Diabetic neuropathy, a complication of diabetes, can have a significant impact on sleep quality and disrupt the sleep cycle.
High blood sugar levels and weakened blood vessels can cause diabetic neuropathy, which affects nerve function throughout the body.
The effects of diabetic neuropathy on sleep are multifaceted, involving both physiological and psychological factors.
Sleep disturbances, impaired sleep architecture, and sensory-motor manifestations can all result from diabetic neuropathy.
Developing effective management strategies for diabetic neuropathy is crucial to improving sleep quality and overall well-being.
Let’s discuss how diabetic neuropathy messes with your sleep and how you can finally fix it to get a solid night’s rest.
How Does Diabetic Neuropathy Affect Sleep: The Real Impact
The following categories describe how diabetic neuropathy affects sleep:
- Sleep Disturbances
- Impact on Sleep Architecture
- Sensory-Motor Manifestations
- Dysautonomia and Sleep-Disordered Breathing
- Psychological Impact
- Glycemic Control
Let’s look at the category in more detail.
1. Sleep Disturbances
When you have diabetic neuropathy, sleep disturbances can significantly impact your nightly rest.
You may find it challenging to fall asleep, stay asleep, or experience both difficulties. In your extremities, pain, tingling, numbness, and burning can make it hard to find a comfortable position while trying to sleep.
Due to this, you may frequently wake up during the night, leading to fragmented and disrupted sleep.
Diabetes-related neuropathy is also associated with sleep apnea, a breathing disorder. Sleep disruptions can leave you tired, restless, and moody, ultimately affecting your quality of life.
2. Impact on Sleep Architecture
The multiple sleep latency test shows reduced mean latencies in diabetic neuropathy cases. Peripheral neuropathy can make sleeping difficult, leading to fragmented sleep patterns. This can further contribute to daytime sleepiness and fatigue, affecting overall well-being.
But, medications such as Gabapentin 300 mg can help alleviate neuropathic pain, potentially improving sleep continuity and duration.
The pain-relieving effects of gabapentin improve sleep architecture, leading to better sleep quality. But you should buy Gabapentin 300 mg with your doctor’s advice.
3. Sensory-Motor Manifestations
The sensory-motor manifestations of diabetic neuropathy can affect your sleep a lot. You might feel pain, numbness, tingling, and burning in your legs and feet.
With sensory-motor manifestations, you can’t sleep well. You may wake up frequently during the night to find a more comfortable position.
These disruptions can significantly reduce the overall duration of your sleep, leading to feelings of sleep deprivation and daytime fatigue.
When you wake up, you may feel less refreshed and restored due to the discomfort and pain you experienced while sleeping.
4. Dysautonomia and Sleep-Disordered Breathing
Diabetic neuropathy can also cause dysautonomia when your autonomic nervous system malfunctions. This dysfunction can affect your sleep and contribute to sleep-disordered breathing, such as sleep apnea.
It can manifest in various ways, including postural dizziness, urinary symptoms, and abnormal heart rate response.
These symptoms can further disrupt your sleep, making it challenging to achieve restful and uninterrupted sleep.
Sleep-disordered breathing, particularly sleep apnea, is strongly associated with dysautonomia in individuals with diabetic neuropathy.
In sleep apnea, breathing stops during sleep, causing frequent wake-ups and shallow sleep. Dysautonomia and sleep-disordered breathing can exacerbate sleep disturbances that diabetic neuropathies experience, reducing sleep quality and overall health.
Managing dysautonomia and sleep-disordered breathing is crucial for improving your sleep. This can involve various approaches, including lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight and regular physical activity.
Also, treatments for sleep apnea, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, can help improve breathing and sleep.
5. Psychological Impact
When you have diabetic neuropathy and disrupted sleep, you might have daytime sleepiness, decreased productivity, impaired cognition, and mood disturbances.
The psychological consequences of impaired sleep quality can further exacerbate the cycle of poor sleep, worsen pain symptoms, and diminish overall well-being.
Research has shown that individuals with disrupted sleep are likelier to experience irritability, depression, and other mood disturbances.
Also, cognitive functioning can be impaired, leading to decreased productivity and difficulty completing daily tasks.
6. Glycemic Control
Sleep can have a huge impact on your glycemic control, which is crucial to managing diabetic neuropathy.
Sleep disruptions and poor sleep efficiency have been linked to increased insulin resistance and poor glycemic control in diabetic neuropathy patients.
This happens because inadequate sleep can affect the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels, leading to difficulties in managing diabetes effectively.
How do you sleep with diabetic neuropathy?
A comfortable sleep environment can make a big difference in your sleep quality if you have diabetic neuropathy. Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and well-ventilated.
Use a comfortable mattress and pillows, and consider elevating the bed sheets to prevent them from touching your legs and feet, which can minimize discomfort.
Also, practicing good sleep hygiene is essential. Establish a regular sleep schedule, wind down before bed with warm bath or relaxation techniques and avoid stimulating activities or electronic devices close to bedtime.
Managing pain symptoms through appropriate pain management strategies, such as medication or physical therapy, can also contribute to better sleep.
Improved Sleep Quality Despite Diabetic Neuropathy
Living with diabetic neuropathy can significantly impact your sleep in various ways. Sleep disturbances, disrupted sleep architecture, sensory-motor manifestations, dysautonomia, sleep-disordered breathing, psychological effects, and glycemic control implications hinder your sleep.
Managing sleep apnea or taking medications can potentially improve sleep continuity and duration if you address sleep disturbances.
Also, managing sensory-motor manifestations and pain symptoms can also lead to better sleep by reducing discomfort and making sleep easier to initiate and maintain.
Remember, communicating with your healthcare team to develop a comprehensive plan that addresses your specific needs is important.
Enhance your sleep quality with medical interventions, pain management, sleep hygiene, and support, even if you have diabetic neuropathy. Sleep better, live better.