The Importance of Sleep for Treating Type 2 Diabetes

In 2014, an estimated 21 million (9.3%) Americans were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, approximately 8.1 million more went undiagnosed. While many know that poor diet and exercise play a significant role in the development of type 2 diabetes, fewer realize how much poor sleep may also be contributing to this health problem. As it turns out, some evidence points to sleep deprivation as causing prediabetes in some individuals based on the natural insulin resistance resulting from a lack of sleep.

Insulin is responsible for helping the body convert sugar to energy. When individuals don’t get enough sleep, their body fails to produce enough insulin or to use insulin effectively and this leads to higher blood sugar levels within the body. What’s more, sleep-deprived individuals are more likely to crave sugary foods and less inclined to make good food choices. Eating dense carbs or complex sugars found in comfort foods like pasta, pizza, cookies, etc. is a danger to sleep deprived individuals and type 2 diabetics because these foods are less likely to be broken down effectively and more likely to lead to increased blood sugar levels. Deep, restorative sleep allows blood glucose levels to reset at night and prepares insulin receptors to perform optimally during the day.

In following video, Dr. Durmer demonstrates the role of sleep in addressing type 2 diabetes and how getting deep, restorative sleep can enable your body to maintain a regulated environment where insulin and glucose levels remain in balance.

Here now are 3 important recommendations for individuals concerned about or having already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes:

Recommendation #1: Eat for Your Best Sleep
It’s important to maintain a well-balanced diet in order to manage diabetes. Also, be certain not to eat right before bedtime so that your blood glucose has adequate time to reset itself and your body isn’t working through the night trying to digest the food.

Recommendation #2: Schedule Exercise Appropriately
Similar to food, exercising right before bedtime is not optimal. It stimulates your brain and wakes up your body, which can make it harder to fall asleep. Instead, allow adequate time after workouts for your body to cool down and unwind before sleep.

Recommendation #3: Reduce Stress
Limiting stress allows your mind to quiet down before bedtime and makes it easier for your body to fall asleep. Meditating before bed can be a great way to help reduce stress levels.

Whether you suffer from a sleep condition or just have an ongoing sleep issue, it’s important to address the problem in order to prevent long-term health issues. For those diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, it’s especially important to manage sleep because without proper sleep, the body cannot properly function and that can worsen the impact of type 2 diabetes.

Having  Trouble Sleeping?

If you are having trouble sleeping and would like more information on how sleep can help you be the best version of yourself, please contact the FusionHealth Participant Resource Center at or 1-877-615-7257.

The Importance of Sleep for Treating Type 2 Diabetes