Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes millions of people to miss out on hours of sleep each night. Many people are undiagnosed, and this condition can be quite problematic if left untreated. Health concerns that could potentially develop if you can’t get your sleep apnea under control include memory loss, fatigue, hypertension, diabetes, and even heart disease. Additionally, if someone has prediabetes and sleeps poorly, they may be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Read on to learn how sleep apnea and prediabetes are connected as well as some tips for getting a better night’s rest.
What Is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a health condition where a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Even though they’re elevated, they aren’t high enough for someone to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Approximately 96 million adults in the United States have prediabetes. Of those people, more than 80% are unaware that they have it. With proper care, prediabetes can be reversed.
How Sleep Apnea and Prediabetes Are Linked
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common form of sleep apnea that’s characterized by a blockage in the airway while someone is sleeping. This is usually caused by soft throat or mouth tissue. When this happens, your body exits deep sleep and wakes you up so it can normalize your breathing pattern, which sabotages your sleep cycle. This may happen throughout the night, sometimes as many as 30 times per hour.
University of Hertfordshire researchers recently found a connection between poor sleep quality and an increased risk of prediabetics developing type two diabetes. In the studies they conducted, prediabetic patients who slept poorly also often had higher blood sugar levels. This is indicative of an increased risk of diabetes and indicates that poor sleep quality may trigger the condition in prediabetic patients.
4 Tips for Sleeping Better
Getting good quality sleep is a key part of maintaining a healthy body and may also lessen your risk of developing diabetes. A few ways that you can make sure you sleep well include:
- Undergo a sleep test – Consider speaking with a sleep doctor about undergoing a noninvasive procedure that can help determine if you have sleep apnea.
- Seek treatment – If you’ve already been diagnosed with sleep apnea, speak with your dentist. They will be able to provide you with treatment options, such as oral appliances, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, or tongue and lip ties.
- Make lifestyle adjustments – Eating a healthier diet and exercising regularly may improve your blood sugar levels if they’ve been affected by poor sleep.
- Address causes of sleep disruption – If you recently got a new mattress, began sleeping in a darker or quieter room, or started speaking to a therapist or counselor, you may notice an improvement in the quality of your sleep.
Though it’s a sleep condition, sleep apnea impacts more than just getting enough rest. With the above information, you can hopefully take the necessary steps to maintain a healthy body and get plenty of sleep!
About the Author
Pleasant Grove Family Dentistry treats patients in the Texarkana area who want to keep their smiles healthy and bright. They cater to all kinds of patients, including those who are suffering from sleep apnea. Dr. Torin Marracino and Dr. Nick Cockerell can help you identify signs of sleep apnea and offer treatments like using a CPAP machine so you can get a good night’s sleep. Call Pleasant Grove Family Dentistry at (903) 838-9700 or visit their website if you’re interested in learning more about their services or want to make an appointment.