Diabetes and Sleep

By debmauldin Latest Reply 2011-07-14 08:38:45 -0500
Started 2011-07-11 09:30:31 -0500

I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in December 2010 when my blood sugar spiked at 866. I had no idea before then that I was diabetic. Anyway, 70 pounds lighter and 7 months later my blood sugar readings stay between 70-110. My doctor has lowered my insulin and I'm on metoformin, but I sometimes still get a lower than 70 reading. My sleep patterns in the last 7 months have changed dramatically from 8-9 hours of sleep per night to 4-5 hours. I'm wondering if the diabetes could be causing this? If maybe my blood sugar is spiking or lowering during the night? Has anyone else had this problem? I have a multitude of health problems and am on several different medications, so anything could be responsible.

29 replies

cavie2 2011-07-13 06:53:02 -0500 Report

I was first put on Humulin I then later changed to Lantus. When on the Humulin I it was taken at night before bed and I always woke up either in the middle of the night or around 5-6am with Tremors because my BS had dropped drastically I was told to reduce the insulin units that I took so did this and it was still happening I was afraid I would go into a diabetic coma and die in my sleep so it was changed from evening to morning injection and what a difference it has made. Now anytime it has happened since the change is because I have not eaten enough the previous evening to keep me going through the night. I always make sure I have glucose energy tablet by my bedside and some OJ just for emergencies but now very seldom do I need them. That is why it is important to test last thing at night as you have an idea if the reading you get will see you through the night or if you have to have a graham cracker and some peanut butter just to tide you over.

danglingmoon1 2011-07-13 17:41:15 -0500 Report

Yeah I am on latus n I have the same problem with the low sugars in the early AM, I dont understand any of this tho, I have known I had diabetes for 2 months now but I guess I have had it since i was 6 months prego which was 14 months ago… any other advice beside taking the injection in the mornin instead of at night? I will try that tho…

cavie2 2011-07-14 08:37:02 -0500 Report

Well I live in Scotland UK and know things work differently in the US but I was told if BS goes too low decrease your insulin by 2 units and keep checking the results for 3 days if it's still too high do the same again on the 3rd day, if your BS is too high increase the insulin by 2 units and check for 3 days ets until you are happy you have it steady but I don't know if you are allowed to do that in the US. I have heard people say if they can get it steady they stop taking certain meds etc but over here we are not allowed to do that we have to arrange an appt with the doctor explain what is happening and the decision is up to them. The only thing we are allowed to change is the units of insulin we take and only change it in 3 day increments.

helen7898 2011-07-13 01:39:52 -0500 Report

I think some people don't require alot of sleep at one time. Since I was young I have never required more than 4 hrs sleep at a time. Too this day I never sleep more than 4 to 5 hrs at a time. And I am 62. I do take a quick nap most days between jobs. I am still pretty active and a 15 minute nap rejuvenates me. Maybe I have a problem too.

jayabee52 2011-07-13 22:28:15 -0500 Report

I used to be like that too. I used to be refreshed by what I called a "snap" (what i called a "short nap"). Once I became disabled and got a lot more sleep snaps usually didn't refresh like they once did.

debmauldin 2011-07-13 01:48:49 -0500 Report

Helen, if you have always done that it is probably not a problem. I have read that as you age you require less sleep, but I have always enjoyed sleep and know that I'm not getting enough for me. I feel so tired, fatigued, and achy all the time. I can't seem to form a coherent thought let alone speak a coherent sentence anymore.

VaHermit 2011-07-13 01:08:26 -0500 Report

Always had bad sleep problems, insomnia…got better after I was diagnosed but now back to not being able to sleep more than 3-4 hours at a time. I too have wondered if my blood sugar was spiking …I know I went through a long spell of very low blood sugars in the early morning, now I try to eat something late so that does not happen. Its too scary. I have tried caffeine, no caffeine, stress except for money worries and now diabetes worries is all but gone so just don't know what the cause is…it is worrisome. A friend told me it was the insulin and that I should take it at least 2 hours before bed. Good luck to you…as puzzled as you :-/

debmauldin 2011-07-13 01:50:47 -0500 Report

Hmmm, taking the insulin 2 hours before bed is something I will try. I usually take mine within 30 minutes - 1 hour before going to bed.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-07-12 07:02:12 -0500 Report

Lots of good responses already. A few ideas that haven't been mentioned though stress, caffeine, hormones and aging. For many people as they age less sleep is needed. As to hormones, they can mess up many things. Over the July 4th weekend I indulged in a couple of diet Dr. Peppers. Then I almost didn't sleep for over 24 hrs. Hadn't had that much caffiene in over a year.

