When you’re the caregiver to an older adult with diabetes, you may spend a lot of time learning about what causes blood sugar levels to rise and how to keep them under control. Perhaps you spend hours researching and have read all sorts of information on the subject. However, recent research indicates that one piece of wisdom you may have learned could be false.
Research on Eating Before Bed
You may have heard that eating shortly before going to bed can increase blood sugar levels. As a result, you probably carefully time your aging relative’s last meal or snack. But, in a new study based in Japan, researchers discovered that eating too close to bedtime may not impact blood sugar levels at all.
The researchers used health information on more than 1,550 healthy people who were middle-aged or older. The data showed that approximately 16 percent of the men in the study slept within 2 hours of their final meal of the day. Women fell asleep within 2 hours at a rate of about 7.5 percent. The scientists followed the participants for 3 years and discovered that it did not seem to matter how close to eating they fell asleep, A1C levels remained about the same.
One thing to know, though, is that since the study took place in Japan, the results may not translate to the typical Western diet. In addition, the study was observational and does not prove a cause and effect on eating and blood sugar.
What Causes Blood Sugar Levels to Rise?
Even though experts can’t say for sure how eating near bedtime affects blood sugar levels, there are some things that are known to cause higher blood sugar, such as:
Fatty Foods: Fatty foods can affect the body’s ability to use insulin properly. Also, since fatty foods take longer to digest, they can impact the timing of blood sugar increases.
Caffeine: Some people experience a rise in blood sugar levels after having caffeine, even if they don’t add sugar to their coffee or tea.
Illness: Having a bad cold or other illness causes blood sugar to go up while the immune systems work to fight off the sickness. In addition, some kinds of over-the-counter medicines can contain sugar, so it’s important to talk to a doctor or pharmacist about good choices for your older family member.
Senior care can help older adults to avoid increases in blood sugar levels by helping them to better manage diabetes. A senior care provider can remind them to check their blood sugar and take medicine. A senior care provider can also prepare healthy meals that fit into the meal plan suggested by medical professionals.
Are you or a loved one considering hiring Home Care Services in Maumelle, AR? First Choice Senior Care can help. Serving all of Little Rock and Central Arkansas. Please call and talk to our caring staff today. (501) 916-9307
Kayla believes in advocating for and educating seniors and their families on a variety of topics and issues that impact them.Reflecting on the need for an independent home care provider interested in quality over quantity, she chased her dream of building her own company that would make a significant difference in the lives of seniors, providing a much-needed service in her own local community.
Kayla holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Arkansas State University, is licensed by the state of Arkansas as a Long-Term Care Administrator, and is a Certified Senior Adviser.
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