Scientific evidence connecting sleep deprivation and increased blood sugar has researchers investigating how our sleep habits affect our glucose and insulin levels.
As humans, our blood sugar levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day and night. Every night—whether we are sleeping or not—our blood sugar levels increase as a part of the natural human circadian rhythm cycle. This change is not a cause for concern for most healthy people.
However, researchers have found that decreased amounts of sleep can increase insulin resistance, which can in turn increase blood sugar levels. As a result, a lack of sleep has been associated with Type 2 diabetes.
Scientists are just beginning to uncover the way sleep affects blood sugar and metabolic disease. So far, blood sugar and insulin increases, plus decreased insulin sensitivity have been linked to sleep deprivation because it causes:
- An increase in Cortisol
- Increases in growth hormone
- Oxidative stress and increased inflammation
- Increased C-reactive protein
- A rise in Inflammatory markers IL-6 and TNF-alpha
In addition to the amount of sleep a person gets, these factors have been found to influence blood sugar levels during sleep:
- A person’s age
- The time of day a person sleeps
- The stages of sleep a person experiences
- A person’s eating habits
Getting enough restorative sleep may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, while poor sleep and disrupted sleep patterns may contribute to unhealthy blood sugar levels. Ensuring good sleep hygiene, such as establishing a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine, can help improve both sleep quality and blood sugar control.
Relieving pain can also help you to get sleep. Check out our Conditions Web Page to find info about relieving hip, back, shoulder and other bodily pains.
More info on getting better sleep: The 20 Ultimate Tips for How to Sleep Better | Sleep Foundation