Sleep, Painful Sleep…

It’s no secret that people with Diabetes will often have poor or lessened blood circulation in their extremeties. This can be attributed to a number of different complications, including but not limited to poor dietary choices and high blood sugars causing fatty deposits in the blood vessels over time. This will result in the hardening of your blood vessels, which will lessen blood flow. there are a bunch of other reasons for it, as well but one can hit up WebMD for the comprehensive list.

Sleeping with Type-1 Diabetes also comes with a pretty long list of difficulties, from fluctuating blood sugars to dehydration, all the way up to general feelings of unease, including restless leg syndrome or any of the vast plethora of colds and flus one catches because they’re living with a compromised immune system. It can mean that getting a full, uninterrupted night’s sleep is damn near impossible but when it does happen, it’s almost like twenty pounds of weight has been lifted off of one’s shoulders and one feels SO much better.

Since Diabetes has an unfortunate domino effect where one complication will feed another, such as dehydration affecting one’s blood sugars, it can mean that spending half of one’s night awake is not only a very real possibility, it’s almost the norm. Which sucks. Royally. Some obvious solutions come to mind. Consuming proper amounts of water to stay hydrated, monitoring one’s blood glucose closely and making adjustments prior to bed… Doctors have been telling me for years to sleep with a pillow between my legs to prevent disrupting the circulation in my legs but I’m way too violent a sleeper to keep a pillow between my legs.

Ironically, my biggest issue isn’t with my legs… It’s with my arms. I’m an odd sleeper, finding myself on my stomach more often than not, with my right arm tucked at my chest and my left arm above my head. I have no idea what prompts me to sleep this way but it tend sot inhibit the proper blood flow to my arms. I’ll often wake up during the night with an odd pain in my arms, until I realize that I’ve lost circulation. You haven’t lived until you’ve had that fun experience of feeling the blood slowly start flowing back to your fingertips. But I digress…

Eventually, as I get older and Diabetic complications start to become more prevailent and serious, this could potentially become harmful and cause permanent damage. I’ve slowly trained myself over the past few years to sleep on my back but my sinuses don’t always like to cooperate with that one. But circulatory issues can lead to worsened complications. If you find yourself with frequent numbness in extremities or your limbs are often cold, even when the temperature is warm or moderate, you may want to consult your family doctor or health practitioner to ensure it isn’t something that will cause permanent damage. ☯️


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I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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