Using Natural Methods to Overcome Insomnia

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Many people with type 2 diabetes must get up multiple times during the night to urinate. It’s true; I do it myself at least once a night, often twice or even thrice.

This prevents one from getting a restful night’s sleep.

Sleep deprivation can bring on a host of health problems. The complications of diabetes, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, renal failure, neuropathy, and blindness, can be made worse by obesity.

Sleep deprivation and its medical consequences

You undoubtedly know that if you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll feel foggy and cranky in the morning.

Did you know that not getting enough shut-eye can adversely affect your health, attractiveness, and ability to make sound decisions?

Here are the six major types of sleep deprivation-related disorders:

Consistent sleep deprivation [1] can lead to serious physical health issues.

Heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke are all examples of such conditions. If you’re already diabetic and have trouble sleeping, your risk of these complications increases dramatically.

[2] Lack of sleep can also affect one’s ability to think clearly. Sleep, for instance, is essential because it provides mental downtime for processing and storing information learned throughout the day.

French and American scientists found that “sharp wave ripples” in the brain solidify memories. These waves also carry information from the hippocampus to the neocortex, where it can be preserved for the long term.

Intense sleep is associated with sharp wave ripples. Thus, you’re less likely to retain the day’s worth of insights and experiences if you don’t get enough shut-eye.

That’s not all, though. If you don’t get enough shut-eye, you’ll have more difficulty focusing, remembering details, and solving problems.

Sleepy people are more likely to be involved in accidents [3, 4].

The most obvious explanation is that sleep deprivation leads to reduced cognitive ability, clouded vision, and, thus, poor judgment and decision-making.

According to one study, workers who reported feeling excessively sleepy during the day were shown to have more work mishaps and more frequent accidents than their alert coworkers.

Fatigue plays a role in about 1,500 annual road fatalities in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Some of the worst industrial disasters in the 20th century occurred as a direct result of sleep deprivation, including the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chornobyl, and the 1989 Exxon Valdez crude oil spill, which caused one of the worst environmental disasters ever caused by humans.

Lack of sleep [4] can diminish your sex motivation.

Sleep experts say that men and women who go without enough shut-eye report reduced sexual desire and libido.

Males with sleep apnea, characterized by breathing interruptions during sleep, release abnormally low quantities of testosterone (the primary male sex hormone) while they sleep.

Scientists haven’t figured out why sleep deprivation reduces a man’s and a woman’s libido.

[5] Lack of sleep can make you look older than your years, with less elastic skin and smooth and dark circles beneath the eyes.

This is due to two factors:

First, your body produces more cortisol (the stress hormone) when you don’t sleep enough. Collagen, the protein that keeps skin soft and elastic, can be damaged by elevated cortisol levels.

Second, the production of human growth hormone is suppressed by sleep deprivation. HGH aids in development when we are young. As we age, it plays a role in restoring our thinning muscle mass, maintaining the thickness and elasticity of our skin, and fortifying our brittle bones.

During REM sleep, the body naturally produces HGH to aid in healing damaged tissues. Unless we repair the day’s everyday wear and tear while we sleep, we’ll start to show our age before long. Unfortunately, the production of HGH is disrupted by a lack of sleep.

For people with diabetes who need to lose weight to control their condition, [6] weight gain is another significant impact of sleep deprivation.

A 2004 study found that those who slept for less than six hours each night were over 30% more likely to become obese than those who slept for seven to nine hours. This may indicate that sleep deprivation contributes to overeating.

What follows is an explanation:

While ghrelin (also known as the “hunger” hormone) increases hunger, leptin (also known as the “satiety” hormone) decreases it. Recent studies have linked sleep deprivation to higher levels of ghrelin and lower leptin.

However, not getting enough sleep not only makes you hungry but also makes you crave fatty, sugary snacks.

Those with diabetes, beware!

Sleeplessness treatments

Finding a solution, or at least a technique to increase the quality and quantity of your sleep, is crucial, especially if you are diabetic, because of the significance of the many medical conditions that lack sleep can bring.

