Sleep plays a key role in your body maintaining a healthy blood sugar level. Diabetes and obesity are affected by your body’s blood sugar levels. Since physical health and sleep are majorly connected, it’s no surprise that your blood sugar levels are affected by your sleep patterns.
This guide will discuss the consequences of lack of sleep and blood sugar levels on your body. Learn how to sleep better as you manage your symptoms.
Can Sleep Lower or Raise My Glucose Levels?
It’s true. Sleep can both lower and raise your glucose levels.
Your body goes through the circadian rhythm each day, and the cycle lasts for 24 hours. The circadian rhythm includes the following types of changes:
Even if you’re not asleep, your blood sugar levels will rise every evening. It’s part of your body’s natural circadian rhythm cycle. However, sleep and blood sugar level fluctuations are normal events and not an area to be concerned about for most people.
Restorative sleep can sometimes lower a person’s unhealthy blood sugar levels. It does this by promoting healthy systems in your body.
Additionally, a decreased amount of sleep can increase blood sugar levels. Even sleep deprivation for one night can increase your body’s insulin resistance. As a result, your blood sugar levels will rise with it.
A lack of sleep, or insomnia, has been connected to diabetes. Some of the following factors can influence the relationship between blood sugar levels and sleep:
- The individual’s age
- When they sleep
- What sleep stages do they experience
- How much time do they spend sleeping
- Their eating habits
Does Low Blood Sugar Result in Sleep Issues?
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can result in sleep problems. Nocturnal hypoglycemia only occurs at night.
Low blood sugar, while a person is sleeping, can result in the following side effects:
- Yelling or crying during sleep
- Profusely sweating
- Feeling confused or irritable when you wake up
Do Sleep Disorders Affect Your Blood Sugar?
Since blood sugar levels and lack of sleep are connected, it only makes sense that your blood sugar levels will rise when you don’t sleep well. Some of the following sleep disorders have been connected to a person’s sugar levels:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Impaired tolerance of glucose
- Sleep Disordered Breathing: Higher levels of glucose
- Severe Breathing Issues: Higher levels of blood sugar
Poor or lack of sleep is sometimes associated with a diabetic person’s ability to control their glucose levels.
Common Sleep Disorders That Are Connected to Diabetes
Tossing and turning during the night is common for those who suffer from diabetes. It can result from different diabetes symptoms, but it also might indicate there’s another health problem.
Restless Leg Syndrom (RLS)
The constant urge to move around your legs is known as restless leg syndrome. It occurs mostly in the evening hours. It can make it difficult for people to stay or fall asleep.
Some RLS risk factors include:
- Kidney problems
- High blood sugar levels
- Thyroid disorders
A person might also suffer from RLS if they have an iron deficiency.
People who struggle to maintain healthy blood sugar levels also commonly suffer from sleep apnea. This event occurs when a person repeatedly starts and stops breathing while sleeping.
Some side effects of sleep apnea include snoring or feeling sleepy throughout the day. People who are obese or have a family history of sleep disorders are more at risk for it.
To help relieve your symptoms, you can incorporate a healthy diet and exercise routine into your life. You can also speak with your doctor about getting a special mask that you can wear while sleeping. The masks increase the amount of air pressure in your throat, allowing you to breathe better.
Those who have problems falling and then staying asleep suffer from insomnia. High-stress levels coupled with high glucose levels put you more at risk for insomnia.
If you believe you have insomnia, look at why you might have problems falling asleep. Evaluate if you’re having family issues or work in a high-stress job. You can also speak with a medical professional to help figure out what’s causing your issues.
Ways to Manage Your Blood Sugar Levels While You Sleep
Learning good sleep habits are essential given the close connection between sleep and diabetes. These habits include both day and nighttime activities.
These habits include:
- Maintaining a consistent sleep scheduling
- Healthy eating habits that keep your blood sugar levels in control
- Regular exercise
- Keeping your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool
- Avoiding nicotine and caffeine before bedtime
Before you go to bed, remove all distractions from your room. This includes your cell phone, especially if you’re prone to checking it throughout the night.
