The proper amount of rest is the key to regulating blood sugar. Too little sleep increases your chance of having diabetes. Sleep habits can affect how well your cells respond to insulin.
What happens when you fall asleep?
- SECRETION OF GLUCAGON- When you fall asleep, it is the body's natural mechanism to elevate a hormone called glucagon that increases blood sugar levels as desired by the pancreas.
- DECREASE IN INSULIN LEVEL- In response, insulin, also a hormone produced by the pancreatic cells, decreases. Reduced insulin results in lower suppression of blood glucose.
- INCREASE IN GLUCOSE LEVEL- Glucagon also signals the liver to break down excessive sugar that is stored as an emergency reserve in it. This further increases glucose in the blood circulation.
- DAWN PHENOMENON- Counter-regulatory hormones- cortisol, catecholamines, and growth hormones also tend to increase rapidly. These hormones typically elevate between 3 and 8 am, peaking between 4 and 5 am. Hence, this mechanism is termed as the "Dawn Phenomenon."
What you should do?
- You must have a light dinner that is low in sugar and salt, and avoid fried foods and maida-based preparations.
- Also, make it a habit to have dinner early so that your insulin levels help control your blood sugar for a few hours before it is completely suppressed.
- Another way to control blood sugar better through the night is to take a walk after dinner. That will help enhance your rate of digestion and reduce blood sugar appreciably.
- Keep a 20-minute gap after you eat, before you get on to exercising and you must replenish yourself with fluids low in sugar and fat when you feel tired.
Tips for a good sleep
- Declutter your room
- Stick to a bedtime routine
- Limit caffeine intake
- Do light exercises before going to bed
- Do some meditation
- Listen to music
- Pen down your thoughts
The less you sleep, the higher your blood pressure may go. People who sleep 6 hours or less may have steeper increases in blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, not having sleep hygiene may make your blood pressure worse.