Sleeping better, sugars way down

So, I’ve battled insomnia for the past 4 years and during this time my “pre diabetes and A1c of 6.0” made a big change into full blown diabetes with sugars over 200 and horrible insulin resistance. I couldn’t eat 15 g of carbs…

Fast forward to two weeks ago. I got bursitis in my hip and also seemed to have some nerve pain from my hip/lower back issues, so they gave me gabapentin.

A day or two into taking the gabapentin for sleep and sleeping through the night, my blood sugars really came down by an average of 40 points at any time of the day. I had suffered from limb movement and I think that combined with the awful insomnia wrecked havoc with my blood sugars… At least, I am hoping this is the case and this is a problem solved. I no longer need meal time insulin and I can eat some carbs, if I choose to do so. I am still doing the low carb thing for obvious reasons.

We had tried everything for my insomnia and nothing worked. The 100 mg of gabapentin helps me get a good nights sleep. Such a relief. After 4 years, I felt like I was losing my mind. It was so very stressful being up most of the night. I am hoping this continues…

I thought I would share this for people who have restless legs and limb movements in their sleep with diabetes. They had tried me on mirapex and I was a zombie the next day. I wake up refreshed on gabapentin. I hope I can continue to get it. I hear they are tightening up restrictions on it.

Happy Easter and Passover.


Glad to read your report of better sleep, @jean63. Good sleep, as I’m sure you’re aware, is vital for blood sugar control the following day. I understand that poor sleep leads to elevated cortisol levels and creates insulin resistance.

I recently started using a therapy light in the morning. This light is very bright and emits 10,000 lux. The intention is to expose the eyes and synch the body’s circadian rhythm with the actual sunrise in order to enable a natural melatonin release later in the day near bedtime. It has worked well for me.

This is the same type of light that some people use in the winter to overcome seasonal affective disorder. What I like about this therapy as it doesn’t cause any “side effects” that may accompany drugs.

In any case, I’m happy good sleep has returned for you!

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Thanks Terry, sleep is one of our most vital functions, as we all know. I was a walking zombie for almost 4 years. I was afraid what it was going to do to me. I felt like I was losing brain function in a big way and the fatigue was horrible. I also tried the light therapy. Unfortunately, that didn’t work for me. I needed something to stop my legs from moving at night while I was asleep. I tried natural things first like magnesium, melatonin, etc… This happened by accident when I had to take gabapentin for pain…

It looks like your restless leg syndrome was the cause of your poor sleep. So the gabapentin treated two important symptoms and materially improved your quality of life. Was your doctor surprised at the sleep benefit?

I haven’t seen my doctor yet. Seeing a new Endo at the end of the month.

We give our cats Gabapentin to knock them out, when we travel to and from the beach, because it is an eight hour drive. They sleep for most of the drive. It does not surprise me at all that your legs are helped and that you are sleeping better with Gabapentin.

I very occasionally get restless legs and hate it. I am so glad that you have found something that helps the limb movement and insomnia.

Thanks Marilyn. It’s great you found something to help your cats for a car trip!!! We’ve tried various meds for our one dog who hates to travel without any success. They never tried gabapentin though. We might have to give that a try. They gave some to our other dog for pain control when he had an abscess.

Our vet doses by weight. The cats take one capsule the night before we drive, and more 2 hrs before we leave in the morning.

My wife (not diabetic) has had restless leg for many years that would keep her up. She tried many non-prescription treatments - that never worked reliably. Then finally treated it with prescribed cannabis vape, used when needed. It has worked very well, and may be a less addictive alternative to the gabapentin if you are looking for alternatives.

A side effect of this drug is sleepiness,so glad it is working for you. Nancy50

I have had restless leg syndrome since I was in my 20s. I never knew it was a thing. I figured it meant I needed to go to bed. I used to call it cranky ankles.

I don’t have it at night when I sleep, only when I’m lounging or on an airplane or movie theater.

If I bang my feet together it gives temporary relief.

Red wine causes it to flare up big time. Esp merlot which I don’t drink at all anymore. I hardly drink at all. Not sure if it’s the ethanol or something else in wine that does it.

That being said, inflamation causes insulin resistance. So if you have a hip issue, you will need more insulin.

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High CBD cannabis worked better for me too for the restless legs and neuropathy pain. I make infusions in ghee or coconut oil or olive oil, so an eighth oz of flower can last a couple of months. Gabapentin was a disaster - I think I got pretty much all of the listed side effects, and they’re horrible. Ya, unless we can sleep, BG control is impossible.

So Judith, do you have to go to a cannabis doctor to get the high CBD cannabis??? We don’t have that in my state. I wonder if I can cross the state line to get it?? I am a little afraid of that stuff. I wonder if the proper quality control has been done on it. I wouldn’t want to smoke or vape…

I’m in California, where it’s legal, and quality controls and labeling are the law. I go to a dispensary where nearly all the other customers, last time I was there, (during Covid we get curbside service) were mature ladies like me - Parkinson’s and diabetics, and one epileptic. My doctor advises me (not all doctors will) but can’t prescribe.

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I live in Colorado, where it’s legal for both medicinal and recreational purposes. You can even grow 3 plants per person in your home legally.

I’ve tried it in all it’s forms, and it just doesn’t seem to have any effect on me. I’m completely immune to it. I don’t get the buzz from the THC varieties, and I don’t get the healing benefits from the high CBD varieties.

My husband, on the other hand, also loves it for sleep. We get these infused gummy candy things. He sucks on them like hard candy, so they absorb better, and then has his absolute best sleep. And I wouldn’t disregard vaping so quickly. It’s actually one of the easiest, affordable, and discreet ways to get/transport the cannabis. You get many uses worth in a tiny little cartridge, that you just pop into a little pen-like contraption.

In Colorado, the dispensaries and green houses are highly regulated. We’re talking each and every plant is tagged, tracked, and has a camera on it… Mostly so the state can make sure they’re getting every penny of tax revenue. The dispensaries have always been a good experience, though, with professional, knowledgeable, and well-trained employees and a classy customer base. They’re happy to answer any questions you have and help you find the right product for you. It’s not the “den of iniquity” image many will presume, but rather they’re working really hard to remove the stigma surrounding cannabis and provide an approachable and welcoming place of business.

The reality is that there is still illegal drug trade here. That’s just NOT the clientele the legal dispensaries are catering to, but rather the respectable, everyday people like you and me.


Thanks Robin, I might give that a try. I’d have to go to Florida, which is across the border and it’s not legal in my state, which is a bit of an issue…

Thanks so much for the explanation and help!!!

Enjoy your day!!!

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I wouldn’t have believed it if it didn’t happen personally. I read even one night of poor sleep with increase insulin resistance …yeah yeah yeah, I know. I already have perfect blood sugar a1c 4.9. I decided to start sleeping 1.3 - 2 extra hours of sleep a night hoping it would help me lose some stubborn 5 ponds. Within days my sugars were dropping into the 40’s multiple times a day. I had to drop another unit on my basel.

There is a ton in information you can learn on YouTube about things you can do to help. Aside from the restless leg … are you getting blue light in the evening? This includes TV, spending 30 minutes without tech prior to bed, bedroom needs to be cool, magnesium cream on your legs every night the list of thing that we can do is huge. I dedicated myself to doing what it takes to get the sleep in and exhaust all the options.
Listen to Mathew Walker he will blow your mind or Shawn Stevenson both have books but it’s a podcast away which is how I learn best.

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