Type 2 Diabetes and Sleep
How Are Sleep Problems Treated in Type 2 Diabetes? continued...
Restless Legs Syndrome
Various medications are used to treat restless legs syndrome, including dopamine agents, sleeping aids, anticonvulsants, and pain relievers. Your doctor may also prescribe iron if you have low iron levels.
There are also several medications that treat insomnia, including:
- Over the counter drugs such as antihistamines including diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl). These drugs should be used short term and in conjunction with changes in sleep habits.
- Medications used to treat sleep problems such as Ambien, Belsomra, Sonata, and Lunesta.
- Benzodiazepines, medications that act on the brain and nerves to produce a calming effect, including Valium, Ativan, and Xanax.
- Antidepressants such as Serzone.
How Can I Improve my Sleep?
In addition to medications, recommendations to improve sleep are:
- Learn relaxation and breathing techniques.
- Listen to a relaxation or nature sounds CD.
- Get regular exercise, no later than a few hours before bedtime.
- Don't use caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine in the evening.
- Get out of bed and do something in another room when you can't sleep. Go back to bed when you're feeling drowsy.
- Use the bed only for sleeping and sexual activity. Don't lie in bed to watch TV or read. This way, your bed becomes a cue for sleeping, not for lying awake.
Are There Other Links Between Sleep and Type 2 Diabetes?
People who have poor sleep habits are at greater risk for becoming overweight or obese and developing type 2 diabetes, according to several studies. Chronic sleep deprivation may lead to insulin resistance, which can result in high blood sugar and diabetes.
Some studies show that chronic sleep deprivation can affect hormones that control appetite. For example, recent findings link inadequate sleep with lower levels of the hormone leptin, which helps control the metabolism of carbohydrates. Low levels of leptin have been shown to increase the body's craving for carbohydrates regardless of the amount of calories consumed.