Uncontrolled diabetes: 5 ways lack of sleep is raising your blood sugar levels | Health - Hindustan Times
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Uncontrolled diabetes: 5 ways lack of sleep is raising your blood sugar levels

By, New Delhi
Mar 28, 2024 01:23 PM IST

If your blood sugar levels remain high despite all lifestyle changes and medication, lack of sleep could be the hidden factor behind your uncontrolled diabetes.

Many people complain of high blood sugar levels despite following the recommended lifestyle interventions - a low GI diet, medication and regular exercise routine. Turns out lack of sleep can also impact your glucose levels in a variety of ways. When you aren't well rested, your hormones that work towards regulating your appetite and metabolism can go haywire and you may overeat too resulting in a spike in blood sugar. There is evidence that body can handle insulin less efficiently when sleep deprived which can lead to insulin resistance. This is one of hidden factors behind more sugar in the bloodstream and making your diabetes uncontrolled. (Also read: Drink a cup of cinnamon tea every day to prevent blood sugar spikes; know all benefits)

When you aren't well rested, your hormones that work towards regulating your appetite and metabolism can go haywire and you may overeat too resulting in a spike in blood sugar. (Shutterstock)
When you aren't well rested, your hormones that work towards regulating your appetite and metabolism can go haywire and you may overeat too resulting in a spike in blood sugar. (Shutterstock)

Research highlight sleep as a crucial factor in your diabetes risk. As per several studies, sleep, both in terms of quantity and quality, affects a patient's capacity to control their metabolism in type 2 diabetes. Both longer and shorter periods of sleep can increase changes of developing type 2 diabetes. Sleep is crucial for controlling how the body uses glucose, and irregular sleep patterns can raise the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.

5 ways sleep affect your blood sugar

Dr Parinita Kaur, Senior Consultant- Internal Medicine, Aakash Healthcare, New Delhi explains five ways in which insufficient sleep can contribute to elevated blood sugar.

1. Increased insulin resistance

When you don't get enough sleep, your body's ability to use insulin effectively decreases. Insulin is crucial for regulating blood sugar levels by helping glucose enter cells to be used for energy. However, sleep deprivation can lead to insulin resistance, where cells become less responsive to insulin. As a result, glucose remains in the bloodstream, causing blood sugar levels to rise.

2. Hormonal imbalance

Sleep deprivation disrupts the balance of hormones involved in regulating appetite and metabolism, such as cortisol, ghrelin, and leptin. Elevated levels of cortisol, known as the stress hormone, can lead to increased blood sugar levels by promoting gluconeogenesis, the process by which the liver produces glucose. Additionally, disrupted levels of ghrelin and leptin can contribute to overeating and weight gain, further exacerbating insulin resistance and blood sugar dysregulation.

3. Impaired glucose tolerance

Studies have shown that inadequate sleep can impair glucose tolerance, making it more challenging for your body to process and regulate blood sugar levels effectively. Sleep deprivation disrupts the body's ability to manage glucose metabolism, leading to spikes in blood sugar levels even after consuming carbohydrates.

4. Increased food cravings

Lack of sleep is associated with an increase in cravings for high-calorie, sugary foods. This can lead to excessive calorie intake and poor dietary choices, further contributing to insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar levels. Moreover, sleep deprivation can affect the brain's reward centers, making it harder to resist unhealthy food temptations.

5. Disrupted circadian rhythm

Your body's internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes, including metabolism and blood sugar control. Disrupted sleep patterns, such as irregular sleep-wake cycles or shift work, can disrupt the circadian rhythm and lead to dysregulation of blood sugar levels. This disruption can impair insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes over time.

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