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Insomnia and a Link with Type 2 Diabetes


A recent research study in Sweden has found that those who suffer from insomnia are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don't.

The research identified some 19 risk factors that are thought to increase the risk of developing the condition. 

Apart from insomnia, the other 18 risk factors were depression, systolic blood pressure, starting smoking, lifetime smoking, coffee (caffeine) consumption, blood plasma levels of the amino acids isoleucine, valine and leucine. They also include liver enzyme alanine aminotransferase, childhood and adulthood body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, visceral (internal) fat mass, resting heart rate, and blood plasma levels of four fatty acids.

The study was carried out by Associate Professor Susanna Larsson and Shuai Yuan of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. 

How important was insomnia as a risk factor?

Insomnia was identified as a novel risk factor, with those with insomnia being 17% more likely to develop the condition than those without.  However, researchers found that the increased risk for those with insomnia (compared with those without) fell from 17% to 7% after adjustment for BMI, indicating that part of the effect of insomnia on the risk is affected by a person's BMI.

BMI stands for body mass index and is a value derived from the mass and height of a person. The BMI is defined as the body mass divided by the square of the body height, and is universally expressed in units of kg/m², resulting from mass in kilograms and height in metres. 

How to improve the quality of your sleep and reduce that risk 

  1. Be careful about the sleep position you use.  If you are all curled up, this could affect your back and even lead to some back pain. If you sleep face down, this could disrupt your breathing, causing you to wake up more often. Lying flat on your back can lead to snoring but helps keep wrinkles away from your face.
  2. Be aware that allowing pets to sleep with you in your bed could aggravate  asthma and other allergies that could be set off by animal hair and dander.
  3. If you are prone to allergies, it is best to remove flowers from your room at night because of the pollen and any strong scents of the flowers themselves.
  4. While your room should be cool, sleeping in a very cold air-conditioned room is not conducive to a good night's sleep as your body will be tense and not relax as it should. The temperature should be comfortably cool so that you are cosy under the covers.
  5. Only use natural and chemical-free products when cleaning your bedroom (and of course the rest of your home). There are many harmful and toxic chemical cleaners and disinfectants that can irritate your nose, throat, skin and lungs.
  6. If you are going to re-decorate or re-paint your bedroom, be careful what paint products you use. Many varnishes and paints have strong chemicals that can negatively affect your respiratory system. Indoor air can be three times more polluted than outdoor air, and of course affect your sleeping patterns.
  7. Melatonin is vital to ensure good sleeping habits and this is only produced during darkness so make sure your room is darkened when it is time to sleep.
  8. You should find it easier to sleep if you remove all electronic equipment including TVs, laptops, cell phones and cordless telephones. Try to get on a regular sleep schedule that's not too far off from the natural cycle of night and day. 
  9. Grinding your teeth is a subconscious neuromuscular activity. It is thought that only 5% of those who grind their teeth or clench their jaws actually know they do it. Bruxism involves tensing of the jaw muscles, so it interferes with the relaxation necessary for deep sleep. And if you're fully grinding, your body is engaged in movement rather than resting. Seeing a dentist is your first port of call for a solution.
  10. Add a few drops of our own H-Sleep Aid Formula either to your warm and soothing bedtime bath or to the back of the neck before settling down. This is a natural sleep remedy for mild to chronic sleeplessness.




What is insomnia? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/inso#. (Accessed, Feb 11, 2021).

Insomnia fact sheet. WomensHealth.gov. http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/insomnia.html. (Accessed, Feb 11, 2021).

Sleep-wake disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. (Accessed, Feb 11, 2021).

Sleep disorders: The connection between sleep and mental health. National Alliance on Mental Health. http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Related-Conditions/Sleep-Disorders. (Accessed, Feb 11, 2021).