Sleep and Blood Sugar

Well, this is interesting:

I have had a lot of trouble with sleep the past few months. I have a sleep disorder, common to those of us with ADHD, called Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. What this means is that my body messes up night versus day, and my cortisol -- stress hormone -- levels start rising at bed time, instead of falling, telling my body that it's morning, and time to wake up. Sometimes it's pretty well controlled, other times I have trouble sleeping for weeks, even months, on end.

I had a lot of trouble sleeping in the second half of the summer. At the same time, I also was running high morning blood glucose, despite medication and keeping my carb intake very low. My doctor says that my high morning blood sugar isn't from diet, it's comorbid, as we say, to my sleep disorder. The same high cortisol levels that keep me from sleeping also signal my liver to crank out glucose. I don't run high blood sugar during the day.

The past few nights I have combined my usual sleep medication -- currently Lunesta -- with melatonin, and it has worked beautifully. I have slept long and well. And in the mornings, after I had a good night's sleep, my blood sugar was stone normal.

This is not scientific proof of anything, but it is very hard for me not to conclude that my sleeping well and running normal fasting blood sugar are related. I think it's likely not so much that getting enough sleep lowers my BG, but rather that the melatonin is reducing my cortisol, both improving my sleep and preventing the runaway gluconeogenesis.

I will, of course, continue taking the melatonin along with my Lunesta.* I will also, naturally, keep testing my fasting blood sugar when I get up. If this pattern vanishes, I will report back. But right now, I am very hopeful and very pleased.

Not to mention well-rested.

* To forestall the inevitable suggestion, I have tried melatonin on its own -- that's why I had the stuff on hand -- and it is not sufficient to get me to sleep. Yes, I have also tried 5-HTP, valerian root, Calms Forte, etc, etc, etc. I'm a life-long insomniac who used to run a health food store. I've swallowed everything that purports to be a natural treatment for sleeplessness. I resisted prescription sleep meds for a long, long time. There's only so long you can go on 2-5 hours a night before you give in and take the prescription stuff.