us fantastic monitoring and insulin delivering devices pasted on our bodies and the need to respond to alarms and access our device controllers or food when we should be sleeping. So getting good sleep is a lifestyle priority, and like all diabetes management activities it’s the little things that matter.
Here’s my latest find….a new brand of stylish and innovative luxury sleepwear and loungewear for men and women designed by a person with type 1 diabetes, especially for people with diabetes, called MBK. Based on research from over 300 people with type 1, all features were designed to solve for the discomfort associated with sleeping or lounging with insulin pump and CGM’s. These are 100% breathable Pima cotton with an extra wide waist band and drawstring to comfortably support…..wait for it…..all my the diabetes “stuff” ! All of it fits securely in the multiple, generous internal and external pockets provided just for this purpose. For me that’s my phone, my insulin pump controller, some glucose tabs or hard candy, and sometimes dog treats. The placement of the pockets on the top distributes the weight. There are also strategic openings for insulin pump tubing and a feature that is never found…but will make a huge difference in your comfort and reducing your interruptions in sleep. Comfort is one of those little things that can make a big difference, and this seems like a great gift idea…Along with these helpful reminders:
- Work with your medical team to fine tune your medication overnight
- Be consistent with your sleep routine: Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Also set up a going to bed routine, like brushing your teeth before bed, taking a warm shower before bed and maybe not reading or watching something too stimulating of frightening
- Take a walk before bed, not a marathon run, but a walk or engage in yoga, especially yoga nidra.
- Keep your room cool and dark. I’ve been using an eye mask that has made a big difference. I didn’t realize I was so light sensitive.
- Make sure to check out the MBK sleepwear and these new innovations in sleepwear as well as, evaluate the quality of your mattress or consider a weighted blanket, and
- See a doctor if you have serious or persistent insomnia
Remember, preserving our long term health with simple and positive diabetes management behaviors pays off big time….now and for the rest of our lives. Getting quality adequate sleep must be one of the things we focus on. Sleep tight….see you next time.