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Sleep advice for diabetics

Woman sleeping in white bed
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Helping you to sleep better

A good night's sleep helps your concentration and productivity during the day. It can also help improve your memory and keep your weight steady and healthy. We know that it isn't always easy to get the sleep you need, but by making some lifestyle changes, you could improve the quality and length of it. 

Our Pharmacist Anshu Bhimbat has put together some useful suggestions to help those with diabetes get the sleep they need.

Timing your food and drink

  • Try to avoid going to bed hungry. But a full stomach is no better as it may stop you sleeping while your body is busy digesting. The Sleep Foundation recommends that you eat your supper at least three hours before you go to bed. If you're still hungry, eat a light snack about 45 minutes before bedtime.
  • Keep your caffeine intake down, whether in tea, coffee, cola or energy drinks. This stimulant can affect how you eat and how you sleep. Also try to avoid taking your type 2 diabetes medication with a caffeinated drink for the same reasons. So instead of a late-night coffee or tea, try having hot milk or a decaffeinated or herbal hot drink instead.
  • Avoid other stimulants such as alcohol and nicotine in the hours before bedtime.

Create the perfect place to sleep

  • It's thought that a cooler temperature at night is beneficial for sleep; this is because it mirrors your core body temperature. So, if you are too hot in bed, keep your bedroom at a cooler temperature.
  • Create a relaxing environment with a quiet clutter-free bedroom to help you rest. Anshu also recommends that you make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable. If they're not, try to replace them as soon as possible.
  • Think about what you do close to bedtime. Try to avoid stimulating activity like watching television, playing video games, or checking emails. Take a relaxing hot bath or unwind with a good book instead.

Jet lag and shift work

  • Everyone’s body is designed to live with a regular natural rhythm of daylight and darkness. This internal ‘body clock’ is affected by light, and if you change your routine due to international travel or shift work, it will affect your sleep and the ‘stages’ of sleep you experience. Night shifts may make you feel tired at work, while jet lag may make you feel like you need to sleep at the wrong times of day.
  • Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as you can. Also, blackout curtains or blinds in your bedroom can help block out sunlight while you’re trying to sleep.

The effect of your medication and diabetic condition

If you've got diabetes, you may find you don’t sleep as well as you’d like. One of the symptoms is needing to use the toilet in the night, and it’s not always easy to get back to sleep. If your blood sugar’s high, your body temperature can go up, making you feel uncomfortable and unsettled during the night. Try to avoid taking medication at night that contains stimulants such as caffeine.

If you're not sure how to manage your type 2 diabetes symptoms, your medication and the effects it has on your sleep patterns, come in to your local LloydsPharmacy and ask our Pharmacist for advice.

Sleep aids

We have a range of products to help your sleep, in store and online. Our expert healthcare team can advise you on what's right for you: 

Bach rescue night

This is the best option if you prefer a herbal remedy, as it is a unique combination of flower essences such as Rock Rose, Impatiens, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem, and Cherry Plum. It also includes White Chestnut which helps calm your mind from unwanted thoughts that can keep you awake.

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Kalms night

A traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of sleep disturbances, based on traditional use only.

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Nytol one a night

This is ideal for you if you just want a good night's sleep. It relieves temporary sleeping difficulties, with 10 days supply in 20 easy-to-swallow tablets.

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