Sleep Deprivation: Did you know it is considered an epidemic?
Apr 4, 2023, 14:54 PM
By Melanie Teslik, MS, RN, BC-ADM, CDCES, CPHQ
The American Diabetes Association Standards of Care for 2023 added a guideline for sleep deprivation in the chapter: Facilitating Positive Health Behaviors and Well-being to Improve Health Outcomes. The American Heart Association Life Essentials also has added sleep to its metric. These findings piqued my interest on the impact of sleep deprivation relating to diabetes. I turned to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) site and found out sleep deprivation is considered an epidemic. Over one quarter of adults do not meet the criteria of 7 hours of sleep (varies by age) recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
The studies show that sleep deprivation increases the risk of prediabetes. Did you know that when you are sleep deprived you are more likely to eat an extra 250 calories (usually of salty or sugary foods) daily? In trying to prevent obesity, should providers be evaluating sleep patterns as part of client visits? This simple assessment may assist with the prevention of prediabetes or limiting weight gain.
Lack of sleep also increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, especially hypertension, stroke and coronary artery disease. A study in Scientific Reports observed cholesterol metabolism of sleep deprived individuals. Individuals with insufficient sleep have fewer high-density lipoproteins which help with their “good” cholesterol. It also improves quality of life as depression is often associated with lack of sleep. Just getting the right amount of sleep impacts so much!
So how can people with diabetes improve their A1C, blood pressure, prevent weight gain, decrease depression, and improve their lipids? By focusing on their sleep in order to start seeing improvement in their quality of life.
According to the CDC, a good place to start is trying to develop good sleep habits such as being consistent with sleep time. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature. Remove the electronic devices from your bedroom. Avoid large meals and caffeine at bedtime. Being physical during the day can also help with sleeping at night.