The Liver Is The Main Reason Diabetes Can Cause Insomnia Along With Diet And This One Hidden Ingredient
Diabetes can cause insomnia but there are easy natural treatments to get the sleep you need.
Ask any diabetic what they struggle with the most in managing their disease. They may tell you there’s something more daunting than taking several needles a day, and that’s not being able to sleep.
Can diabetes cause insomnia? Yes it can. According to the CDC, insomnia is associated with a number of chronic diseases – one being diabetes. The mere fact of being unable to sleep can cause anxiety in already anxious diabetics. To illustrate, as you lay there focusing on not being able to sleep, you become anxious. The building anxiety can set off the adrenals to release adrenaline. This is how the liver plays a major role in sleeping disorders.
In one study from the University Of Chicago, researchers found that diabetes can cause insomnia in people who sleep poorly, have higher insulin resistance, and have a harder time controlling the disease.
Another study in the journal Diabetes Care, linked insomnia to impaired glucose metabolism or simply physical and psychological discomfort due to the disorder. In addition, a recent prospective study of women indicated an interesting association between sleep patterns and later-onset type 2 diabetes, with a greater incidence of insomnia among both short-term.
Both studies are correct in their findings that glucose levels play a sizable role in insomnia associated with diabetes and also the liver. Glucose issues such as those caused by a fatty liver and insulin resistance, occur because a stagnant liver isn’t doing its job in backing up the pancreas. This results in the pancreas becoming so overburdened that it rejects glucose, causing the insulin resistance. This chronic resistance can put a strain on the adrenal glands.
Adrenal Fatigue Is The Reason For Insomnia in Diabetics
When you experience ongoing daily stress from the demands of life, your adrenal glands can max out and behave erratically, releasing too much, or two little cortisol into the body. A release of too little cortisol may result in depression, where too much cortisol results in insomnia. These adrenal issues occur when the body is dealing with chronic illness, such as diabetes and all too often it’s part of what’s interrupting your sleep.
The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism found that high levels of adrenal hormones have been found in people with insomnia. The small study, with eleven patients who had insomnia and thirteen controls who did not have insomnia, measured blood levels of stress hormones (ACTH and cortisol) every half hour for twenty-four hours. The results showed average hormones were higher in the insomnia patients than in the control group. These findings are not surprising given that common symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
- A mid-day crash.
- Being tired all day, then energetic in the evening.
- Inability to fall asleep although you are exhausted.
- Feeling unrested, even after a full night’s sleep.
- Excessive thirst.
- Dry mouth and eyes.
It's a little known fact that the liver and digestive issues are major causes of insomnia in diabetics, especially with Type 2 diabetes, which is shown in studies to be caused by fatty liver.
Diabetes can cause insomnia while your body does its eliminative work at night. This is also the time the liver does its work, which may be why you fall asleep initially, then awaken around three or four in the morning. A stagnant slow liver needs to work harder to get this work done. Any organ working double-time can disrupt your rest.
Stagnant liver can be caused by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or alcoholic fatty liver disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is caused by a diet high in fat and animal protein, while alcoholic fatty liver disease can be caused by a high fat diet coupled with a drinking habit. Both types of liver disease result in a dramatic slowing of liver function. The main difference between the two types of diseases is the non-alcoholic-fatty-liver becomes overburdened with fat, while the alcoholic fatty liver is blocked by protective scar tissue, which results in cirrhosis of the liver.
A study done on the prevalence of insomnia enrolled 200 stable patients with confirmed liver cirrhosis. They collected information about sleep patterns, demographic data, the underlying cause of liver cirrhosis and the severity of liver cirrhosis. The results showed a higher prevalence of insomnia in patients with liver cirrhosis.
Your Diet Is Another Cause Of Insomnia
Some people fall asleep right away with no trouble, then wake up later in the night and their mind is racing. This is more of a sensitive digestive/stagnant liver issue.
The practitioner-recommended diet for diabetics is a low carbohydrate, high protein diet. What most diabetics don’t realize is that the high protein diet is stressful on the digestive organs, since protein takes significantly longer to digest. This is another reason you’re counting sheep.
You may or may not be surprised to know the process of digestion plays a major role in how well you sleep. The recommended diabetic diet can be highly problematic and hard on the digestive tract, especially if you have a sensitive nervous system.
The digestive tract is tied into the nervous system. Therefore, if you have food moving through the intestines during the night-- if you happen to have a sensitive nervous system, it could trigger off a nerve in the intestine and wake you without you knowing it’s caused by food – this is known as silent indigestion, which occurs when you don’t fully digest your food during the day. Your amazing body, in doing its eliminative work, will have to do its digestive work during the night.
To repeat, people with sensitive nervous systems can be awakened during the night by food passing through the digestive tract. Couple this with the diabetic diet, which includes high amounts of hard-to-digest protein, and your body needs to work double-time to process your meals.
MSG Causes Insomnia
Another little known cause of insomnia, backed by science is MSG in the diet. This can be particularly troublesome for diabetics who eat processed foods. MSG is a neurotoxin, which can be a cause of sleep disruption by disrupting neurotransmitters in the brain. This can keep you awake. Processed foods are also hard on digestive function, which is another reason you can’t sleep.
What’s more, MSG is used more than ever in our food only it’s hidden on nutritional labels under the term “natural flavor.” Incidentally, people who drink protein shakes are unknowingly ingesting MSG, since whey and all protein powders contain glutamic acid, which is MSG.
The good news is there are natural treatments to reduce insomnia and cleanse the liver so you can get better sleep.
- Eat a high carbohydrate, low protein diet, which has been found in studies to be more appropriate for healing diabetes.
- Combine your foods properly for easier digestion. Proper food combining goes a long way in helping the digestive process run smoothly and efficiently.
- Start each day with lemon water, on an empty stomach. This is an excellent natural tonic for cleansing the liver. The vitamin C in lemons also helps to break up scar tissue.
- Celery juice scores zero on the glycemic index and cleanses all the organs – it’s that powerful. That being said, celery juice is especially cleansing to the liver -- 16 ounces of celery juice should be taken straight up and on an empty stomach daily for the best results.
- Nettle leaf tea is another beneficial way for diabetics to get some quality sleep. Nettle leaf is a powerful cleanser of the liver, and also lowers blood sugar levels in diabetics when taken daily.
- Dandelion tea is amazing for jumpstarting a stagnant, fatty liver. It does this by creating a histamine reaction that helps the remove toxins in the liver.
- Walnuts are high in tryptophan and melatonin. Just a handful late in the day can help induce sleep.
Eating healthy snacks every one to two hours helps to relieve the liver and stops the adrenals from having to releasing adrenaline.
With some effort in removing MSG, processed foods, and high protein in the diet, adopting a more whole food, plant-based diet, you can restore liver function, halt disruption of neurotransmitters, soothe the digestive tract and enjoy a good night’s sleep.