AskNadia: Trouble Sleeping and Feeling Rested?

Dear Nadia,

I have type 2 diabetes and have trouble sleeping and feeling rested. I live alone and wonder if I might have Sleep Apnea?



Dear James,

Sleep apnea affects 22 million people in the United States. Interestingly enough, 80% of these people don’t know they have it. If you feel tired after 8 hours of sleep, you could have sleep apnea.

If you had trouble sleeping before your type 2 diabetes diagnosis, the chances are that your Inability to sleep through the night may have contributed to your type 2 diagnosis. Scientists have found a pre-diabetes connection to this particular sleeping disorder. If left untreated, you could be at risk for other cardiovascular diseases.


Sleep Apnea Definition

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects your breathing while sleeping. Rest is frequently interrupted by the relaxing of the palate, tongue, and larynx. This combination relaxes the throat creating a block, preventing you from inhaling oxygen for up to 55 seconds. Once the oxygen is cut off, your body triggers a surge where you wake up gasping for air.


How well you sleep, how many interruptions, and how long these interruptions persist can only be determined by a sleeping study.


Sleep Apnea Symptoms

The most common symptoms are:

~ Snoring

 ~ Waking up gasping for air

 ~ Inability to sleep through the night

 ~ Inability to focus during the day and

 ~ Difficulty in staying awake during the day

 ~ Inability to sleep through the night

 ~ Feeling irritable

 ~ Depression

 ~ Experience a dry throat and or mouth after awakening

You mentioned you live alone, which means you don’t have someone that can observe these symptoms for you. In your case, I would recommend setting up a recording device while you sleep to record all sounds. A smartphone that stays plugged into the electrical outlet would be ideal. This way, your battery does not run out of juice while taping record your sleeping pattern.

Ask your physician if you can be tested for sleep apnea.


Sleep Apnea Causes

~ The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that half of the people that experience sleep apnea are overweight.

~ Men are more likely to be diagnosed than women.

~ Physiological differences such as having large tonsils with a narrow throat. Or narrow airways in your nose and mouth contribute to apnea.

~ Age and a family disposition can put you at a higher risk.

~ Smokers are at a higher risk of being diagnosed.


Sleep Apnea Treatments

~ Losing weight if you are overweight since the circumference of your neck is a factor.

~ Start using a CPAP (pronounced See-Pap) machine. This is a pressurized air machine with a mask that covers your nose. If you find the CPAP difficult to use, other CPAP devices adjust the air pressure when you are asleep.

~ Surgery may be appropriate to expand narrow air passages.

The dentist provides ~ Oral appliances that keep your airways open and free from obstruction.


 You might also be interested in reading these articles about Sleep Apnea.


 1- Raising Apnea Awareness through Sleep Apnea Prevention Project

 2- Sleep Apnea Is No Laughing Matter



1- Sleep Apnea

 2- Mayo Clinic

 3- NIH



Nadia’s feedback on your question is in no way intended to initiate or replace your healthcare professional’s therapy or advice. Please check in with your medical team to discuss your diabetes management concerns.

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About Nadia:

Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. She was propelled at a young age into “caretaker mode,” and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, co-founded Diabetes Interview, now Diabetes Health magazine.

Nadia has received 24 nominations for her work as a diabetes advocate.
 She has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and other major cable networks. Her publications, medical supply business, and website have been cited, recognized and published in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, Ann Landers advice column, former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca, Entrepreneur magazine, Houston News,, Brand Week, Drug Topics, and many other media outlets.





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