November is Diabetes Awareness Month and this month we would like to salute nurses who are the frontline workers in diabetes treatment and care.
We know that sleep has a huge impact on many aspects of our lives. You may not know however, that poor sleep is closely related to type 2 diabetes (T2D). One half of people with type 2 diabetes have sleep apnea, independent of obesity. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) increases insulin resistance and increases fasting glucose. Diabetes patients who are poor sleepers have 23% higher morning blood glucose and 48% higher blood insulin.
Although we don’t exactly know what the link is, we do know that poor sleep leads to an increase of stress hormones in our bodies. These hormones may negatively impact other organ systems that impact T2D. Poor sleep on its own may be a risk factor for T2D.
Achieving good sleep should be part of diabetes treatment just as diet and exercise are. By treating your OSA, you may improve daytime glucose control, delay progression of your T2D, and reduce complications of diabetes such as heart attack, stroke and heart disease. If you have been diagnosed with insulin insensitivity, reach out to your doctor to discuss an OSA test.