If you need an alarm to wake up, purchase an alarm clock. This will empower you to keep your cell phone in another room while you sleep.
You can also create white noise to play while you sleep. Birds chirping or the sound of the garbage truck driving by can disrupt your sleep patterns. Consider turning on a fan to reduce distracting noises.
Depending upon your situation, your healthcare provider might recommend certain sleep aids. They can also give you recommendations on how to sleep better.
Educate Yourself on the Connection Between Sleep and Blood Sugar
It’s important to know the connection between sleep and blood sugar levels. Your body’s blood sugar naturally fluctuates throughout the day and night, but you want that change to be healthy. Check out our wide range of products used as dietary supplements to help manage your blood sugar levels.
Diet and exercise are the key pillars of a healthy life, but they are even more critical for those who struggle to regulate their blood sugar. Believe it or not, 96 million Americans struggle with healthy blood sugar levels, especially after working out.
If you’re trying to keep up with your exercise routines, you probably want to know how to leverage your diet for the best results. Luckily, we’re here to help with that. Let’s talk about the best foods for post-workout recovery to promote healthy blood sugar levels. .
Foods to Avoid
Generally, not just after a workout, there are foods people should avoid to prevent insulin spikes. However, it’s even more important to refuel your body after a workout when your sugar levels are likely to drop.
Ideally, you want to eat primarily complex carbs and quality protein after a workout, with some healthy fats in the mix. Avoid starches and sugars whenever possible. Complex carbs are much better as they take longer to digest, which lowers the risk of blood sugar or insulin spikes.
For example, a handful of berries is better than an ice cream sandwich. Essentially, you want to look for slower-digesting carbohydrates with more nutritional value.
However, that doesn’t apply to anybody when you are trying to regular your blood sugar. Milk already has sugar in it, and adding more is a recipe for a blood sugar spike. Unless your blood sugar is dangerously low after your workout, avoid simple sugars such as:
- Energy drinks
- Baked goods (muffins, donuts, cake, etc.)
- Sugary coffee
- Smoothies (most)
You should also avoid starchy foods, including white potatoes (such as fries, chips, etc.), white bread, and white rice. Maintaining your blood sugar levels is most important.
In general, you should also avoid deep-fried foods or foods that are extremely calorie-dense, like bacon or sausage. Eating smaller meals throughout the day with the right nutritional value is always recommended.
Nutrition for Post-Workout Recovery
When trying to maintain your blood sugar levels, there are certain foods you should try to eat after your workouts to refuel your body and start the recovery process. For example, you should eat some sugars to restore your body’s glycogen stores, which are often depleted after a workout, but they need to come from the right sources.
Always drink water before and after your workout, as post-workout hydration is critical for maintaining blood sugar levels and aiding in recovery. Aim for at least 16 oz before your workout and another 16 oz after.
Throughout the day, especially when exercising, women should aim to drink 11.5 cups of water, and men should aim to drink 15.5 cups.
Eggs and Whole Grain Toast
Whole-grain bread offers a rich nutritional portfolio loaded with fiber, complex carbohydrates, and some protein. Choose a thinly sliced bread if the carbs are too high, ensure that there is no added sugar, and find a bread you enjoy!
If you need some extra healthy fat or calories, add an avocado to your toast or nut butter for an extra protein kick. Are you looking to lower your fat intake? Try using only egg whites.
Don’t eat eggs? Scramble up some tofu for a similar texture and make it the way you like it!
For extra nutrition, scramble your eggs with onions, spinach, and tomatoes. These vegetables are delicious, low in carbs, and high in fiber and micronutrients to aid in recovery.
Meal idea: Egg sandwich or sunnyside up eggs on top of toast. If you need extra sugars, add a piece of fruit to the meal.
Also, for people who prefer to work out in the mornings, half a cup of oats has 23 grams of net carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein. Have a glass of milk on the side (or in the oatmeal) for extra protein.
