Not getting enough sleep?Friday, 12 October 2018
You may know that you feel better when you get enough sleep. You’re alert, your mind functions more clearly and your mood improves. But did you know that sleep is essential for good health and diabetes management?
Why does sleep matter?
- Without enough sleep, your diabetes may be more difficult to manage. Not getting enough sleep can make you less sensitive to insulin, the hormone that lowers blood glucose levels.
- It can be more difficult to manage your weight. Depriving your body of sleep can make you feel hungrier and make you more likely to over eat.
- Not getting enough sleep can increase blood pressure and raise your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Sleep deprivation increases your risk of accidents or injuries.
- Lack of sleep can increase your risk of depression.
Ok, this may sound scary but you can certainly do some things to reduce your risk. By getting enough sleep, you can improve your health. For most adults that means at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
Of course, if we could all get enough sleep, we probably would. So what are the obstacles preventing you from getting the deep, rejuvenating sleep you require?
- Noisy partner? Invest in earplugs!
- Is your bedroom too light? Invest in block out blinds or curtains. Or for a more affordable alternative, a simple sleep mask can do the trick.
- Are you too warm or too cold? Make your bed comfortable with the right bedding for the weather.
- Child or children waking you at night? Try to share night time parenting duties with your partner. Or ask a close friend or family member for some help during the day so that you can have a little catnap.
- Are you waking at night to urinate? Avoid drinking liquids too close to bed time, especially drinks containing caffeine. Waking to urinate at night could also be a sign of a medical issue, so discuss this with your doctor.
How to get more zzzz’s?
- Get into a night time routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
- Wind down with a good book or magazine.
- Turn off the smart phone or tv at least an hour before bedtime. The lights in these devices send signals to your brain to stay awake.
- Make sure your bedroom is comfortably dark.
- Make your bedroom a relaxing space by avoiding taking work to bed with you. That means keep the laptop and work related duties to other areas of the home.
- Regular physical activity has many benefits, including helping you to sleep better at night. If you’re struggling to get into a deep sleep, try to get 30 minutes of activity each day.
- Limit alcohol. Too much alcohol can disturb your sleep pattern and prevent you from falling into a deep sleep. If you do drink, aim to keep alcohol to no more than two standard drinks a day.
- Try meditation. This can help you get into a deep state of relaxation. Unsure how to start? Try downloading a guided meditation app or video to help.
- If you’re still struggling to get the sleep you need, talk to your doctor.