This month we set our clocks back one hour until Spring comes around. Even though it doesn’t feel like it, one hour can be a lot! One hour more of sleep, one hour difference of meal times, one hour less of sunlight! Now, for a lot of people, this may not seem like a big deal. But for Diabetics, it affects everything.
Sleep is a huge part of a diabetic’s life. This extra hour is a glorious thing. Not getting enough sleep can majorly affect a person’s hormones, metabolism, stress levels, and blood sugar levels drastically. After only a few days of little sleep, research has been showed that people have constant high blood sugar levels. Consequently, when they got back onto a longer sleeping schedule, their blood glucose levels went down immensely. Losing sleep also promotes higher levels of Cortisol (the stress hormone). Cortisol promotes insulin resistance and elevates higher blood sugars. So keeping that stress level down and sleep schedule up, can improve a person’s health immediately.
- Meals and Medication
Moving the clocks backward, can also affect your meals, eating habits, and when you take your medications. For diabetics, we try to live on a schedule that suits our meal times and when we need to take our short-acting and long-acting insulin. Spacing out your meals so that you aren’t eating late at night is something important to think about. Taking an insulin dosage for a late meal can make you more at risk for night-hypoglycemia, which can be a scary thing. So make sure with this time change that you are still sticking with a constant meal plan and that you don’t end up eating too late into the night. The time change also makes us change and adapt our long-lasting insulin dosage to the correct time of day that we want. Changing your insulin schedule by one hour will not make much of a serious difference, so changing your routine for the time change should no be a problem. However, just make sure that you are doing it at the same time each day.
3. Less Time to Exercise
Since the days are getting shorter with less daytime to do activities, there is less time to get out and exercise. Fitting in that workout everyday is a great habit to get into. Exercise does a lot of magical things for the diabetic body. Not only does it keep us fit, but it also helps bring down our blood sugars, stabilizes us, and helps with insulin sensitivity. So when the days are getting shorter, you might want to have your workout schedule to be in the morning when the sun is up before starting the rest of your day. If you are an evening gym-buff, joining a gym, cycling class, yoga class, or anything indoors will help motivate you get into the workout state of mind while its dark and looking like bedtime outside. I am a runner, so I changed up my routine to running in the morning because that is when it is light outside, it gets dark by the time I get home from work so running in the evenings is no longer an option for me. When I do workout in the evenings, I like to go to a spin or yoga class to get myself going.
Good luck with your fall adaptions!