Meal idea: To avoid adding too much sugar, use berries instead of sugary fruits or nut butter for some extra protein.
Greek Yogurt and Fruit
Remember, berries are some of the best fruits you can eat to prevent unnecessary spikes, and they are also loaded with nutrition. Also, there are plenty of options for low-sugar or sugar-free Greek yogurt available today, so mix it in with some berries for a quality post-workout snack.
Meal idea: Need extra carbs? Put some low-sugar granola or overnight oats into your yogurt, along with some berries.
Drink a protein shake along with some oatmeal, berries, or whole grains for a quality protein boost after your workout. A quality protein shake will help refuel your body, help with post-workout recovery, and post-workout hydration, and won’t cause sugar spikes.
Peanut Butter Sandwich
This should only be used with thinly sliced bread or low-carb bread, but always whole grain! Avoid using jelly or “fluff,” and have a glass of skim or 1% milk on the side. The amino acid profiles in bread and peanut butter create a “complete protein,” which means that it’s just as beneficial for post-workout recovery as eggs, meat, or dairy.
Be Consistent About Post-Workout Recovery
Diet and exercise are your best defense against insulin and blood sugar spikes, so take it seriously.
Now that you know some great post-workout recovery meals and nutritional advice, put it to use and keep yourself healthy! Stay up to date with our latest health & fitness news, and feel free to contact us with any questions.
America isn’t immune anymore. 3.4 million Americans had to go to the hospital due to an infectious or parasitic disease in 2018.
If you want to avoid a lengthy hospital stay, you should try to boost your immune system naturally. One of the best ways to boost your immune system is to eat healthy foods. But not every fruit and vegetable is going to help you fight off colds.
What foods boost your immune system? Why do these foods help your immune system? How can you incorporate these foods into your diet?
Answer these questions, and you can master how to boost your immune system in no time. Here is your quick guide.
Ask someone about foods that boost your immune system, and they’ll probably talk to you about citrus fruits. Oranges, lemons, and limes contain high amounts of vitamin C, which produces white blood cells. White blood cells fight off infections in all parts of the body and decrease inflammation.
Try to eat an orange every day. You can also squeeze lemons or limes over grilled or roasted meat for added flavor.
Blueberries have anthocyanin, which is an antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and bolster the immune response in the upper respiratory system. If blueberries are too tart for you, you can try mulberries and black chokeberries.
Elderberries are a traditional folk remedy for the common cold. They contain anthocyanin alongside potassium, which regulates how cells receive signals from the immune system. You can find elderberries at most grocery stores, and you can forage for them in the fall.
If you want to try a new fruit, you can eat acai berries. Acai berries are rich in antioxidants, including anthocyanins. They contain pits, so be careful when eating them.
Yogurt is a probiotic food, meaning it contains bacteria that can stimulate your immune system. It also contains vitamin D, which can boost the immune system against viruses and bacteria.
Try to find plain yogurt, as many sweetened yogurts contain added sugars that can weaken your immune system. You can combine berries and yogurt with nuts to make a parfait, which can serve as a breakfast or snack.
Garlic is another home remedy for colds and infections. It can also lower your blood pressure and slow down inflammation and hardening in the arteries.
Garlic contains allicin, a chemical compound that kills bacteria. Allicin is sulfuric, meaning that garlic can have a very strong flavor. You can saute garlic or sprinkle it into sauces to cut down on the taste.
You may take ginger pills or ginger extract to reduce stomach discomfort or indigestion. You can eat pieces of ginger or drink ginger juice to boost your immune system as well. A 2020 meta-analysis of 109 studies found that ginger can help with inflammation, diabetes, and cancer.
If the flavor of ginger is too intense for you, you can make a smoothie out of it. You can use almond milk, orange juice, or green tea as a base. You can combine chopped ginger with spinach leaves, carrots, citrus fruits, and other ingredients.
Turmeric is a spice common in Indian and South Asian dishes. It can clean your respiratory tract, removing viruses and bacteria in your nose and mouth. It also has curcumin, a chemical compound that relieves the stress response during infections.
