OUTREACH & ENGAGEMENT COMMITTEE
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM). Please take some time to check out our T1D topics. We encourage you to share this information on your social media to help educate and raise awareness about type 1 diabetes.
SLEEP: THE LOST FRONTIER
Most parents who have a child with T1D haven't had much sleep since the date of their child's diagnosis. For the patient and the family, sleep drops on the priority list almost immediately as carb counting, insulin dosing, and glucose monitoring takes precedent.
An uninterrupted, straight night's sleep is important for good health, for everyone. Sleep contributes to mindfulness, efficiency, clarity, alertness and helps the body heal and restore energy. For people with type 1 diabetes, getting a good night's sleep is a proven blood sugar management strategy, directly and indirectly impacting BGs through the following day.
Sleep is strongly connected to success in diabetes management, as lack of sleep has often been tied to increased blood glucose (sugar) levels and higher A1c results. Not getting adequate sleep can also contribute to higher stress levels, increased inflammation, greater insulin resistance, changes in hunger and cravings, leading to weight gain and depression. Less sleep typically equates to a lower quality of life regardless of whether type 1 diabetes is on board, but it's definitely an under-utilized tool in T1D management strategies.
Sleep is just as important as any other health-related effort, but changing habits takes focused effort, and sometimes the tradeoffs are hard to give up. It is a component of T1D management that can be changed and addressed immediately with no prescription or intricate calculations required. With just 7 hours of sleep, you will find more of your BG tests in range the following day, which means you'll require less insulin, have more energy, feel better and be less hungry.
Dealing with the challenges of chronic disease, sleep is often elusive, especially for parents of T1Ds. Some tips to try to squeeze in more Zzzzzzzs include:
Sticking to a firm bedtime. We all use alarms to wake up. Set an alarm to go to bed, instead.
Make sure your bed is the right size for you. Keep fresh sheets and quality, supportive pillows.
Exercising throughout the day will help you sleep better at night.
Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, cool and well ventilated. Try using a mask and earplugs.
Scale back your to-do list and prioritize sleep. Not everything has to get done today!
Skip the morning workout every so often to get that extra hour when you've fallen behind.
Track your sleeping patterns for a week. Observe how different amounts affect you the next day.
Remind yourself of the benefits of sleep to help stay motivated to make it a priority.
CONTRIBUTING SOURCE: DiaTribe
Click HERE to download a FREE copy of Adam Brown's diabetes guide, Brightspots and Landmines.
Diagnosed with type 1 in 2001, Adam has brought actionable diabetes tips to over 600,000 people since 2013. Adam writes and speaks extensively about diabetes and chronic disease, and at age 28, is recognized as a leading expert in diabetes technology
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Nothing is more impactful than the lived experience. Please send us your stories and photos for us to share throughout the month using the form, below or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like to be a part of the O&E movement, please let us know by using the form, below, to tell us where your passion lies, what your interests are, who you're connected to and how you can help.
Past NDAM postings:
T1D Stickers and Accessories | Driving with T1D | Pump Lingo | Dawn Phenomenon | Blood Sugar Management Get Diabetes Right | Foot Care | Sleep: the lost frontier | Glycemic Index | Medication Management