The Link Between Type 2 Diabetes and Sleep Apnea

September 14, 2022
Person with type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea checking blood sugar

If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you probably do all you can to make smart dietary choices and maintain an active lifestyle. But did you know that the quality of your sleep can also have a big impact on how well you are able to manage your condition? Let’s discuss the link between type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea in Boca Raton.

Sleep Apnea and Hormone Regulation

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition that causes pauses in breathing throughout the night. By disrupting the sleep cycle, it prevents your body from carrying out all the processes that it would take care of if your sleep remained uninterrupted.

One particularly dangerous thing that OSA does is interfere with the function of your hormones. In fact, OSA is associated with an increase in insulin resistance. This means that your body is less efficient at moving glucose from the blood into your cells, which results in high blood sugar levels and a higher A1C.

Poor-quality sleep can also have an impact on the hormones that regulate hunger and satiety. After a restless night, you may be more likely to reach for sugary and starchy comfort foods that can produce a strong insulin response and increase blood sugar levels.

Sleep Apnea and Type 2 Diabetes Are Correlated

Research has found that up to 83% of patients with type 2 diabetes also suffer from unrecognized OSA. Why do these two conditions so often go hand in hand? While they may not directly cause one another, they do have some common risk factors. For example, obese individuals are considered to be at a high risk of developing both OSA and type 2 diabetes. Smoking can also contribute to or worsen both conditions.

What You Can Do

Improving the quality of your sleep may do much to help you keep your diabetes under control. Therefore, if you have not already been diagnosed with OSA, you should arrange for a sleep test. After an expert analyzes the data from the test, you will know whether you have OSA and how severe it is. From there, you can start treatment.

While a CPAP machine is the most common prescribed treatment for OSA, many patients prefer a simpler and more convenient solution: an oral appliance from a dentist. This small device can gently reposition your jaw and allow for uninterrupted breathing. As you begin to regularly get 7 – 8 hours of high-quality sleep, you may notice improvements in your blood sugar levels and other health markers.

Together, type 2 diabetes and OSA can have dire consequences for your overall wellness. Fortunately, OSA treatment can help you to get the sleep you need to manage your health and feel as good as possible.

Meet the Sleep Apnea Expert

Dr. Kenneth Mogell has dedicated more than a decade of his career to helping patients address obstructive sleep apnea via oral appliance therapy. If you would like to learn how he may be able to help you improve the quality of your sleep and your overall health, contact any of our locations or call us at 561-353-5252.