Turmeric has a flavor akin to black pepper, so you should use it sparingly. You can sprinkle some turmeric into a vegetable curry or a soup. Many curry mixes contain turmeric in them, so read the ingredients label to see if turmeric is already in yours.
Oily fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can mitigate rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions. Try to eat salmon and tuna at least once a week.
Shellfish also has immune benefits because it has zinc, which replenishes immune cells. Try to eat oysters, crab, and lobster. You can eat raw oysters, but you should select cooked crabmeat and lobster.
Chicken and turkey have vitamin B-6, which forms new red blood cells and triggers chemical reactions that increase immune responses. Eating just a few ounces of chicken can give you your daily recommended amount of B-6.
If you like soup, you can make stock out of boiled chicken bones. Bones contain gelatin and chondroitin, which repair cells in your intestines.
One of the healthy benefits of dairy foods is that it bolsters the immune system. Milk contains high amounts of zinc alongside vitamins A and D. If you don’t like the taste of milk, you can eat cheese instead.
Try to select dairy products that have probiotic bacteria in them. Probiotic dairy foods include kefir and feta cheese.
Dark chocolate has theobromine, an antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals. The body produces free radicals when it encounters pathogens and breaks down food, so dark chocolate may be most effective after big meals.
Chocolate can contain high amounts of saturated fat and sugar, so find a low-fat version. You can eat dark chocolate bars, or you can melt the chocolate down and dip berries into it.
So What Foods Boost Your Immune System?
A lot of people have questions about their immune systems. What foods boost your immune system?
Citrus fruits, berries, and yogurt are three of the biggest boosters. They contain antioxidants that preserve blood cells and support the respiratory system.
But you can also get vitamins from spices like ginger and turmeric. If you want protein, you can have poultry, shellfish, and dairy. Try to eat a balanced diet with dishes that contain natural ingredients.Keep learning about healthy foods and practices. Ingredia provides premium health and wellness guides. Read our guide on naturally lowering your blood sugar today.
About one in every ten Americans will develop diabetes. Type two diabetes is commonly referred to as a “lifestyle disease.”
Insulin is the hormone that our bodies use to turn the food we eat into energy. The more insulin our bodies produce, the more it increases the production of glycogen.
Fortunately, there is a simple way to control your insulin production. One of the benefits of building muscle is to control insulin resistance (the culprit of diabetes) and further prevent diabetes.
In this guide, we discuss a few reasons building muscle can protect you from developing diabetes. Keep reading to learn more.
Understanding Muscle Mass
Muscle mass, unlike lean body mass, exclusively refers to the muscles in your body. There is skeletal muscle, smooth muscle, and cardiac muscle. Smooth muscle and cardiac muscle make up different organs in your body.
For the sake of this guide, we’ll be discussing skeletal muscle. These are the large muscles all over the body that we exercise during strength training. These muscles can be built up, maintained, or shrink depending on your activity and age.
In preventing diabetes, the goal is to build a healthy amount of skeletal muscle to stabilize blood sugar.
The Relationship Between Blood Sugar and Muscle Mass
When it comes to preventing diabetes your weight matters. More specifically though, the proportion of your weight that is muscle is what matters.
Diabetes happens when your body no longer makes enough insulin or doesn’t metabolize it as it should. This is what causes the high blood sugar levels associated with pre-diabetes and diabetes. Insulin resistance if not managed can progress into type two diabetes.
Luckily, one of the best ways to reverse insulin resistance is through exercise, specifically strength training. Studies found a link between increased muscle mass and reduced insulin resistance and prediabetes.
For every 10% increase in muscle mass within the body, insulin resistance reduces by 11% and prediabetes reduces by 12%. The more muscle your body has, the more excess glucose your body can use or flush out.
Living a sedentary lifestyle greatly increases the risk of developing diabetes. This is not news, but in the past being lean was the only aspect of diabetes prevention highly valued.
Today doctors realize the ideal combination is being lean and also having a higher muscle mass ratio. This calls for a mix of aerobic exercise and at least two days of full-body strength training weekly.
