Could there be a link between your melatonin levels and your risk of diabetes? There are lots of studies that have shown links between disrupted sleep and the risk of Type 2 diabetes but the exact relationship is still a mystery.
New research from Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that women with low levels of melatonin had a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes Melatonin is often called the sleep hormone because it helps regulate our body’s internal clock and our sleep-wake cycle. The body is triggered to release melatonin by the absence of light, so when nighttime comes our melatonin levels rise and our body prepares for sleep. When daylight comes our levels fall back again and we waken. Melatonin is still not fully understood but the hormone also appears to influence body systems such as the immune system and the metabolic system.
Should you be taking melatonin supplements – that is something to discuss with your doctor. One thing you can practice to improve your natural melatonin levels is good sleep hygiene. This means dimming the lights in the evening, no “screen time” for an hour before bed and no sleeping with lights on in the bedroom. Since many of our electronic gadgets have blue glowing LED lights (even when powered off) you might try a small piece of black electrician tape over the offending light source.
If you are diabetic and experience loud snoring and extreme daytime fatigue you may also be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. Diabetes and sleep apnea are commonly diagnosed in the same patient. Treating obstructive sleep apnea may help improve your overall health and help you avoid other associated health issues like stroke and heart disease.
To find out more about obstructive sleep apnea and diabetes please contact Columbus sleep apnea dentist Dr. Mark Levy today at 614-476-6696 to schedule a consultation.