How Much Sleep Do I Need?
Rest Your Body
A good night sleep for adults means getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
Take action if you are getting a bad night sleep or if you have sleep apnea.
Getting a good night sleep is linked to better health, better mood, less pain, and clearer thinking. Adults between 18 and 65 years of age should get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Getting a good night sleep is one way to help you manage your diabetes.
What is a Bad Night Sleep?
Getting a bad night sleep can make it harder to manage your blood sugar in the morning. A bad night sleep can also make pain problems worse.
When Bad Sleep Becomes a Problem
A bad night sleep means you get:
- too little sleep (less than 6 hours)
- too much sleep (more than 9 hours a night)
- inconsistent sleep (going to sleep and waking up at very different times each night)
Getting a bad night sleep is a problem if it happens three nights or more each week.
There are a number of ways to know if you have a bad night sleep:
- You will notice that it is hard to get through your day.
- You may run out of energy in the afternoon.
- You may have to take a nap or have coffee, tea, or a snack for energy.
- You may find it hard to focus at work.
- You may get annoyed easily and feel moody.
Tips to Improve Your Sleep
Getting a good night sleep improves your health. Once you have better sleep habits, you will have more energy during the day and your mood will improve. Follow the tips below to help you have a good night sleep:
- Be active during the day.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Keep your bedroom cool and dark.
- Remove devices from your bedroom. This means no computers, television or smart phones.
- Take one hour to relax before bed. To relax you might take a hot bath, listen to music, read, watch TV, or knit.
- Limit drinking alcohol or doing exercise less than four hours before bed.
Sleep apnea means you stop breathing when you sleep. You stop breathing because the air passage to your lungs gets blocked by soft tissue in the back of your throat. This block makes your stress system wake you up so you can start to breathe again.
Did You Know?
Sleep apnea is common in people living with type 2 diabetes. This condition needs treatment because it increases your risk for heart attack and stroke.
Talk to your doctor if you have some of the signs of sleep apnea.
Signs of sleep apnea are:
- loud snoring
- feeling very tired during the day
- you stop breathing at night (other people may have noticed)
- high blood pressure
Sleep apnea makes your stress system wake you up as many as 30 times every hour to breathe. When you wake up this often, you cannot get into a deep sleep at night. You wake up feeling like you did not sleep at all.
How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Body
Sleep apnea makes your health worse. Each time your stress system wakes you up to breathe, your blood sugar goes up. You will notice that your blood sugar is high in the morning if you have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea also makes your blood pressure and cholesterol go up.
Sleep apnea is common in people living with type 2 diabetes (it is found in half of the people living with type 2 diabetes). You are more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke if you do not treat your sleep apnea (your risk is 4 times higher).
If you have some of the signs of sleep apnea, ask your doctor if you should go for a sleep test. Sleep apnea can be treated.