Sleeping issues

By MS12953 Latest Reply 2012-07-11 17:44:11 -0500
Started 2012-07-06 19:28:28 -0500

For the last month or so, I have been getting very little sleep at night. I will go to bed so sleepy that I can hardly keep my eyes open, but within minutes of lying down, I will get very hot and short of breath. After I finally manage to fall asleep I am awakened within an hour or two by pain in my arms and shoulders. Changing positions sometimes helps, but between this and waking up 3-4 times during the night to urinate, I cannot get any rest. Needless to say, I am more exhausted every day. Is this something related to diabetes? Anyone have similar experiences?

23 replies

Controlled 2012-07-08 20:59:02 -0500 Report

Interesting post and replies. I do believe that it is related because I have the same thing. I have "normal" BG and A1C for two years now. I was unable to correct the sleeping problems. I would like to encourage you to see your doctor. Exercise does help, but you have to be careful what type of exercise, if you're able to exercise at all and, if so, to what degree. You also have to find the time and exercise at times that it won't interfere with your sleep (like late in the evening). What a handful-eh? Huge considerations for something that we all can agree is a healthy behavior for all of us.

I really hope you find help and I think you may be directed that way by your doctor.
Let us know how you're coming with it.

All the best.

MS12953 2012-07-11 17:44:11 -0500 Report

Thanks, Controlled! I do try to exercise, or at least go for a walk when I can find the energy. I did see my doctor on Monday. He did an EKG to rule out any heart problems, did a lot of blood work, and as I had feared…prescribed something for sleeping. I tried it, and it didn't seem to do anything for me except possibly raised my BG.

jigsaw 2012-07-08 07:40:48 -0500 Report

I had sleep apnea for years and had no idea! It is very common with people that have diabetes, and it is thought to be related. I had some of the symptoms that you are currently mentioning. It can be tricky to realize and pin point if you don't have a severe case of it. Generally snoring goes hand and hand with it, and my wife told me for a few years that I would stop breathing in my sleep. Thanks to my snoring, my wife had to sleep with ear plugs.
After being diagnosed, I am currently using a c-pap. What a difference! I sleep comfortably and my wife no longer needs ear plugs. You might want to speak to your doctor about getting a sleep study done.

MS12953 2012-07-11 17:37:58 -0500 Report

Thanks jigsaw, I will think about that. As I mentioned, my husband thinks it may be an issue. My son is 32, very fit, and he has had it for several years. He swears by his C-PAP!

old biker
old biker 2012-07-08 05:31:27 -0500 Report

I can understand what you are going through. For years when I was working I went to bed at 9:00 pm and up at 5;00 am. Now that I am retired I am up till 12:00 pm sometimes later and still wake up at 5:00am with at least 2 trips to the bathroom in between..Some days I do sleep in till 6 am..The lack of sleep doesn't seem to bother me..It might be age thing with me..I used to take a nap in the afternoon and stopped that months ago thinking that might help and found it made no difference..My A1c is 6.5 I don't think in my case it is diabetes related I just don't need much sleep..Whish I could be more help

mary, the diabetes lady
mary, the diabetes lady 2012-07-07 12:00:41 -0500 Report

A couple of things come to my mind when I read your post. First I wondered if you are using a C-PAP? Next, do you have any issues that have been identified as "frozen shoulder"? Like during the day, can you lift your arms above your shoulders? The other thing that concerns me is whenever anyone says they are "short of breath" ah, that's the time to call your doctor. You could be having some cardiac issues that you are not even aware of. And lastly, I would like to share what used to happen to my husband when he was on Lantus at night. He would put a bath towel on his pillow every night because he would wake up in the middle of the night with profuse sweating! We didn't know it at the time but it was, of course, due to hypoglycemia. His blood sugars would fall low and create this event nearly every night.
I might suggest that when you wake up even if it's within an hour or two after going to bed, you should take your blood sugar and see if anything is going on there.
Good luck and God bless you.

MS12953 2012-07-07 13:42:17 -0500 Report

Thanks Mary. No, I do not use a C-PAP, although my husband has mentioned that it sometimes sounds like I stop breathing momentarily during the night. I have never had frozen shoulder and for the most part do not have pain in the arms and shoulder during the day (unless I lie down!) I have never checked my BG during the night but I will do that so I have that info for the doctor on Monday. Thanks again for you advice!

Troope 2012-07-09 15:58:32 -0500 Report

I have used a C-PAP for three years now. I resisted doing the sleep study for the longest time because my personal care physician kept pushing me to do it so much I felt it was only because he was getting some sort of kickback on it. After having surgery on my back I had apnea while under anesthesia and was strongly encouraged to see a sleep specialist. Once I started using one, I can't sleep without it. I always sleep great. Never take naps during the day now, and I used to take them almost daily. Strongly recommend looking into it if you even remotely think you might have apnea. You will not be sorry.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-07-06 23:47:45 -0500 Report

How are your blood glucose numbers? When they are not running in the normal range it can cause this to happen. When mine run too low I get hot and have the breathing issues and very tired, and if high it's the bathroom run every two hours until bg is back down. You could have neuropathy or from other issues. I would get it checked by dr. Sometimes the pain will go away once the bg is under control.

MS12953 2012-07-07 09:51:15 -0500 Report

Thanks red! As I mentioned earlier, my numbers were pretty good until this started and being too tired to exercise much has not helped. I take 20 units of Lantus at bedtime, and did wonder if maybe I am going low in the night. But on the other hand, if that is the case, I don't understand why it is only in the prone position…I can get some sleep if I stay upright.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-07-07 15:36:34 -0500 Report

You may indeed be going low and need to cut back on insulin. Going low for me will leave me wiped out for the entire following day. It may be that you just notice it in the prone position as you are not comfortable due to arm pain? You may be sleeping with arms in the same position too long, like under your head or above head, but when sleeping sitting up they lay basically one way. You could be having circulation issues, so again that dr visit is needed. I have so many health issues that I know for me what it is when it happens and eventully you'll know as well.

Setzer 2012-07-06 22:09:51 -0500 Report

I have issues sleeping too and my numbers have been fine. It's been going on since the beginning of the year. I get maybe an average of 2 hours of sleep every few days. broken up into 5-15 minute segments. No labored breathing or frequent urination, but I will sweat what seems like a lot to me sometimes.

MS12953 2012-07-07 09:43:52 -0500 Report

Thanks Setzer. I find it curious that I can sleep somewhat better in an upright position. Have you tried that? Have you asked your doctor about it?

dietcherry 2012-07-06 19:31:08 -0500 Report

Sorry to hear about this. I get very sleepy like what you describe when my BG is very low and also very high; how are your numbers looking?

MS12953 2012-07-06 20:33:53 -0500 Report

They are getting a bit on the high side…the last couple of weeks I have just been too tired to get much exercise. Around 150-200, where as prior to this I had been able to average around 100-140.

dietcherry 2012-07-06 21:01:18 -0500 Report

I think its the high BG youre having then. It can cause sweating, labored breathing, and of course frequent urination, among other symptoms. When you get your numbers lower again, your sleep should definitely improve. I wish you much luck getting there soon sweetheart!

MS12953 2012-07-06 21:16:56 -0500 Report

Thanks much! I wondered about that, but I didn't think my numbers were too terribly bad before I started having the sleep problem.

dietcherry 2012-07-07 09:37:42 -0500 Report

I agree your numbers are not that bad at all; my numbers have to be way high to make me feel really lousy. But day-in, day-out high BG will take its toll after awhile and cause the fatigue you are experiencing.