There are a lot of ways diabetes can make sleep a challenge. Between an increased risk for issues like sleep apnea and the potential for pain, anxiety, and depression, it comes as no surprise that research suggests that nearly 85% of people with diabetes report fatigue.
While you might be thinking most people would probably say they don’t get enough sleep, chronic fatigue is more than a fleeting feeling of tiredness. The Mayo Clinic describes fatigue as an “unrelenting exhaustion… a nearly constant state of weariness that develops over time and reduces your energy, motivation and concentration.” They further note the affect chronic fatigue has on your emotional and psychological well-being.
With so many people being confronted with this often debilitating condition, it’s clear that we could all use some tips on how to improve both the quality and quantity of sleep we get. So, let’s take a look at some ways you can start getting better sleep, more often!
1. Set the mood
Have you ever had a day that’s so crazy that the only thing you can think about is crawling into bed, certain that you’ll be asleep within minutes, only to find yourself staring at the ceiling for hours when that time finally comes? If you have, you’re not alone. With all of the things we’re trying to juggle, it can be difficult to turn our brains off simply because our bodies are tired.
If you have trouble switching gears into sleep-mode, consider implementing a nightly pre-lights-off routine. Try dimming the lights, listening to relaxing music, using aromatherapy, meditating, praying, or taking a warm bath before bed each night. You’ll find that these simple relaxation exercises do wonders for helping you drift off once you’re actually ready for bed.
2. Create a comfortable environment for sleeping
Adjust the temperature, find a good pillow, soft sheets, and a mattress you like. If you’re prone to getting cold, wear warm socks to bed so you’re not kept awake by cold feet. Do whatever you can to ensure you’re as relaxed as possible when you’re getting into bed, so you don’t find yourself waking up later to make adjustments.
Regular exercise can help you get more, and higher quality, sleep. In addition to tiring your body and mind when you engage in physical activity, it can help lower stress levels, allowing your brain to disengage and fall into a sound sleep with more ease.
Think you don’t have time for exercise? It can be as simple as making small changes that allow you to sneak in at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. That number might seem high, but really, it amounts to 30 minutes 5 days a week. And if you can’t reserve 30 minutes at a time, you can even break that 30 minutes down into chunks of 10 minutes or more.
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L.D. and her eleven-year-old lab, Eleanor Rigby Fitzgerald, moved from Seattle to Grand Rapids earlier this year, and are currently enjoying exploring their new city! She likes books, music, movies, running, and being outdoors as much as possible.