Are you an early bird or a night owl? Your usual sleep pattern and habits can play a role in managing blood sugar. No matter which type of sleeper you are, here are tips for keeping blood sugar in check, getting quality sleep and feeling your best.
What Are Sleep Patterns?
A sleep pattern is a natural tendency to sleep and wake at certain times. This is known as a chronotype. Genetics, age, sex and usual sleep-wake cycle can impact your chronotype. It is possible to fall somewhere in between sleep patterns. Here are the two most common sleep patterns:
The early bird tends to:
- Wake up earlier
- Go to bed earlier
- Feel most energized and productive earlier in the day
- Have less energy later in the day
The night owl tends to:
- Prefer sleeping in
- Go to bed later
- Feel most energized and productive later in the day
- Have a harder time waking up early
Blood Sugar Control
Sleep pattern can influence blood sugar control. Night owls living with diabetes can have a harder time controlling blood sugar. Those who are more active later at night can also have higher A1c levels, and lower amounts of sleep. Both early birds and night owls can benefit from improving blood sugar. Here are blood sugar tips for both types of sleepers.
- Monitor blood sugar. It is important to check your blood sugar often. This is the best way to track how well you are managing your diabetes.
- Make time for exercise. Staying active helps you feel better and manage your diabetes. Exercise is also a natural way to tire out your body for better sleep.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Both caffeine and alcohol can impact blood sugar and restful sleep. Limit these beverages at least a few hours before bedtime.
- Keep late meals light. Heavy meals close to bedtime can make restful sleep and blood sugar control harder. Enjoy your last meal at least three hours before bed. This gives your body enough time to digest.
- Take prescribed medications. Take any medications prescribed by your doctor on time.
Regardless of your sleep pattern, getting enough quality sleep is important. This means waking up or tossing and turning less often. Staying asleep longer can make managing your blood sugar easier. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of undisturbed sleep each night. Make it easier to get more z’s with a room redesign or sleep-friendly schedule.