Sleep disturbances can aggravate neuropathy symptoms. For example, sleep deprivation can lower your pain threshold and make the neuropathic pain feel worse. People who sleep poorly are susceptible to depression and other mood disorders, changes in eating, decrease in physical activity and an overall decline in health. Compounded with neuropathy, this becomes a vicious cycle. If sleep problems interfere with your ability to function, it may be time to consult your doctor.
A good night’s sleep is important for our hormones to regulate a large number of the body’s processes, such as appetite, weight control and the immune system. Sleep can affect your blood sugar levels and your blood glucose control can also affect your sleep, which results in trouble sleeping. Difficulty getting a good night’s rest could be a result of a number of reasons, from hypos at night, to high blood sugars, sleep apnea, being overweight or signs of neuropathy.
When you’re sleep deprived, leptin (the hormone that signals satiety) falls, while ghrelin (which signals hunger) rises. In one 2010 study, researchers found that people who slept only four hours for two consecutive nights experienced: 18 percent reduction in leptin 28 percent increase in ghrelin This combination leads to an increase in appetite. Additionally, sleep deprivation tends to lead to food cravings, particularly for sweet and starchy foods.