The last 8 weeks of my life have been abnormal. Very abnormal. I have gone back to school to complete my degree and the accelerated 4-credit course in addition to a full-time job totally kicked my ass.
These days, we are all under pressure for something. Whether it be our work, our family, our school or life. Balance is hard to achieve. During my course, I couldn’t balance it all… something had to give… and the only thing left to give was my sleep.
I have now completed the course and I wanted to share what an average of 3-hours of sleep per night did to me and my diabetes.
Sleep and Diabetes
According to Diabetes Living, people who don’t get enough sleep often have higher levels of chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. Lack of sleep also can increase production of cortisol (which is the body’s primary stress hormone), impair memory and impair reflex time and elevate blood sugar.
AND, without sleep, the body is searching for energy… through food. Appetite increases and a someone living with diabetes may experience higher blood sugars because of the insulin resistance and stress PLUS an increased appetite… and therefore more snacking (further raising blood sugars!!) and further preventing a good night’s sleep!! It’s hard to sleep when blood sugars are out of whack!
Why I’m a Sleep Deprived Diabetic
My schedule, for the last 7 weeks has been composed of working a full time job (with overtime) in addition to a mass quantity of schoolwork, labs, entertaining houseguests, various unfortunate events, eating at random hours of the day and getting about 3 hours of sleep a night. My husband is over-the-top supportive and during this time, he helped out around the house and stayed awake with me to help keep me alert and show support. In hindsight, he should have gone to bed.
Please listen to this podcast for details on what happened to my blood sugars, insulin requirements and more!
I call myself fitT1Dfoodie not to portray myself as a fitness or food expert but to share what it’s like to live with diabetes while battling the highs and lows of life. Food, fitness and diabetes have a relationship… but none of them get along with stress. Stress, such as sleep-deprivation.
My course finished on Friday and I took my final exam. Thank goodness I passed and did well but grade in no way reflects the personal health sacrifices both my husband and I had to endure. I know it will be some time before I can say things are back to normal.
If I may offer any wisdom to you, and my future self (because this won’t be the last course I take… Statistics starts later this week!) I’ll say, sleep is important.
Don’t sacrifice sleep. Learn to delegate and take time for you. I’m going to approach my upcoming course with a me-first attitude. I know that whatever demands are placed on me — whether from my job or my schoolwork, I only have this one life and body and I need to treat them both well or the benefits from all this effort will be wasted on a corpse that thought she was doing the right thing for her so-called future.
Since I have more courses to complete, I’m going to work on setting a study pattern with a lights-out at 9:30PM no-matter-what policy for my upcoming course. I’m also going to ensure I workout a minimum of 3 times per week to help blunt the stresses on my blood sugars and eat on-schedule instead of whenever.
I’m optimistic that if I get more sleep, my appetite will get back in control.
DELICIOUSLY DIABETIC RECIPE
OK, so this week’s Deliciously Diabetic recipe is also deliciously simple! I’m sharing it only because I came up with it during one of my late-night study sessions and it’s awesome. Even Rob likes it! I call it, 30-Second Cheesecake.
Since I was craving sweets the last few weeks I somehow found a low carb way to keep my tastebuds happy. To make a delicious 30-second Cheesecake, I just took a cracker, topped it with a thin slice of cream cheese and a dollop of low sugar jam. That’s it. Instant 30-second Cheesecake. It’s way better than it sounds so give it a try sometime and let me know what you think.
- 1 cracker
- 1 slice cream cheese
- 1 tsp low sugar jam
Top cracker with cream cheese and jam. Enjoy!
I loved this treat with Mary's Gone Crackers, regular butter crackers and even graham crackers if I wanted something a little more authentically cheesecake. So simple and so good! Feel free to get creative and add nuts or other toppings. I simply used what I had on hand and this totally satisfied my nasty food cravings during late night study sessions.
What About You?
So, how are you doing? How much sleep do you get per night? Have you found any good ways to get a good nights sleep while under pressure?