Did you know that diabetes and sleep apnea can go together? The CDC reports that more than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes, and unfortunately as many as 86% of diabetics have obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea and diabetes form a dangerous duo, compounding each other’s impacts.

Difficulty breathing at night agitates the body, putting it in fight or flight mode and causing stress. This raises blood glucose levels. Lack of energy due to difficulty sleeping also makes you tired throughout the day. This makes you less likely to do activities that can decrease blood sugar levels. Low energy and sleepiness can also make you stress-eat to stay awake or drink beverages with high amounts of sugar. This increases your risk of becoming obese, which comes with its own pile of complications that also
relate to sleep apnea and diabetes.

High blood sugar levels thicken the blood and cause circulation problems and cause a lack of energy in diabetics. Impaired circulation also adversely affects wound-healing and the immune system. The additional stress caused by sleep apnea can be especially damaging in diabetics. Without proper rest, the body doesn’t heal well and the immune system doesn’t work right.

Treatments for Diabetes & Sleep Apnea

One positive from this is that it treating sleep apnea can help with diabetes control. Studies have shown that insulin resistance can be reduced by treating sleep apnea. Research on CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) therapy’s effect in glycemic (blood sugar) control has shown encouraging results. With the prevalence of sleep apnea among diabetics, treating the former should be seen as part and parcel to controlling the latter.

It goes beyond dealing with diabetes’ symptoms, though. For sleep apnea sufferers who aren’t yet diabetic but are at risk, prompt treatment of sleep apnea might prevent diabetes from developing! This can be a literal lifesaver!

Schedule a Sleep Study if You Have Diabetes

People with diabetes should get checked for sleep apnea. Schedule a sleep study today at Jacksonville Sleep Center. People with sleep apnea should be sure to their weight and overall health, and consult with a doctor to see if they’re at risk of developing diabetes. Early treatment can prevent diabetes from developing in the first place or relieve symptoms and stop them from worsening.