Friday, February 12, 2010

Whine and Z's: Sleep and the D

There are a whole lot of other conditions that have a habit of hanging out with Type 2 diabetes.  Some of them are risk factors, others just sort of seem to be in the entourage.  Here's a bit about one, complete with footnotes.

I have a sleeping problem.  Actually, I have three sleeping problems.

First, I have sleep apnea.  Apnea and type 2 diabetes are old pals.(1)  Sleep apnea is a condition in which the breathing is interrupted during sleep, as often as multiple times a minute in some people.  This condition is dangerous in a number of respects, but the most immediately bothersome symptom is that it TRASHES sleep quiality.  For a number of years, I have slept with a CPAP machine, which keeps the air passages open with a constant stream of forced air.  It helps me a great deal.  

Second, I periodically struggle with the ability to sleep.  Sometimes I have trouble going to sleep.  Sometimes I'll go to sleep normally, but wake after a few minutes and be up until nearly dawn.  A few months ago, a doctor suggested I try over-the-counter melatonin: this has been pretty effective.

But the third problem is the most frustrating, because it's entirely my own fault: I have trouble choosing to sleep.

As long as I can remember, well back into childhood, I have delayed sleep as long as I could.  I'm somewhat better about this in my middle years.  But even now, well past the age of allegedly knowing better, an angsty sort of day often finds me up into the wee hours, just enjoying the peace and solitude.  PC games, crossword puzzles, or just hanging on Facebook can seem compelling for hours on end, hours during which I'd have been much better off in Dreamland.

All of the above result in my being chronically sleep deprived -- as are many Americans, diabetic or not.  The reason I'm discussing it is simple:  I'm seeing references to more and more research suggesting that chronic sleep deprivation is once of the risk factors for T2.  (2) 

I think I'm gonna go take a nap!

1. See for a bit on this.
2. For example: for link between sleep deprivation and the development of type 2.

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T Minus Two by Bob Pedersen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.