Missed the first two
Discussed in this article:
1) The Sleep-Diabetes Connection.
3) Sleep and Depression--A Brief Overview
4) How A Hypnotist Can Help.
"Declare the past, diagnose the present, foretell the future; practice
these acts. As to diseases, make a habit of two things—to help, or at
least to do no harm." (1)
The Sleep-Diabetes Connection
Unfortunately sometimes a solution to one problem creates another. This
means that, in some cases, to help is to inadvertently invite harm.
Doctors are faced with this dilemma everyday.
For example, if a diabetic patient is depressed then, anti-depressants may
be one solution. The challenge is that anti-depressants and many other
medications can cause insomnia. (2)
This brings us to this article's main point: The 'Hidden Condition' that
frustrates doctors and hurt diabetics---Sleep disorders.
Sleep disorders have been linked to exacerbating or even precipitating
diabetes as well as depression.
Allow me to explain more fully: It is known that poor sleep robs people of
their health in general. But, for diabetics, it can actually cause a
worsening of their condition.
In the 2001 annual meeting of the American
Diabetes Association, a study was presented that warned that a chronic
lack of sleep may cause far more serious problems than a tendency to get
sleepy behind the wheel.
The study found that people who do not get enough sleep on a regular basis
tend to become less sensitive to insulin over time. This can raise the
risk of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.
In fact, according to
Bryce A. Mander, the study co-author, it turns out that chronic sleep
deprivation--6.5 hours or less of sleep a night--has the same effect on
Furthermore, according to the study director, Dr. Eve Van Cauter of the
University of Chicago, healthy adults who averaged 316 minutes of sleep a
night--about 5.2 hours--over 8 consecutive nights secreted 50% more
insulin (4) than their more rested counterparts who averaged 477 minutes
of sleep a night, or about 8 hours. As a result, "short sleepers" were 40%
less sensitive to insulin.
What is fascinating is that the poor sleep/excess insulin (hyper-insulinemia)
connection has not received the attention it deserves.
Even the Mayo
Clinic is apparently unaware of this connection. Please review the
following definition of hyper-insulinemia given by the Mayo Foundation for
Medical Education and Research (MFMER):
"The term hyper-insulinemia means abnormally high levels of insulin in
your blood. It's not a disease."
Instead, it may indicate an underlying problem that's causing your
pancreas to make and release too much insulin. Insulin helps regulate
Causes of hyperinsulinemia include but are not limited to:
Insulin resistance caused by lack
of activity, obesity and polycystic ovary syndrome. A family history of insulin resistance
should also be considered.
A tumor of the pancreas (insulinoma), which secretes excess insulin.
Hyper-insulinemia doesn't cause signs or symptoms. But if it leads to
abnormally low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), signs and symptoms may include
sweating, weakness, slurred speech, confusion and seizures.
Hyper-insulinemia is often associated with type 2 diabetes" By Mayo Clinic
staff ---December 10, 2003" (http://www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?id=HQ00896)
Here is the challenge with the preceding information: It seems that it may
not be fully accurate. This idea is put forth because the preceding Mayo
definition states that:
(a) Hyper-insulinemia is not a disease and that
(b) Hyper-insulinemia has no signs.
Addressing the first point that hyper-insulinemia is not a disease:
Hyper-insulinemia is a now well recognized to be a predictor of diabetes.
Also important to note is that excess insulin can cause or significantly
contribute to the onset of heart disease and premature aging as well as
Also bear in mind that insulin is a storage hormone produced by the body
to lower blood sugar by sending it into the cells. Over time, excess blood
sugar and insulin stresses the system and the cells become less
responsive. This condition is known as insulin resistance.
Also note that in his best-selling book Protein Power, Dr. Michael Eades
"When insulin levels become too high... metabolic havoc ensues with
elevated blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes,
and obesity all trailing in its wake. These disorders are merely symptoms
of a single more basic disturbance in metabolism, excess insulin and
It is also understood that excess insulin promotes smooth-muscle growth in
blood vessel walls, which contributes to the formation of plaques. Artery
walls become thickened and stiff, causing blood pressure to rise.
So, to classify hyper-insulinemia as a non-disease seems a bit short
sighted when, if it was treated with more concern and urgency as a
disease, then perhaps other disease states could be avoided.
Now, let's look at the second point that hyper-insulinemia has no signs.