The Benefits of Building Muscle Mass to Control Blood Sugar
One of the benefits of building muscle via strength and weight training is its ability to help you reduce your risk of developing diabetes. Adults who want to prevent type two diabetes are recommended to strength train at least two or three times a week. Building muscle mass to control blood sugar has been shown to help managers and improve the following diabetes precursors.
Burns Blood Sugar
When strength training your body uses up old glycogen stores to feed the muscles. Once the stored muscular glycogen is consumed, the body then turns to the liver glycogen and blood sugar.
By removing and consuming excess blood sugar, the next meal you have, your body will be eager instead of overwhelmed by the sugar in your meal.
Improves Glucose Storage
Trained muscles are better at storing glucose in the form of glycogen. When glucose is stored instead of roaming around freely in the blood, it helps to reduce overall blood sugar levels which further decreases the risk of developing diabetes.
Consistently elevated blood sugar, especially fasting blood sugar, is a sign of pre-diabetes.
Because increased muscle mass helps reduce sugar in the blood, it is responsible for helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels plummet or skyrocket, we can have unstable energy and mood disruptions that prompt us to seek out unhealthy food.
A poor diet is a contributing factor in the development of diabetes among other diseases.
Simplifies Weight Loss
When you strength train you build lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass a person has, the easier it is for them to maintain and lose weight. Studies found that losing 5 to 10% of your current body weight can improve your overall HbA1c score.
Your HbA1c measures hemoglobin A1C and is the main test to help those manage diabetes. Because it denotes your blood sugar levels over three months it is also useful in preventing diabetes.
Burning muscle helps us lose weight and losing weight lowers A1C scores.
Targets Visceral Belly Fat
Visceral fat is encapsulating abdominal fat. It is incredibly dangerous and disrupts hormones, including insulin. Adipocytes release hormones that trigger insulin resistance. If left unchecked insulin resistance can become diabetes.
With strength training, aerobic exercise, and stress reduction you can reduce your body’s visceral fat.
The Best Foods for Regulating Blood Sugar Levels and Boosting Muscle Growth
If your goal is to build muscle, lose weight and steady blood glucose-protein needs to be your best friend. This macronutrient is abundant in many food sources, but it is important to consider the quality of the protein you consume. Some of the best sources of protein for building muscle mass include:
- Lean meats
- Fish and shellfish
- Nuts and legumes
These protein sources stem from nature and are shown to reduce blood sugar levels which can stabilize cravings.
Prevent Diabetes by Increasing Your Muscle Mass
It’s amazing that one of the benefits of building muscle is offsetting disease. If you’re wondering how to build muscle mass naturally make sure to strength train at least two times weekly and take a rest day between strength sessions.
Support your workouts with healthy protein consumption that matches your activity level.Consistently following the steps above can help you control blood sugar, lose weight, and prevent diabetes. Read more on other steps you can take to prevent diabetes.
Modern life is stressful for everyone but did you know that stress wreaks havoc on our bodies? Stress does more than emotional harm, it also contributes to health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Because of the mental and physical health implications, it’s important to reduce your stress levels. Thankfully, there are some easy and inexpensive ways of reducing your stress.
One of the best ways of reducing stress is through mindfulness. In this article, we’ll discuss some mindfulness activities for adults. Most of them are easy and many of them are free!
Intentional Breathing Reduces Stress
Mindful breathing is a great way to reduce stress because it activates your parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS). More than 10,000 fibers (the vagus nerve system) extend from your brain to most of your body’s organs.
A few of the areas the PSNS acts on include:
- Stomach and trunk nerves
- Tear-producing lacrimal glands
- Saliva-producing salivary glands
- Bladder nerves
Engaging the PSNS with intentional breathing initiates relaxation which allows your body to repair and restore balanced bodily functions.
You may not experience immediate relaxation but try intentional breathing on a regular basis and you should notice a difference in your stress levels. Follow these steps.
