Sleep and Diabetes Often Go Hand in Hand - Part 1

Sleep and Diabetes Often Go Hand in Hand - Part 1

Sleep and Diabetes Often Go Hand in Hand - Part 1
By Roger Guzman, M.D.

Sleep and diabetes have a connection. When the blood sugar level is out of control, more than likely sleep is problematic as well. For one thing, high blood sugar will make the kidneys try to do away with it by urinating and this of course will not make one sleep well. There is also proof that inadequate sleep increases the risk to develop type 2 diabetes.

The director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center, Mark Mahowald, MD, said that the evidence shows that lack of adequate sleep could lead to pre-diabetic state. The body's response to sleep deprivation can look like resistance to insulin which is a sign of diabetes.

Healthy living requires a good night sleep. It rejuvenates the mind and relaxes the body. Not only that, good sleep is essential to diabetes health. Most adults need around eight hours of sleep with individual needs fluctuating between five and ten hours. The trouble is that researches have reported on people sleeping less than seven hours.

The new research report on the number of hours most people sleep shows some form of sleep deprivation. This not only makes one lethargic and cranky, but it can lead to more stress, lower productivity and poor concentration. The body of course suffers if not refueled by the adequate amount of sleep.

Chronic sleep deprivation interferes with social and work performance. It also increases the amount of sleep one needs. If lack of adequate sleep keeps going on, a concept called sleep debt is created. Much like the money debt, the body will demand a payment of some sort or the body further suffers.

The benefits of sleep cannot be denied. For one thing while one sleeps, the body consolidates the day's events and learning into memory. This helps improve understanding and processing of skills. The information is organized and stored in the brain by the concentrated firing of the neurons while asleep.

There is also increase in the blood flow to the muscles thus bringing the necessary nutrients while getting rid of waste. This helps with tissue repair and growth. It also improves the mood because insufficient sleep makes one less energetic and productive, impatient, moody, grumpier and irritable.

Now let us find some more links between sleep and diabetes. Lack of sufficient sleep will affect the metabolism. It can lead to the body storing extra carbohydrates which can result in weight gain. Longer sleep deprivation can cause greater heart rate variability thus affecting the cardiovascular health. It can also result in lower body temperature and immune system function.

Adequate amount of sleep helps protect one from the sniffles and flu. Research has shown that inadequate sleep lowers the body response to flu vaccine. In a study, volunteers were given the flu vaccine and those who were rested got the full flu antibodies while those who did not have adequate sleep produced only less than half of the flu antibodies. While asleep, the body produces more cytokines which aid the immune system battle all sorts of infections.

Lack of adequate sleep increases resistance to insulin. This of course increases the risk to develop diabetes. In fact one study of young men who were healthy and slept only four hours a night for six consecutive nights showed their blood sugar and insulin levels similar to those who were getting diabetes.

Now we all have an idea as to this connection that can affect the way we manage this condition in a positive way. We will continue this discussion in Part 2 where in addition, we will see how much sleep really is enough. This part at least gives us the connection between sleep and diabetes.

Please visit these sites for more diabetes help:

Diabetes Management
http://www.free-symptoms-of-diabetes-alert.com

Brief Biography: Dr. Guzman worked for the Atlantic Health Corporation and was consultant to St. Joseph's Hospital, Sussex Mental Health Clinic, and St. Stephen Mental Health Clinic for many years. He was Director of Forensic Psychiatry at Centracare for ten years and published numerous articles in the Journal of the American College of Forensic Psychiatry and other medical magazines.

Copyright � August 27, 2010 Roger Guzman, M.D. (Sleep and Diabetes Often Go Hand in Hand- Part 1) All Rights Reserved. You may copy and publish this article as long as the text, the author's name, the active links and this notice remain the same.

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