What do sleep, weight loss, and diabetes have in common? Interestingly, obesity and sleep disorders often simultaneously afflict people living with diabetes. Well, as per several studies, getting good quality sleep every night, combined with an effective weight loss regimen, is the first line of treatment for those living with type 2 diabetes. So, to find a solution to the problem, it’s essential to understand what causes this cycle and how the three factors are related.
According to Dr. Rajiv Kovil, Allurion Program Medical Director and Consultant Diabetologist at Dr. Kovils Diabetes Care Center, Mumbai, healthy sleep is considered a key lifestyle component in the management of the disease. Sleep disorders are common in people living with type 2 diabetes and have been found to lead to poor quantity, quality, and time of sleep. These factors, in turn, are associated with an increased risk of obesity, impairment of glucose metabolism and daytime functioning.
Further, obstructive sleep apnoea has also been known to affect over half of the population living with type 2 diabetes and has been shown to affect an individual’s glucose levels. However, studies also found that ‘catch-up’ sleep over the weekends does not help in reversing the impact of insufficient sleep. Getting very little sleep has shown an increased amount of insulin resistance in people with diabetes. Increased cravings and lower levels of satiety have also been linked to poor-quality sleep. Poor sleep also increases a person’s craving for junk food – especially those high in sugar and carbs – making it harder to lose weight.
Considering all these factors, managing type 2 diabetes necessitates a solution beyond medication. Very often, the current treatments for obesity are not sufficient or are refused by patients because of their invasive nature.
Link between weight and sleep disorders
Several studies have found that losing weight and getting enough good-quality sleep go hand-in-hand. Statistically, a person living with type 2 diabetes should aim to lose five per cent to 15 percent of body weight to help manage their blood sugar levels better. Further, a weight loss of five to 10 per cent is found to improve metabolic rate and 10 to 15 per cent weight loss can aid remission of diabetes. Numerous studies have also found that the greater the weight loss, the better the outcome.
One way to achieve that is through recent innovations and tech-led programs that have shown remarkable results in India where patients have seen considerable weight loss and better management or regression of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. For example, Non-invasive weight loss programs like swallowable gastric balloons are scientifically proven to allow weight loss and manage weight for six months. A Harvard study conducted on over 3,000 patients found that swallowable balloon treatment showed a significant reduction in total body weight within four months only. This research, thus, reported that weight loss can effectively put patients into type 2 diabetes remission.
While there is a wide availability of drugs for Type 2 Diabetes, the incidence of the metabolic disease continues to rise around the world. By 2045, one in eight adults or 783 million people worldwide are speculated to be living with diabetes. This indicates that current treatment options are not sufficient.
Image credits- freepik