Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where a person's breathing stops or becomes irregular during sleep as a result of a collapsed airway. This can result in a number of serious health effects. Previous research shows people with sleep apnea are nine-times more likely to have diabetes than those without the sleep disorder.
Based on findings of a recent study researchers say patients with type 2 diabetes who also suffer from sleep apnea can lower glucose levels by receiving the most common sleep apnea treatment. For the study researchers measured participants' glucose levels before and after a sleep apnea treatment called continuous positive airway pressure therapy, or CPAP. CPAP, the most common treatment for sleep apnea, involves wearing a mask that supplies a steady stream of air through the nose during sleep. This airflow keeps the nasal passages open to prevent airway collapse.
It was observed that when CPAP was used for at least four hours every day, participants had a significant reduction in glucose levels. Patients with diabetes who keep their blood sugar levels under control can considerably reduce their risk of developing late-stage complications including cardiovascular, kidney, eye and nerve disease say researchers .
Thus researchers suggest people with diabetes who have symptoms of sleep apnea, such as excessive daytime sleepiness and loud, persistent snoring, should be screened and treated.