HomeDiabetesType 2 Diabetes - Is Poor Sleep Quality Associated With the Dawn Phenomenon?

Type 2 Diabetes - Is Poor Sleep Quality Associated With the Dawn Phenomenon?

Healthy people normally have higher levels of cortisol in their body in the early morning hours between 0200 and 0800. Blood sugar levels rise at that time, preparing the body for waking and using more energy. People with Type 2 diabetes sometimes develop a condition called the “dawn phenomenon,” in which blood sugar levels reach uncontrolled levels. Circadian rhythm tells our bodies when to sleep or wake. It is sometimes referred to as the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. It is mostly controlled by our genes, although environmental changes in light can trigger changes (jet lag).

In 2017 the International Journal of Endocrinology reported on a study from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Researchers tested blood sugar levels continuously in eighty-one people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes divided into those with a good quality of sleep and those with poor sleep quality. The dawn phenomenon was significantly higher in those Type 2 diabetic participants with poor quality of sleep during the night. White blood cells from the diabetics with poor sleep quality showed their circadian rhythm genes were not working well.

Sleep quality is hard to define but the National Sleep Foundation assembled a team of experts to establish objective criteria. In February of 2017 Sleep Health, the Journal of the National Sleep Foundation reported a review of 277 studies on sleep quality. A panel of experts agreed upon the following criteria…

  • how long it takes to go to sleep – it should not be more than 30 minutes
  • awakenings during the night – should not go over 1, for 20 minutes or less
  • sleep efficiency – sleeping at least 85 percent of the time in bed

A more subjective method is to assess how well-rested you feel…

  • do you wake up refreshed?
  • do you stay awake and alert throughout the day?

For those who are not getting a good night’s sleep there are ways to improve your sleep quality…

1. Avoiding nicotine, alcohol, or caffeine before bedtime is a good start. Nicotine and caffeine are both stimulants, and alcohol, although it causes drowsiness, interferes with normal sleep patterns, making for poor sleep quality.

2. Stress can cause poor sleep quality as well as quantity. Studying for exams or work or planning the next day’s events right up to bedtime makes it difficult to relax.

Taking a break before bedtime or performing a bedtime ritual while clearing your mind of the day’s difficulties is restful. Avoid drinking fluids before bed to prevent waking and having to get up during the night.


Source by Beverleigh H Piepers

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