Sleep - An Unknown Factor Silently Affecting Your Blood Sugar Levels
Fitterfly - Team Nutrition
- Posted On November 23, 2019
One of the questions that your doctor must be asking at your regular check-ups is about your sleep. Isn't it? Ever wonder why?
Well, sleep is as critical as diet, exercise, weight and stress when it comes to keeping your blood sugar levels under control.
Let’s understand why.
When your blood sugar levels are too high, your kidneys have to work extra to get rid of the excess glucose in your body. This results in frequent urination. Waking up repeatedly to go to the washroom results in disturbed sleep.
Not getting enough sleep at night, leaves you feeling tired during the day and might result in overeating carb-heavy meals to make up for the lack of energy. This again shoots up your blood sugar levels and keeps you up at night. You could also end up taking long naps during the day, which also interferes with getting a good night's sleep.
It's a vicious cycle, you see. Here’s how you can try to fix it.
Let's first clarify how much sleep you should try to get every night. There are no correct answers to this. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people between the ages of 18 to 60 should get 7 hours of undisturbed sleep every night. Our suggestion? Don’t go by the number - focus on the quality of your sleep, instead.
Your aim should be wake up energized, relaxed and feeling fresh all day. If this means you need more sleep, then go for it.
Here are 10 tips that will help you get a good night's zzz:
- Eat healthy throughout the day with a gap of at least 1-2 hours between dinner and bedtime. This will keep your blood sugar levels under control at night.
- Create a sleep schedule and stick to it - go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Your body will get used to this pattern.
- If you have a habit of taking daytime naps, keep it to shorter than 30 minutes. A 20-minute power nap can do wonders for your energy - try it out!
- Avoid caffeinated beverages such as tea or coffee before bedtime - they will stimulate your sense and keep you up at night.
- Smoking and drinking right before bedtime could also keep you up because of the nicotine.
- Keep your dinners light too - less oily, less spicy food is generally a good tip to follow.
- Strenuous exercises are best done during the day and not before bedtime - as they increase your alertness and might make it hard to fall asleep.
- Create a cosy room with the right temperate and ambience that is conducive to sleep. Dim the lights or read a book in bed - you will fall asleep in no time!
- Try to keep your phones, tablets and laptops aside before bedtime and start unwinding for the day. The blue light from these devices interferes with your circadian rhythm (body’s natural sleep cycle)
- Calm your mind before bedtime - meditate for 10-15 minutes, take deep breaths, think positive thoughts and end the day on a relaxed, happy note.
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