A good night’s sleep is important for everyone, but there are several reasons that people with diabetes can have interrupted sleep, leaving them tired the next day.

Too high or low blood glucose levels and sleep apnea can affect your sleep if you have diabetes and result in you waking up several times during the night.

If you are regularly suffering poor quality sleep, this can affect the way your body regulates weight control and appetite. Research has also linked sleep deprivation with insulin resistance, which is a key risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

It is therefore important to get a good night’s sleep, so here are five tips to help you achieve better quality of sleep.

1. Avoid screens before bed

A Harvard study reported that light exposure at night is linked to several types of cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease. While it is not clear why exposure to screens before bed is problematic, Harvard researchers believe it could be due to disrupted circadian rhythms, which help us to maintain healthy, consistent sleep.

2. Avoid alcohol before bed

A number of studies have linked alcohol before bed to sleep disruption. While alcohol can make you feel tired, at first, Dr. John Shneerson of Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, UK, explains: “Deep sleep is when the body restores itself, and alcohol can interfere with this. As the alcohol starts to wear off, your body can come out of deep sleep and back into REM sleep, which is much easier to wake from. That’s why you often wake up after just a few hours sleep when you’ve been drinking.”

3. Don’t sleep in at the weekends

A study published earlier this year revealed that having a significantly different sleeping pattern at the weekend – known as “social jet lag” – could disrupt the flow of your metabolism, and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity.

4. Avoid napping

It’s so easy to nap, but you can feel groggy, disoriented and sleepy upon waking if you enter deep slow-wave sleep during a nap and then fail to complete the normal sleep cycle. This is according to Dr. Tomohide Yamada, University of Tokyo, who examined the effects of napping in over 200 studies.

5. Plan for tomorrow

Detaching from work and planning tasks for tomorrow “is an important prerequisite to effective daily recovery and psychological well-being,” according to Brandon W. Smit, Ball State University in Indiana. As an extension of this, try picking out your work outfit and make your packed lunch the night before. Removing these tiny stresors will help you go to bed with a clear mind.

Do you know someone who needs a good night’s sleep? Share this blog with your friends, and spread and anyone else in need of some sleeping advice.

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