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Is it true that lack of Sleep Raises Blood Sugar?

Relationship between blood sugar and sleep….

Many people today are juggling so many different things that they don’t always get the recommended eight hours of sleep per night. This can lead to health problems, including weight gain, decreased productivity, and depression. One of the things that can be most affected by a lack of sleep is blood sugar levels.

Why Is It Significant to Maintain Blood Sugar?

Maintaining a healthy blood sugar (Glucose) level is important for overall health, and it is especially important for people who have diabetes. People with diabetes often have trouble sleeping because their condition can make it difficult to regulate blood glucose levels.

  • Increased glucose levels in the blood can result in dehydration, which can lead to wakefulness.
  • Low blood sugar levels can also cause sleeping problems, leading to night sweats and nightmares.

Blood sugar levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day, but people with diabetes must be especially careful about managing their blood glucose.

How Does Sleep Impact Blood Sugar?

It’s well known that a good night’s sleep is important for overall health, but did you know that it can also help to regulate blood sugar levels? Studies have shown a direct correlation between sleep and blood sugar levels – when we don’t get enough sleep; our blood sugar levels can rise. [1]

When we sleep, our bodies can repair and regenerate cells that produce insulin, including pancreatic beta cells. Insulin regulates levels of sugar in the blood, so our bodies can’t produce enough of it when we don’t get enough sleep. This can lead to raised sugar levels in the blood and may even increase the risk of developing diabetes type 2.

Sleep Habits and Diabetes

Studies have indicated that sleep habits, nutrition, and obesity increase the risk of developing diabetes. This is likely because sleep patterns can have a cumulative effect on how well cells respond to insulin. [2]

A new study published in Diabetes Care shows that individuals who take less than 6 hours of sleep per night on average have higher fasting blood sugar levels than those who sleep more.

The researchers analyzed data from over 3,000 adults aged 18 and older who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They found that those who slept less than six hours per night had fasting blood sugar levels of an average of 5.4% higher than those who slept more. This association was even stronger in people with diabetes; those who slept less than six hours per night had fast blood sugar levels 11.1% higher than those who got more sleep. [3]

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Most experts recommend getting approximately eight hours of sleep each night. Studies have shown that people who get insufficient sleep are are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and that poor sleep can worsen blood sugar control in people who already have the disease. And if you find yourself struggling to get enough shut-eye, there are a few things you can do to promote better sleep:

  • Establish a regular bedtime routine and stick to it as much as possible.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
  • Do not use electronic gadgets in your bed.
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool.

Complications From Lack of Sleep

A few potential complications can arise from lack of sleep, particularly when it comes to blood sugar levels.

  • Without enough sleep, our bodies don’t have the chance to rest and heal properly. This can lead to increased inflammation, which can, in turn, cause higher blood sugar levels.
  • Lack of sleep can also impact our hormones, including those regulating blood sugar. When these are out of balance, it can lead to higher blood sugar levels.
  • Not getting enough sleep can also affect our energy levels and how we process food, contributing to blood sugar fluctuations.


1. Spiegel K;Knutson K;Leproult R;Tasali E;Van Cauter E; (2005, November). Sleep loss: A novel risk factor for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985). Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16227462/

2. E;, R. S. V. C. (2018). Sleep influences on obesity, insulin resistance, and risk of type 2 diabetes. Metabolism: clinical and experimental. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29510179/

3. Se Eun Park, Hee Man Kim, Dae Hyun Kim, & Jongoh Kim. (2012, September 6). The Association Between Sleep Duration and General and Abdominal Obesity in Koreans: Data From the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001 and 2005. Online Willey Library. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1038/oby.2008.586


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