DIABETES AND SLEEP APNEA: A COMPLEX CONNECTION
Diabetes and sleep apnea, once considered unrelated, now reveal a profound
interdependence. Recent research unveils a significant correlation between these conditions,
emphasizing the importance of comprehensive care for affected individuals. Understanding this
relationship is pivotal for effective management and enhanced quality of life.
Physiological Factors: Sleep apnea, characterized by interrupted breathing during
sleep, is closely linked to insulin resistance, a key feature of type 2 diabetes. Disrupted sleep
patterns and inadequate oxygen supply during apnea episodes can lead to impaired glucose
metabolism, exacerbating insulin resistance. Additionally, both conditions are associated with
chronic inflammation, further compromising insulin sensitivity and glucose control. Sleep apnea also triggers heightened sympathetic
nervous system activity, contributing to insulin resistance and glucose dysregulation.
Lifestyle Contributors: Obesity is a shared risk factor in both conditions, significantly increasing the
likelihood of type 2 diabetes. Sedentary behavior and poor dietary habits also play a role,
exacerbating insulin resistance and contributing to weight gain.
Management Strategies: A multidisciplinary approach is crucial for effective management. This
may involve continuous glucose monitoring for diabetics, which helps mitigate the impact of insulin
resistance caused by sleep apnea. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and/or Oral
Appliance Therapy are treatments for sleep apnea, maintaining open airways during sleep.
Addressing both physiological mechanisms and lifestyle factors through comprehensive care leads to
improved health and a better quality of life.
Ask us today to receive a sleep wellness consultation!