It's common for people with type 2 diabetes to also have sleep apnea, a sleep disorder in which people stop breathing many times throughout the night, often for one minute or more. Below we review sleep tips including information on sleep apnea as well as how to ensure a restful night’s sleep to maintain your general health.

  1. Snoring can signal a potentially dangerous condition called sleep apnea.  In people who have sleep apnea breathing stops periodically or becomes very shallow while sleeping.  This is often due to an airway that gets blocked. Sleep apnea causes daytime sleepiness and lack of concentration. This can also lead to diabetes and heart problems. If you suspect you have sleep apnea let your doctor know, and he will most likely have you visit a sleep lab to diagnose the problem correctly.
  2. Naps are helpful to restore some lost sleep, but cannot be a substitute for a good full-nights’ slumber.
  3. If you are getting more caffeine than your body can handle, your sleep pattern will most likely be interrupted. Try to avoid caffeine in the afternoon if possible.  Remember that some medications can contain caffeine such as Excedrin®.
  4. There are some disease states that can cause insomnia such as depression, fibromyalgia and restless leg syndrome just to name a few. If you have chronic insomnia, which is defined as poor sleep three or more nights per week for one month or more, see your health care provider to access your symptoms.
  5. Sleep can also affect your weight!  There is strong new evidence that sleep regulates appetite. This is because during sleep, the body’s production of leptin increases.  Leptin is a natural substance the body produces that helps decrease appetite.
  6. Exercise for good sleep! We all know that exercise is great for helping to achieve better diabetes control, but it turns out that regular exercise also promotes better sleep. The key is regular exercise, which generally means three or more times per week. A word of caution here: Try to exercise no later than five to six hours before sleep so that you can wind your heart rate down and relax in preparation for sleep.
  7. Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and awaken around the same time each day to “train” your body to adhere to your rhythm/seep pattern.
  8. Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed.
  9. Avoid large meals late at night, and avoid large amounts of fluids before bed.
  10. Take a hot bath; the drop in body temperature helps to relax you.
  11. Keep your sleeping environment only for sleep. You need a dark, quiet place, and you need to turn the television off! Any bright lights, such as a television screen, can alter hormones in the body letting your body think it’s daytime and therefore time to “wake up!”
  12. Lastly I need to say that you must avoid thinking about issues that “worry” you.  Not so easy you may answer? Take out a great book and get lost in the pages; this will help you enter a newer more peaceful world.