Insomnia- Can it be caused by diabettes?

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/24/2006 5:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I am writing to ask about insomnia. My son was recently diagonsed with diabetes, type II.
 He is 31 YO and in complete denial. He is also under an awful lot of stress both from his job and his personal life. I, ofcourse ,am very very concerned and worried about him. He is overweight and a smoker. He does not take care of himself. He works very long hours, has a very long commute to and from work and just worries and takes care of his family and not himself.
 The latest thing that is happening is, he is not able to get any sleep at night.
 He falls asleep and wakes after an hr or two and can not fall back to sleep. This has been going on now for some time . His doctor, ( who he never goes to except that he had to last week because he came down with pnemonia) has given him Lunesta which he says does nothing at all. He also takes xanax for anxiety but not regularly.
  I am trying to find him help so I am starting by searching these boards for advice. Is insomonia a result of being a diabetic? Anyone have any input or advice it will be greatly appreciated.
 Thanking you in advance.
 hope to hear soon

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 10/24/2006 6:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I certainly understand the denial part of the disease. I did that for about ten years... right up until I had to start on insulin. That got my attention. I have never heard of a link between insomnia and diabetes but perhaps someone else on the forum has.

I would recommend that your son start walking around the block with his kids each evening, rain or shine, snow or moonlight, every night. (no cigarettes allowed!) This will do a number of great things for him. It will give him some uninterrupted time with his children who would love to accompany him. They can tell him about their day and he can get some one-on-one time with them. If he starts out slowly and then gets brisk then slows down again it will be a gentle cardio workout for him, increase circulation in the large muscles of his legs, lower his blood sugar, lower his insulin resistance in his cells, burn calories, help him relax, and should improve his sleep time. By telling the kids he needs to do this and having one or all of them accompany him he will have a walking partner each night to help him to stick with it.

Exercise is a real stress buster and walking requires no special equipment or clothing other than a good pair of shoes. Encourage him to visit this forum and we will give him all the encouragement we can. We Type2's have all been where he is and we know what he's going thru. You're a good mom to care and if you can get his wife to attend nutrition classes with him (the doctor usually has to prescribe these) they can start the whole family on a healthier food plan. His children are also in danger of getting Type2 as well so they might as well learn the right way to eat now. Hope this helps.
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/24/2006 7:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so very much for replying. Yes, it has helped alot
Thx again

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 3169
   Posted 10/25/2006 7:20 PM (GMT -7)   
If he's heavy and a smoker, he might want to be evaluated for sleep apnea. Is he a snorer? I've just been diagnosed with sleep apnea, but I think it's a separate issue from the diabetes. I have had sleep problems for some time now, either waking up too early or not being able to get to sleep to begin with. I know everyone is different and there are many causes of insomnia, but it might be something to investigate.

I have had very dramatic evidence of my blood sugar going down after exercise -- not below normal but as low as 100, which is lower than my morning reading. So I am sold now. I use a walker and can't do too much exercise because of spinal stenosis, but with the walker (or pushing a shopping cart), I can walk without too much effort, and I'm so psyched by the results that I'm motivated now. It's not strenuous at all.
Take care. Lois

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 10/25/2006 9:44 PM (GMT -7)   

Lois is spot on!  Your son definitely should have a sleep study. 

I was diagnosed with sleep apena in my early 50's and have slept with a c-pap machine ever since.  My symptoms were very similar to his, but I learned I 'could' go back to sleep sitting up.  Not a satisfactory solution.  After finding out how many times I stopped beathing while asleep, no wonder I woke up startled and afraid to go back to bed/sleep!

Good Luck... Hope he is open to your suggestions and will begin to be more serious about his health issues.   :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 10/26/2006 9:36 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Zoey,

Well, actually its probably the reverse.  The stress and the anxiety are major contributors to insomnia.  They are also major causes of diabetes.  Now...add the insomnia and this is also a huge contributor to the causes of diabetes. 

So to answer your question.  The diabetes is probably not causing the insomnia, but lack of sleep, and stress are HUGE causative factors for type II diabetes!  The problem here is that the stress and the insomnia aren't just aggravating his diabetes but they will eventually cause all sorts of other health problems that are even more serious.

Does your son need to treat his diabetes?  Most definately.  But tantamount to that is getting the stress and anxiety under control.  If he does this, many of his health issues may resolve themselves or at least be easier to control.  Hope this helps.

scool Warren

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 11/11/2006 5:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I find this question interesting after taking insulin now for well over fifty years and being a very brittle diabetic. over the years I have noted that if my blood sugars are running above 200 or below 70. I don't sleep well and often times wakes me up until I either drink a small glass of OJ or take a few units of Novalog to get high sugars down. After that then I will go back to sleep!

I also note that my legs will cramp up when sugars run to high or to low!

I note know if this is a clue to what's going on with your son or not? But also note where others commented on the stress issue and that too is very true! I just threw out on my experience of having sleep problems when sugars get too far out of whack! However in my younger years this was not a problem. I can also add that when high stress levels are present this also causes sugars for me to either raise or fall. This is unrelated to earlier comments about sleep being a clue to high or low sugars and are for me separate issues.

As I best can recall denial was never much of a problem. When I was a productive worker I found denial was always present especially when looking for work but back in those days onset juvenile diabetics and even the word diabetic was not a good thing on an employment application. it by fact often with many firms threw you to the end of the line and made you last pick of litter to be picked for many jobs! Today that is not as big an issue due to the passing of the ADA bill!

Hope this helps or gives another perspective on the issue of sleep and worry and how it affects diabetics in general. However be aware that all diabetic are not alike and how the disease affects one may not affect another the same way!

God Bless,
David aka rabbin
David aka Rabbin

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 11/11/2006 8:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Warren said...

  The diabetes is probably not causing the insomnia, but lack of sleep, and stress are HUGE causative factors for type II diabetes! 

I heard somewhere recently that insomnia has been strongly linked to the eventual onset of diabetes.  Sorry I can't provide a source.  But the whole thing resonated with me.  I used to work shifts all the time and sleep was a problem. 
I can see that such a claim could be dismissed as being vague and that events can conveniently fit the case.  But it wasn't no astrologist making the claim.  It's pretty well known that persistent shift work can take a couple of years off your life.  Maybe this is an offshoot of this??
"I love Italian.......and so do you"
"Yes"  -  Star Trek 4
Brian (Type 2 NIDDM).
N17 is the postcode for the London suburb of Tottenham.
Tottenham Hotspur is the greatest football team in the world!
...and Go Bengals! and the Cardinals!  and the Leafs!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 11/11/2006 8:27 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Brian,

Well I did a year of doing a 3rd shift and a 1st shift back to back and the lack of sleep according to my Endo guy was probably the thing that threw my system into being type II.  We suspect that I had a pretty strong genetic dispostion somewhere in my background, but that the shift work was the straw that broke the camels back.  So you are right on about how badly that can screw up your metabolism and being a serious precursor or causative agent for Type II diabetes!!  Im here to testify as living proof!!

scool Warren
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