debmauldin 2011-07-12 07:55:17 -0500 Report

Thanks Graylin Bee. I never indulge in caffeine after 7am. I do have an appointment later this month to have my hormone levels checked. Maybe that will help. I need sleep, I'm not functioning very well without it.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-07-12 08:38:59 -0500 Report

With me it seems the longer I am sleep deprived the harder it is for sleep to come. There are some herbals that help soothe and may make sleep easier. I haven't tried catnip tea for several years, but it used to really help me sleep. Don't know how it would affect BG, it was way before I was diagnosed with Diabetes. I am allergic to alot of herbal teas, but cattnip wasn't one of them. I think chamomielle is supposed to help, but made me miserable from allergic reaction. Sometimes lavender oil (or a few flower spikes) near your pillow can help.

debmauldin 2011-07-12 08:59:22 -0500 Report

I use to drink chamomille tea, but have never tried catnip. I went all natural, several years ago, but ended up in the hospital. My psychiatrist told me to not use herbals with my medications. I still use essential oils, though.

debmauldin 2011-07-12 08:57:16 -0500 Report

I use lavendar oil faithfully, but find that while it helps with headaches and tension, it does not help me with sleep.

MrsCDogg 2011-07-12 02:28:37 -0500 Report

I have problems sleeping too. Which is why I am up again at 3:30 this morning. Been awake since about 1:20…:o( Not sure what the problem is but I know I can relate to you not sleeping too!

debmauldin 2011-07-12 03:02:14 -0500 Report

Thanks for replying. That sounds a lot like my pattern. I was up at 11:30pm managed to get sleepy enough to lay back down around 1:30 then wide awake again at 2:30. I'm not sure either, I was just curious to know if it might be the diabetes and if anyone else was having this problem. I look forward to talking with again.

NavyNerd 2011-07-11 19:02:32 -0500 Report

My diabetes doesn't affect it as much as my other conditions do.. well, I guess, maybe I shoudl rephrase that: My sugars effect the other condidtions, and those conditions or meds for them effect my sleep. But sometimes the conditions alone do. I wake up periodically during teh night because my arthrtitis kicks up sometimes and my knees give me grief when I sleep. I also notice that I have to get up to go to the bathroom in the night when my sugar spikes and my body is trying to pee it out to purge it faster for lack of a better description.

debmauldin 2011-07-11 23:40:48 -0500 Report

I have oseoarthritis and I know the pain wakes me sometimes. I also have to get up often to pee during the night. I'm just getting over a severe kidney infection and hope that is not coming back. I just slept 3 hours and got up to pee and now I'm wide awake. I took Harlen's advice and took by blood sugar and it is 74. So I'm still unsure.

jladytiger1979 2011-07-11 12:28:02 -0500 Report

I know when my blood start was out of wack I wanted to sleep 24 hours!! Yes sleep cycles & blood start levels do go hand in hand.

debmauldin 2011-07-11 16:12:11 -0500 Report

Thanks for your reply. I want to sleep, just keep waking up.

jladytiger1979 2011-07-11 17:37:47 -0500 Report

You say a multitude of health problems high blood pressure? Obesity? Have you had a sleep study? Checked for possible sleep apnwa? I had mild sleep apnea & elected not to use a cpap but have lost about 1/3 of my body weight & it has resolved…

debmauldin 2011-07-11 23:44:16 -0500 Report

I have high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, osteosrthritis, and diabetes. I do have sleep apnea and sleep with a cpap. I had my sleep study 11 years ago; it may be time for another one.

50Jewels 2011-07-13 22:18:02 -0500 Report

My doc put me on trazodone to help relax me but not put me so under that I can't wake up if I need to. It really helps.

Harlen 2011-07-11 12:11:02 -0500 Report

Why not test when you wake up ?
I run on 5 to 6 Hr of sleep but always have .
Way to go on your #'s
You mite try Melatonin its over the counter and I give it to my 9 year old abd it helps he sleep check with your Pharmacit to know that you can take it with your other meds.
Best wishes

debmauldin 2011-07-11 16:13:07 -0500 Report

Thanks Harlen. That is a good idea. I hadn't thought about that. I will try it and see how it comes out. I will also ask about the melatonin.

NavyNerd 2011-07-11 18:58:37 -0500 Report

The melatonin is quite helpful.. there were a lot of studies done over the last 15 years that say it helps autistic kids regulate tehir sleep cycles too and is safe for kids.. we use it for our kiddos when stressed out schedules get their diurnal cycles out of kilter too..

DesertRoze 2011-07-12 02:36:16 -0500 Report

I'm glad I read this. I was eves dropping hoping for advice myself. I just can't fall asleep at all… I go to bed around 2a.m. then just lay there awake till the sun comes streaming in through my windows… It's driving me crazy!

Does the Melatonin help you feel sleepy?

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