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Sleep is a critical aspect of health. It regulates the body’s immune system and blood pressure while also fortifying our mental health. People who have diabetes, however, are at a higher risk of experiencing nighttime issues that can prevent them from reaching deep, restorative levels of sleep. This can, in turn, aggravate diabetic symptoms like high glucose levels and risk of stroke or heart disease in a cyclical fashion.

Here are some recommendations for getting better sleep with diabetes so you can get back control of your sleep and take better care of your health.

Stretching

Many people swear by a late-night stretch before bed in order to get a better night’s sleep. By improving blood flow, it can reduce the symptoms of restless leg syndrome, a disorder that causes a tingling in the legs and is more common in those with diabetes. It can also lower stress levels before bedtime, helping your mind and body relax just in time to fall, and stay, asleep.

CPAP machine

Many diabetics suffer from sleep apnea, a condition which causes you to stop breathing for short periods of time while you sleep. This can put a lot of pressure on the heart and, ultimately, lower your sleep quality. If you think you could have sleep apnea, a doctor and sleep specialist can prescribe a CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure machine that uses a face mask to normalize your breathing at night. It can help avoid the frequent interruptions caused by sleep apnea and allow you to achieve higher-quality rest.

Breathable bedding

Excessive nighttime sweating is a common problem for those with diabetes due to low glucose levels. This can be very disruptive to sleep and extremely uncomfortable and frustrating. To ease the symptoms of diabetes-induced night sweating, use breathable pillows and a mattress that circulates airflow. These small updates can make a world of difference in lowering your body temperature and wicking away sweat for a sleep-filled night.

Exercise in the morning

Exercise is an essential part to managing diabetes. It can help regulate blood sugar levels and control weight, as well as improve overall sleep quality. There’s a reason, after all, why we feel tired after going for a jog: our bodies crave rest so they can restore and rebuild damaged muscle. Getting in additional physical activity, even if it’s a simple walk around the block or a fifteen minute jog, can help you fall asleep at night. Just try to keep strenuous exercise earlier in the day so you don’t overstimulate your body close to bedtime.

While diabetes can lower sleep quality and ultimately worsen its own symptoms, the reverse is also true. The fatigue relief that accompanies better sleep can also boost your energy and, therefore, activity levels. This should help you manage your diabetes and remain proactive in a healthier lifestyle. Do your best to get about eight hours of sleep a night to regain control of your diabetes and wellbeing.