Sleep So Screwed Up

Hi TU community and friends; hope all enjoyed the weekend. Just wanted some feedback about sleep problems been having. Since I was diagnosed mid-Jan '12, my sleep has totally been shaken up big time. My mind keeps racing and I know I haven't accepted the fact yet. For the last week though it seems even more screwed up. I've only used my CPAP a few nights as I've found it doesn't help me with such restful sleep as it did since I'd been using it. But the thing I really hate is that every night for the last week been waking at 2AM! Then maybe if lucky I'll fall asleep with or without the help of Xanax for a few hours and about 430-5 wake up again and then again about 7---just miserable!! Could it be my blood sugar is really high at that time; I feel totally normal though. I was going to check it last night at 2 but then was afraid it would be some extremely high # then I'd be panicking all night. Any thoughts/advice? Thanks!

I sleep very poorly as well but I don't know if it's diabetes related. I remember when i was first dignosed last summer I wasn't sleeping but when I got it under control I started to sleep really well for a while. It might just be the anxiety you're feeling having just found out a couple months ago. What meds are you on? I didn't notice Metformin, Glimepride or now Lantus affecting my sleep any more than usual.

Thanks for the reply Justin! I'm on Janumet 2x day; I'm sure it is all the anxiety but still sucks big time!! Used to love how well I slept; hope it gets better.

Hi Brian. For years since I got diabetes I've been waking up sometime between 2:00 and 3:00 AM. My guess is that it has to do with hormones and other changes due to the DP. And yes, I always test. Then I usually wake up again about 6:30 AM, although I'd much rather sleep until 8:00. Oh well, I get to see the whole Today Show.

Thanks Trudy for the reply; I hope its just a passing trend. If not, I will be watching a lot more of the Today Show as well!

I have sleep problems as well and sleep with a CPAP. Getting a good night's sleep is really important to your health and it can have a big effect on your blood sugar. But fixing your breathing problems with a CPAP is only part of getting a good night's sleep. Getting to sleep and staying asleep has as much to do with "sleep hygiene" as it does with good breathing. If you are waking and then all focused on racing thoughts and depressed and anxious about your condition, that alone can mess things up. You need to not take your worries to bed. I know it is hard, this whole diabetes thing can mess up your head big time. One thing that might help is relaxation techniques and efforts to clear your mind.

ps. And if you are worred that you have high blood sugars, then just test.

Brian, how long ago did you have your sleep study done? I was diagnosed T2 years ago but all of a sudden I wasn't sleeping through the night. After the doctor ordered another sleep study (first one was done in 1995) and we got the results my wife is like; "Oh yeah, I noticed that a year ago." Hello...were you ever going to tell me this!

Anyway, got a new sleep study done and the pressure adjusted up and all is back to relative normal.

Or at least the wife hasn't told me anything else.

It was in Mar. 05 and that is really helpful information I didn't even think about. Maybe I need another study or adjusted pressure; I do know I'm due for a new mask! Thanks for the feedback!

It sounds like anxiety. I get that way when I'm particularly stressed out. Back when I had a script for Xanax that was a great help. For something more natural I have found melatonin is fab. If I wake up in the middle of the night I often pop another one.

As bsc says, it is hard not to take your problems to bed but that it what you need to do. One thing I do is keep a journal near my bed. When I wake up or even before I go to sleep, I'll write whatever is on my mind. That will sometimes help me let it go until I'm actually awake.

My night time routine lately has been to allow myself a wind down period where I don't do anything worklike (that means I watch tv or read a fiction book) for about an hour. I know a lot of experts say not to do this but I do it in bed. I take 3-5 mg of melatonin along with my night meds. I also eat my fatty/protein snack. I try not to drink too much later in the evening so the call of nature doesn't wake me up. It usually takes about 45 mins for the melatonin to kick in and I'm ready to sleep. I try to keep my room comfortable and quiet (not much luck with quiet with 2 teens still at home). If I wake up and can't get back to sleep rather quickly I pop another melatonin and play solitaire or read for about 1/2 hr. Lately this works more often than not. I did have one night that at about 4 am I finally gave up and got up and studied.

Lack of sleep messes with your bs and makes life much harder to cope with. If this continues, you may want to talk to your dr. You may need some meds to help you sleep.

Good advice; I so need to learn to relax--got so many thoughts racing around but unfortunately easier said then done. Got to keep trying though.

Thanks Whirlygig for the advice! I'm going to keep trying all these techniques and info I've been getting; hopefully, soon it will work! Have you tried Unisom; I bought some last week but haven't tried them yet. Melatonin I will most definitely try soon.

No fun seeing high BG in the middle of the night, but helpful to test to know. If it's not, you can cross that off the list. If it's high, there are things you can do to help lower it. It may be you're eating close to sleep, what you've eaten for dinner, etc.

Hard to unwind & put aside racing thoughts. Things that help me are a really warm bath with Epsom salts (magnesium is sooo relaxing), camomile tea & a white noise machine. I have an inexpensive one that has sounds of rain, ocean waves, bird songs, crickets & plain white noise. It helps my brain turn off anxiety.

I've been using my CPAP for nineteen years. By "using" I mean that I have not taken so much as a :20 minute nap -- not even once -- without it, for nineteen years. I had/have severe sleep apnea and I just decided that I was going to do whatever it took to adjust to and accept the CPAP, no matter what.

I have found that "making it my own" the way so many diabetics have made their diabetic program "their own" is the key. I bought some felt and cut little pieces to put where I felt pressure from the head-gear. I established my own schedule for cleaning and changing filters. I wrap the center of my hose with a double roll of towel material so it doesn't tap on the headboard or slide between the headboard and mattress. I figured out the room temperature I need to breathe the best (too cold and I can't sleep, too hot and I feel like I'm breathing air out of a blast furnace.) I have resisted all efforts by sleep apnea "experts" to force me off of the nasal pillows and onto a mask (I'm used to the other headgear, why would I fix something if it's not broken?!?) I've tried and rejected two humidifiers.

The key is to accept it, own it, get into problem solving mode and absolutely refuse to give up until you get to where I am with it: sometimes I can't even tell if I have it on or not and have to reach up with my hand to confirm that I'm wearing it. It's that second-nature and comfortable. It feels almost like part of my body.

If you can get it, the APAP (automatic PAP) is the best, I think. I'm on my third machine and this one is so silent and so "cooperative" that I really love sleeping with it. It also has a built-in memory card that I can just mail to my doctor and they can report back to me how I'm doing with it (how many episodes, durations, average pressure, etc.) -- which is very reassuring. It's like having a little sleep lab in your bedroom.

Sleep is very important part of the diabetes puzzle. Don't miss out on the power of the APAP to help you feel better. I still have sleep issues, but suffocating while I sleep is no longer one of them!!!

Melatonin has been working for me and doesn't seem to have any side effects, at least for me. I'm not sure what is in Unisom but I try to stay away from most sleep aids because I seem to get a hangover from them.