Wouldn't it make sense to think that perhaps it has symptoms and signs not
yet recognized or associated? In my opinion, this condition does have
plenty of symptoms: Low blood sugar reactions (moodiness, irritability,
sweating, confusion, etc..), weight gain, elevated triglyceride and
And there are probably a host of other signs and symptoms that accompany
excess insulin levels. The question to ask is Who is looking for them? The
answer? Not too many people. Hence, no generally agreed upon signs or
If nothing else, the preceding should challenge those who can, to seek to
eliminate or validate the idea that hyper-insulinemia is indeed a health
crisis of a significant degree and, that it's treatment could have untold
Sleep and Depression--A Brief
Poor sleep and depression form a very vicious circle.
It is well noted that poor
sleep contributes to
depression. During a webcast on August 21, 2003, James C. O'Brien, M.D., FCCP, ABSM stated
"During REM-stage sleep is where we learn situations and incorporate
situations and deal with emotions that, unless we deal with it properly,
will affect us in terms of our daytime functioning on a mental, emotional
The point is that feelings of depression that can be caused just by poor
sleep, can adversely affect a person's ability to take proper care of
their health. Hence, good sleep is especially important for diabetics
because sadness or depression induced by poor sleep can have deleterious
consequences never mind the actual physical problems noted earlier.
Health care workers should also note that according to the National Sleep
Foundation 2002 Annual Sleep Survey, almost 74% of Americans do not get
enough sleep each night. The survey also found that those with sleep
problems are twice as likely to feel stressed and tired.
The preceding facts are pointed out to alert those who treat diabetics
(a) There is a very good chance that their diabetic patients are suffering
from a sleep disorder and
(b) A sleep disorder can frustrate their attempts to treat their patients
Something else that may interest those who treat diabetics is that sleep
apnea treatment can lower glucose levels in diabetics. (5)
How A Hypnotist Can Help
All the preceding information and discussion takes us to our next point.
Now that it is recognized that good sleep is utterly essential as an
adjunct treatment for diabetes and pre-diabetes, doesn't it make sense
that a non-medicated approach to good sleep for these conditions would be
reasonable as an important, first effort treatment?
I state 'first effort' because the dictum, "First do no harm" would seem
to indicate that drug therapy should be a second treatment approach
because some drug medications can sometimes cause other problems.
So what is a safer, first approach treatment for good sleep? Hypnosis.
William S. Kroger, M.D., states in his book Clinical and Experimental
Hypnosis that "Hypnosis effects improvement in acute cases of insomnia.
Often a single session is effective in restoring the sleep cycle,
particularly if auto-hypnosis has been taught on the initial visit."
Karen Olness, M.D. and Daniel P. Kohen, M.D. in their book Hypnosis and
Hypnotherapy With Children, note the following:
"Hurwitz, Mahowald, Schenck, Schulter, and Bundlie (1991) described the
successful use of hypnosis in 27 adult patients with sleep terror
disorders. Seventy-four percent reported much or very much improvement
with the use and practice of self-hypnosis."
Bear in mind that as a hypnotist, if a client comes to you with any
diagnosed disorder, you must have their doctor's consent before treating
them. In this referral, it must be clear that your client has been cleared
of any disorder that you cannot or should not treat that may be causing
their sleep problems. Be sure to ask their doctor to screen them for such
so that you can safely assist their patient.
For example: If a client comes to you with an insomnia and alcohol
addiction diagnosis you have four choices:
(1) Do not accept them as a client unless you are a licensed drug and
alcohol counselor or similarly licensed.
(2) Get their doctor's referral to treat them for insomnia only.
(3) Work out a protocol with your client and their doctor where you can
attempt hypnosis for alcohol addiction.
The literature is replete with examples of persons kicking the alcohol
habit using hypnosis. This subject will be covered in future articles
because diabetes and alcoholism are kissing cousins.
(4) As a stress management consultant and motivational coach, you can
ethically and legally help a person strictly within that capacity without
a referral. I.E., you can hypnotically coach them to develop better stress
management tools, to reduce stress levels they are experiencing and you
can also hypnotically coach them for greater health motivation.
Please hear me clearly: As a hypnotist you can make an enormous difference
in someone's quality of life and health simply by helping them to sleep
However, it is imperative that you work responsibly with your
client's health care team. This will benefit you greatly because once your
contribution is viewed as effective and legitimate, you will earn
Thanks for joining me again. Until next time remember: "Speak well to
yourself because your deep mind is always listening."
C. Devin Hastings
Motivational Coaching TM Workshop Information--click
(1) Hippocrates in his Epidemics, Bk. I, Sect. XI.
(2) National Sleep Foundation Sleeptionary TM About Insomnia.
(3) Insulin resistance is a major factor in most cases of diabetes.
Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body cannot properly
utilize normal amounts of insulin.
(4) The more insulin a person's pancreas has to produce, the more likely
it is that eventually the beta cells that produce insulin in the pancreas,
will break down.
(5) Archives of Internal Medicine--February 28th, 2205