Type 2 Diabetes Increases Risk of Sleep Disorders

Anyone with type 2 diabetes is far too aware of the many potential medical complications once diagnosed. It’s linked to a wealth of adverse health outcomes, from heart/blood vessel disease to nerve damage, kidney disease, and plenty in between.

According to recent research, you can add sleep disorders to the list of health-related complications linked to type 2 diabetes.

Below are some takeaways from a review of the PubMed database:

The Research Involved

A team of Netherlands-based investigators reviewed literature, aiming to do the following:

  • Provide more information to clinicians about sleep disorders’ role in the progression of type 2 diabetes and the related health complications.
  • Describe current treatment options.

Overall, the review has been compiled into an 11-page document, using almost 80 references. The research team searched PubMed’s database using these terms:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Sleep disorders
  • Sleep-wake disorders
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Sleep arousal
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Restless leg syndrome

What Were the Discoveries?

The analysis found that insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and restless leg syndrome were seen in type 2 diabetes patients more often than in the rest of the population. 

However, no connections were made with type 2 diabetes and sleep-wake disorders, parasomnias, or central disorders of hypersomnolence. 

It was also found that sleep disorders are connected to glycemic control issues. More specifically, insomnia was associated with raised blood glucose (HbA1c) levels and increased fasting glucose in type 2 diabetes patients.  Furthermore, insomnia appeared to leave type 2 diabetes patients more at risk of depression symptoms than the rest of the population.

Critical Takeaway: Clinicians Must Keep a Keen Eye on Sleep Disorder Symptoms in Type 2 Diabetes Patients

These findings shed light on the need to prioritize sleep disorder diagnosis in type 2 diabetes patients. Doing so could offset the progression of the disease, improving quality of life and overall well-being. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t much in the way of randomized controlled trials examining sleep disorders in these specific patients. Therefore, the investigators concluded that more focus is needed on pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment options for type 2 diabetes patients with sleep disorders. 

Source: Endocrinology Network



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