3 Ways Sleep Problems Trigger Diabetes
You may already know that diabetes can increase your risk of acquiring more serious health problems such as stroke, heart disease, obesity, peripheral neuropathy, and eye complications. However, what you may not know is that having a bad night’s sleep because of sleep disorders can result in diabetes.
Sleep can affect your blood sugar levels. Your blood glucose control can also affect your sleep. Sleep and diabetes often go hand in hand, so it is important to understand what are the causes of sleep disorders that affect your diabetes.
Raises Blood Sugar Levels
Sleep apnea can trigger diabetes by raising your blood sugar levels. During a sleep apnea episode, when your body struggles for air, it releases stress hormones that can raise blood glucose levels. A study by the European Lung Foundation showed that people who have sleep apnea have higher levels of HbA1c or the level of plasma glucose concentration in the body. It increases the blood sugar levels and the risk of diabetic issues.
Sleep apnea increases your blood sugar level and risks of having diabetes. If you have high blood sugar levels, you have less long-lasting fat metabolism during the night and will give you lesser sleep.
Sleep apnea also reduces insulin which increases the risk of getting diabetes. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas to allow your body to use sugar from carbohydrates as energy. It also keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high or too low.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services revealed that insulin resistance could lead to a person developing pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) obstructs the airway in your body, making it more difficult to breathe properly during sleep. The lapse in breathing shortchanges the bloodstream of the oxygen that it needs to deliver to the rest of your body. When the blood runs low on oxygen, your body will experience hypoxia. Once the brain detects hypoxia, it will send chemical messages to your body to urge the diaphragm and the lungs to breathe.
Once OSA prevents your other organs to breathe, the brain will send a flood of stress hormones into the bloodstream to wake you up consciously and take a breath. Once you undergo multiple awakenings during the night, your insulin sensitivity will be impaired.
Increases Food Cravings
When you regularly lack sleep, it makes you feel more tired throughout the day, and you are more likely to eat comfort foods that can cause diabetes. Sleep deprivation can lead to impaired activity in the brain’s frontal lobe which manages the decision-making of your body. Whenever you are low on sleep, the deeper brain reward center of the brain will tell you to get more unhealthy foods which are savory, sweet, and with high calories.
If you lack sleep, the levels of leptin, the hormones responsible for signaling satiety, will drop. Lack of sleep can make it difficult for your body to sense that you are already full, causing you to consume more calories than what is needed. This can cause long-term health consequences in the form of type 2 diabetes.
Lack of sleep can make you crave for foods high in sugar, calories, and carbohydrates to satisfy yourself but can eventually result in diabetes.
If you are feeling the symptoms of sleep problems, go to an expert like a dentist to address your sleep problems immediately. Diabetes is worse when combined with sleep disorders. Seeking medical advice is the best step to avoid further complications.