Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"What can treat diabetic related insomnia?"


My fiancée has suffered from type one diabetes for the past 25 years. He has developed insomnia related to his diabetes. He has tried many types of sleeping medication but most have been unsuccessful unless he takes several pills. Is there any type of treatment that can treat this without causing a major shift in his blood glucose levels?


Insomnia can be a difficult medical problem, and I definitely recommend that your fiancee talk with his primary care doctor to help sort things out. I would be very surprised if his diabetes were the cause of his insomnia, unless specifically he is having problems with neuropathic pain related to the diabetes or something similar that is keeping him up at night. It is much more likely that he is suffering from insomnia for the same reasons that others, including nondiabetics, suffer from insomnia.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Sleep medicine-specialists near you

Usually insomnia is related to stress or problems with sleep hygiene. There are numerous lifestyle changes that can be made to ensure relaxation in the evenings and promote sleep. Avoiding naps during the day, establishing a strict sleeping schedule, and the like can also all be helpful to improve sleep hygiene. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol is also important. If these and similar lifestyle measures do not work, then it is time to talk to his primary care doctor about which medications for insomnia might work best. Luckily, these medications do not have an effect on blood glucose levels, so they will be safe to take with his insulin and should not mess up his diabetes control.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.