Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Night night, beta cells....

This originally ran in late 2007, but with some of my latest sleep-deprived nights and reflection on this topic, I thought it'd be an appropriate time to run it again.

I'd posted a note at one point opining that if sleep deprivation was a cure for diabetes, I would be well on my way - a notion that drew praise and thumb ups from fellow D-bloggers. Well, then comes this news bit: A new study shows sleep deprivation is pushing the diabetes epidemic, leading to more cases. Published in the Dec. 1, 2007 issue of a journal called SLEEP. How appropriate is that.

As outlined in the article, they even have some tips:
• Follow a consistent bedtime routine.
• Establish a relaxing setting at bedtime.
• Get a full night’s sleep every night.
• Avoid foods or drinks that contain caffeine, as well as any medicine that has a stimulant, prior to bedtime.
• Do not go to bed hungry, but don’t eat a big meal before bedtime either.
• Avoid any rigorous exercise within six hours of your bedtime.
• Make your bedroom quiet, dark and a little bit cool.
• Get up at the same time every morning.

Well, there you go. We've solved the universal D-riddle on "why...." that leads to finger-poking, insulin-craving lifestyles: Our pancreas is tired. Beta cells are catching some Zs, therefore sleeping on the job and letting the big, bad, burglar "D" get the jump on our immune system. Just like bad security guards letting thieves into the shop.

Thanks to the before bedtime Low that caused me to eat, or the High that made me hungry, my sleep is off. Or because it's not quiet thanks to the beeping pump or CGM. Or the scattered morning routines, thanks to glucoastering. It all feeds the problem, apparently.

So, if I improve my sleeping practices, what happens - am I closer to a cure? Experts in the scientific community point out that beta cells seem to sometimes regenerate, even in Type Is, but they aren't sure - the JDRF's been looking at that one for awhile now. Maybe sleep's the key. Sleep it off.

What if that was the answer - just staying in bed and sleeping as much as possible? Wonder if there's any research project studying that - if so, I'm ready to sign up for whatever the pay is.

So there it is. Call it what you will - thought-provoking or crazy ramblings of a sleep-deprived diabetic?

Ponder that, while I leave you for a inpromptu date with my pillow.

3 comments:

Dawn @ Sugar Free Candyland said...

Yeah, thats one of those research articles, amongst many I've read out there, that I can honestly say, I have lots of questions and some doubts about.

Sysy said...

during my depressed with diabetes days I slept about 15 hours a day and all I got was more high blood sugars LOL

I've read in other places that lack of sleep AND too much sleep both increase type 2 diabetes risk. So "everything in moderation" has some merit here too, eh?

Renata said...

And what about all those children who are on bed time schedules. I guess I can see how sleep deprivation can cause issues, yes the body needs time to repair. And maybe a PWD's body takes on a lot of mileage in one day...so I guess I can see the leap. If you, you know, look under the covers and around the corners you can make it work.