Type 2 diabetes has become a big concern in India, and there are statistics to prove that it shouldn’t be taken lightly. In India, there are about 77 million people above the age of 18 years who are suffering from type 2 diabetes, as per World Health Organization (WHO). The number won’t be going down anytime soon, as almost 25 million are prediabetics, according to WHO. Lifestyle plays a major role in type 2 diabetes, and if you are caring for a diabetic family member then you should encourage them to follow bedtime rituals. Bedtime routines for diabetics will help them a lot in controlling blood sugar levels.
What we do before bedtime is important for everyone, especially diabetics. So, HealthShots connected with Dr Anurag Saxena, Head Of Department – Internal medicine, Primus super speciality Hospital to find out what are the good and bad bedtime habits that diabetics and people caring for them should know about.
Bedtime rituals for diabetics
When it comes to caring for diabetics, you need to keep an eye on everything, including their diet, sleep schedule, and level of physical activity. Their problems might get worse if they develop further joint or limb problems and are unable to resolve them, says Dr Saxena. Keeping their bedtime routine under control can help them sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed. Here’s what they can do and not do!
1. Limit caffeine consumption
You should not give diabetics anything related to caffeine. So, avoid giving them coffee, tea and chocolate a few hours before they go to bed. They may stay alert if they have foods and beverages with caffeine.
2. Encourage them to take a walk before bedtime
Any type of exercise aids in the body’s efficient use of insulin. So, walking is beneficial for diabetics. It also helps in tension reduction and mental preparation for sleep. Walking a few hours before bedtime may help to maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the night.
3. Tell them to sleep well
Diet tips to control blood sugar levels should not be ignored. But a person with diabetes should also get the recommended amount of sleep. It is advised to sleep for longer than six hours, but no longer than eight, says the expert.
4. Avoid giving them late-night snacks
Snacks consumed at night are just a no-no. To prevent weight gain, diabetics are not advised to consume food, especially fatty foods. They will have higher blood sugar levels when they wake up. It could also undo any therapy and medication gains, says Dr Saxena.
5. Do a blood sugar check
Routine blood sugar checks are important for diabetes management, and it should also be done right before your loved one goes to bed. It is advisable to keep their blood sugar levels within the recommended range before going to sleep.
6. Pack their food for the following day
Pack their healthy food for the next day or make any necessary preparations such as cutting and chopping. Fruits and vegetables should be used after they have been set away. This way there won’t be room for junk food.
7. Help to establish a bedtime routine
It is another method to make the most of their sleep time. Tell them to do something to calm their thoughts and relax their body just before they go to bed. You can take a warm bath, practise yoga, read a novel or listen to calming music.
8. Set up their bedroom for sleep
It is a smart thing to do if they want to wake up feeling rested. You can lower the lights as they get closer to nighttime and draw the curtains to block out the morning sun. They may experience slumber disruption from noise at night. To avoid being awakened in the middle of the night by incoming calls or texts, tell them to keep their mobile phone away from bed. They can use earplugs to muffle noises if they are particularly susceptible to noise.
9. Give them a glass of milk before sleeping
They should not be empty stomach for a long time at night, because the blood sugar can fall during the long fasting hours. In fact, a glass of milk may even reduce the risk of diabetes.
With these simple tips, caring for diabetics can be easy.