1. Find a Comfortable Spot
Sit in a comfortable and quiet spot. You can sit in a chair or lie on your back. As you get comfortable, observe your breath.
Pay attention to where your breath flows. Notice it in your nostrils, chest, belly, back, front, and sides. Avoid any thoughts of judgment and just observe your breath.
Observing your breath may slow down your breathing rate but breathe normally. Try not to deepen or change your normal breathing pattern.
2. Put Your Hands on Your Belly and Chest
Now, place one hand in the center of your chest. Put the other hand with your thumb below your belly button. Continue breathing in your normal way.
Observe some more. Are you breathing more into your left or right hand? Continue to breathe normally and observe how you feel and what you notice.
Continue breathing for ten breaths or more.
3. Alternate Breathing Into Your Left and Right Hands
Where is your left hand? Is it over your chest or under your belly button? Breathe into the space under your left hand.
Mentally observe what you feel as you breathe into your left hand for about 10-20 breaths. Take some deep inhalations and exhalations after 20 breaths.
Now switch to your right hand and repeat the process. Breathe into your right hand and observe what you feel. Observe for 10-20 breaths.
4. Try Half Breaths
Now breathe half a breath into your left hand and pause for 1-2 seconds. Concentrate on taking the rest of the breath into your other hand. Exhale from whichever hand is on the bottom and let the exhalation travel to your other hand and up and out.
Repeat the process again for 10-20 breaths and then take several deep inhalations and exhalations. Then resume normal breathing.
5. Take Some Full Breaths
For the last step, take deep, full breaths from the top to the bottom on the inhalation and from the bottom to the top on the exhalation. Don’t pause but see if you can exhale slower than you inhale.
After another 10-20 breaths, take a few deep inhalations and exhalations and then resume your normal breathing.
6. Observe Your Feelings
When you’re done, take a few minutes to observe your feelings. Stay in the moment and avoid judging yourself or worrying about what’s next on your agenda. Once you’re familiar with this exercise, try it once a day to reduce stress.
Go for a Walk
When it comes to managing stress, walking is underrated and a great activity for coping with stress. Our bodies weren’t meant to sit at a computer all day, and prolonged sitting isn’t healthy.
Some people go all day without physical activity other than walking to and from their car in a parking lot or walking through the grocery store. A 30-minute walk strengthens bones, improves cardiovascular health, and helps balance your blood sugar, reducing your likelihood of developing type-2 diabetes.
Walking is one of the best mindfulness-based stress and anxiety tools that are simple, free, and available to almost everyone. Even adding a 10-minute walk a couple of times a day into your routine reduces stress. Next time you walk, quiet your mind and observe everything you see around you.
In today’s fast-food world, mindful eating is beneficial in several ways.
- Increases awareness of fullness
- Reduces stress
- Reduces overeating
- Helps with weight loss
Next time you eat, turn off the TV, put down your phone, and pay attention only to eating. Focus on the food – the flavors, smells, and texture of the food.
Over time, you’ll enjoy your food more and eat less as you observe your body’s response to food. For many people, mindful eating helps them lose weight which also reduces emotional stress. Mindful eating also helps reduce the chances of developing type-2 diabetes.
Yoga and Meditation
The regular practice of yoga reduces stress and benefits your body. Yoga is a mind-body practice that includes breathing techniques combined with meditation and physical poses. There are so many different types and levels of yoga that there’s something for almost everyone.
As with other mindfulness and stress techniques, yoga quiets the mind, encourages non-judgment, and improves your health. If you’re new to yoga, it’s best to find a yoga studio with an experienced teacher. You can also find yoga classes on the internet and some local studios now offer online classes due to the pandemic.
Try These Mindfulness Activities for Adults
Try these mindfulness activities for adults to reduce stress and improve health. Make mindfulness a habit for coping with stress, and you’ll see improvements in your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
Try these mindfulness activities for adults to reduce stress and improve health. Make mindfulness a habit for coping with stress, and you’ll see improvements in your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Are you looking for more great health, wellness, and fitness advice? Find more articles, information, and helpful insights on our blog.