Tips to Improve Your Sleep With T2D

Make sleep cool again! We live in a society where sleep deprivation is often glorified. Lack of sleep usually gets viewed as a badge of honor for hustle, grind, and hard work. But, other times, it's self-inflicted by irresistible late-night screen time for social media or binge-worthy television.

Either way, skipping out on much-needed sleep can negatively impact your health – including your type 2 diabetes management. So, check out a few suggestions to improve your sleep habits and decrease sweet cravings, one snooze at a time.

How does sleep impact eating habits?

Sleep deprivation is a vicious cycle. While your morning cup of coffee or tea may improve mental alertness after a restless slumber, it doesn't make up for the lack of sleep, which can decrease focus and energy for those working muscles.

So, like a car battery, the body, when deprived, is looking for a power surge – often resulting in a physiological craving for calorie-dense, carbohydrate-heavy foods. In other words, avoiding sweets or other indulgent foods after a sleepless night goes well beyond self-restraint.

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However, too few hours or poor sleep quality can also negatively affect mood and influence food choices. After all, being cranky and hungry doesn't often result in choosing a healthy, nutrient-dense option for lunch. In addition, research shows chronic sleep deprivation is linked to an increase in hunger, BMI, metabolic disorders, or other adverse health issues.1

Here are some helpful tips that can influence your eating habits by learning how to improve your sleep habits.

How to improve your sleep habits

It's easy to say that you will go to bed earlier. But let's face it, sometimes it takes work to really make it happen!

Caffeine cut-off

It's tempting to use caffeine to help curb food cravings throughout the day. However, a mid-day coffee or soda may delay your nightly slumber and negatively impact sleep quality. So, call it quits on caffeine a few hours earlier and replace your afternoon fix with an herbal tea, sparkling water, or caffeine-free alternative.

Set the alarm

Maintaining a restful sleep routine can also remedy your afternoon treat habit – but that means when it's bedtime, it's bedtime! Set the alarm on your phone to go off 45 to 60 minutes before you plan to be in bed sleeping! Set out your clothes, pack a lunch, and organize your bag. Then, get started on your bedtime routine.

Wind down

Our bodies are instinctive to fall asleep when it's dark and wake up when it's light. So, dimming the lights in your home 30 minutes before bed can help alert your internal clock that it's time for some shut-eye. Then, help reinforce a positive sleep environment with blackout shades, an air purifier, or white noise.

Turn off the screens

The artificial light emitted from your phone, tablet, and television can negatively impact restorative sleep. It's also an easy distraction that may delay your bedtime. If you need a helping hand to fall asleep, experiment with a sound machine, a meditation app, or a relaxing melody.

Don't take work to the bed

Avoid answering work emails, finishing projects, or crunching numbers from your bed. While it may provide added comfort while you work, it transforms your sleep sanctuary into a cozy stress desk. Not only can this increased stress directly impact late-night food choices, but it can also contribute to a restless night, leading to next-day cravings.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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