It’s possible that sleeping medications could help you. However, I have not found that these help you get a good night’s rest.

In the morning, most people who have taken a sleeping pill feel foggy and stay that way for several hours until the chemicals in the drug wear off.

Natural cures should be sought instead of pharmaceuticals.

Here are a few that have proven to be famous:

[1] Get your workout done first thing in the morning, as this time of day appears to affect the internal clocks determining how well you sleep.

Women who exercised moderately for at least 30 minutes daily on seven mornings of the week slept better than those who exercised less frequently or later in the day, according to a study published in the journal Sleep.

Why is there a correlation between when you work out and go to bed? There is no one correct response.

The temperature of the body could be a factor. After working out, your body temperature might take up to six hours to return to normal. Exercising earlier in the day will allow you to chill down sufficiently before night, which has been related to improved sleep quality.

I’ve found that drinking green tea before bed helps me wind down and get a good night’s sleep.

L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, has been shown to reduce stress and promote relaxation, which can help you get a better night’s rest. In a study conducted in 2007, L-theanine was found to lessen the effects of stress on the heart rate and immune system. It causes waves in the brain that are associated with calmness.

[3] Warm milk… consumed just before bedtime, is a time-honored natural treatment for insomnia.

It could help you unwind, reminding you of being rocked to sleep as a baby.

Warm almond milk is ideal because of its high calcium content, which promotes melatonin production in the brain.

The sleep-inducing hormone melatonin [4] acts as an internal clock.

The sleep-inducing effects of melatonin include decreased core body temperature and overall sleepiness. The hormone occurs normally in the body.

Supplemental melatonin has shown conflicting results in studies of its effectiveness in treating insomnia. For some people with insomnia, it helps them fall asleep and stay asleep, while for others, it has no effect.

Supplements containing melatonin can be purchased without a prescription. However, they are not always manufactured carefully or consistently due to a lack of control. Thus vigilance is advised.

[5] Magnesium… is essential to getting a good night’s rest.

Lack of any magnesium, even in small amounts, has been proven in studies to disrupt sleep patterns.

Green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and almonds are all excellent natural sources of magnesium. You may easily incorporate these foods into your daily diet.

However, before taking magnesium supplements, it is essential to consult your doctor, as magnesium can interact with numerous commonly used medications, and too much magnesium can be hazardous.

[6] Lavender oil… is soothing, and it helps some people get to sleep.

A warm bath scented with lavender oil before night can be calming for the mind and body. Try it.

[7] Valerian root… is a medicinal herb with a sedating effect that has been used to treat sleep issues since Ancient Rome.

Despite its widespread use, valerian has received conflicting reviews from the scientific community. Before you start using it, talk to your doctor.

[8] Don’t eat anything before bed, as digestion can prevent you from falling asleep and preventing deep sleep.

Avoid eating at least two hours before bedtime.

[9] The ambiance of one’s bedroom is crucial for a restful night’s sleep.

Here are some suggestions for creating the most peaceful bedroom possible:

There should be no electronic devices in the bedroom, period.
Maintain a comfortable temperature, not too cool.
Turn off all lights in the bedroom.
Eliminate background noise by turning on a white noise machine.
Sleep soundly on a supportive, firm mattress.
Put your head and neck on a firm pillow.
Linen sheets are recommended because they can absorb moisture while allowing air to pass through.
Don your pajamas… to convey your brain the right messages
Last word… After turning off the lights and getting into bed, if you don’t fall asleep within 30 minutes, you should get out of bed and do something else. Do something that needs your full attention, like reading, until you get tired again. Get back into bed.

Kennedy, Paul D., has type 2 diabetes. About seven years ago, he stopped using drugs to regulate his blood glucose levels, having used his expertise as an international consultant and researcher to establish a solution to control his diabetes with nutrition alone. More details are available at, or you can email Paul directly at [email protected]. Beating Diabetes, Amazon sells his book in print and as a Kindle ebook. Create Space, an online bookstore, also sells the printed version.

Read also: A Comprehensive Guide To Navigating The Dental Quest Maze


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