Addressing Signs Of Sleep Apnea Can Improve Your Glucose Levels

Diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are medical conditions that often coexist.

OSA is a breathing disorder that occurs when the mouth and throat relax during sleep, and block the sleeper’s airway for several seconds. These pauses in breathing can happen more than 100 times every hour in severe cases.

The two conditions - diabetes and OSA - have the common risk factors of obesity and smoking, and both are associated with hypertension, insulin resistance, and a greater chance for developing serious cardiovascular problems.

Get Free Diabetes Supplies

See If You Qualify
Call 305-590-5848 Today

OSA Symptoms

Since diabetes and OSA are each linked with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, it’s possible having both conditions could exacerbate the risk. So, those with diabetes should know the signs of sleep apnea and take them seriously:

  • Snoring. We should listen to our spouse or partner if they complain about loud, chronic snoring. Even occasional snoring is a mild type of airway obstruction; loud and persistent snoring may indicate a severer airway blockage.
  • Gasping. We should listen to our spouse or partner if they notice we’re having difficulty breathing at night. Oxygen levels drop during breathing pauses, signaling the brain to wake up and take a breath. This causes sleepers to gasp, choke, or snort as they try to draw in adequate air.
  • High BP. OSA causes elevated adrenaline release during the night, contributing to increased blood pressure and heart rate. Over time, this can lead to higher blood pressure during the day as well.
  • Fatigue. If we spend seven to nine hours in bed most nights, but are chronically fatigued or sleepy during the day, it may be a sign of sleep apnea.
  • Headaches. Frequent morning headaches can occur when oxygen levels in the brain decrease owed to pauses in breathing. Studies suggest severe OSA is associated with more frequent, and persistent a.m. headaches.
  • Bathroom Visits. Nocturia, or frequent nighttime urination, is a classic symptom of sleep apnea. It occurs because the fight-or-flight response triggered by OSA also creates a sensation of fullness in the bladder.
  • Insomnia. Sleep apnea and insomnia are common bedfellows. This is likely owed to the elevated adrenaline associated with OSA making it harder for those who awaken to drift off again.
  • When insomnia (insufficient sleep) coexists with OSA (non-restful sleep) there is naturally an increased negative impact on our ability to function well, and cope with everyday stress.
  • Weight. Up to 67 percent of those with OSA are overweight. As weight increases, so do the pads of fat around our windpipe. This narrows the airway, making it harder to breathe. Weight loss does not typically cure sleep apnea, but generally reduces the symptoms.

An estimated 18 million people in the U.S. are living with sleep apnea; many may be undiagnosed. Men are more likely to have this condition, but the incidence for women increases following menopause when hormone changes alter muscle tone, making it more likely the airway will narrow during sleep.

Better Sleep, Better Glucose Levels

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), individuals with type 2 diabetes are “much more likely” to have OSA, and they recommend people with diabetes be evaluated for the disorder. Doing so may not only have a positive effect on quality of sleep, but on glucose management, and daily functioning as well.

“Treating sleep apnea in diabetics improves nighttime glucose levels and insulin sensitivity,” said AASM’s Dr. M. Safwan Badr. “Treatment also will provide benefits of improved sleep unrelated to diabetes – including increased alertness during the day and improved memory and cognitive function.”

Sources: American Diabetes Assoc; Diabetes Journals; AASM; AARP
Photo credit: Mic445

Get Free Diabetic Supplies

For a limited time only, you can reduce diabetic supplies costs by more than 90%. Enrolling just take a few minutes. Fill out the form, speak to a representative and get diabetic supplies delivered to your door at little or no cost. Also, you will get a free Diabetes Meal Plan from a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator.

Enter your information below to see if you qualify.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

Matcha tea is a rich, creamy, full-bodied beverage with amazing nutritional properties that address several diabetes health concerns. The trace...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

It would be interesting to know how many people with diabetes actually use blood glucose control solutions to regularly check the accuracy of...

A mood is an internal state or condition of feeling. It colors everything else we experience, much like colored sunglasses add a tint to...

More Articles

Hot weather does not directly alter blood glucose levels. However, sweltering temperatures affect our metabolism and the release of hormones. Heat...

Those who have not yet been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can greatly reduce their susceptibility by doing one key...

With such a marked increase in the number of new diabetes cases, more people are wondering if type 1 diabetes...

Although diabetes is common, many people who have been diagnosed do not completely understand how it develops or whether it is hereditary....

It would be interesting to know how many people with diabetes actually use blood glucose control solutions to regularly check the accuracy of...

Any sweetener you use to replace table sugar is a sugar substitute. One type of sugar substitute is artificial sweetener. Three other types...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

Diabetes is a health condition that disrupts the body’s normal production of insulin. Currently, more than one million Americans are diagnosed...

The HbA1c blood test, more commonly known as the A1C, is both a very useful and a very cool calculation of your average blood glucose levels over...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your...

A diabetes meal plan is a guide indicating what types of foods, and how much of them, people should eat at meal and snack time. Following a meal...

Dreaming up new meal ideas when you have diabetes can be tricky, especially when it comes to breakfast. Eggs are a staple for many diabetics, but...

Because it is Peripheral Neuropathy Awareness Week (May 7-13), this article is about a device people with neuropathy may not be aware of—a device...

Food often becomes the focal point when it comes to discussing a diabetes diet, but the beverages you drink could be affecting your weight and...