I have type 2 diabetes and have trouble sleeping and feeling rested. I live alone and wonder if I might have sleep Apnea?
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, chances are that your inability to sleep through the night may have contributed to your type 2 diabetes diagnosis. In fact, scientist have found a pre-diabetes connection to this particular sleeping disorder. If left untreated, you could be at risk for other cardiovascular diseases.
Fifty percent of the population that have diabetes, high blood pressure and one form of cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure are at risk.
Sleep Apnea Definition
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects your breathing while sleeping. Your sleep is frequently interrupted by the relaxing of your palate, tongue, and larynx. This combination relaxes your throat creating a block and prevents you from inhaling oxygen 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 theses interruptions persist for, can only be determined by a sleeping study.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Most common symptoms are:
~ 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
~ 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. So, in your case, I would recommend setting up a recording device while you sleep. A smartphone that stays plugged into the electrical outlet would be ideal. This way your battery does not run out of juice and you can videotape or use an audio app to record your activities while sleeping.
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
~ Loosing weight if you are overweight since the circumference of your neck is a factor.
~ Start using a CPAP (pronounced See-Pap) machine. This is an air pressurized machine with a mask that covers your nose. If you find the CPAP difficult to use there are other CPAP devices that adjust the air pressure when you are asleep.
~ Surgery may be appropriate to expand narrow air passages.
~ Oral appliances that keep your airways open and free from obstruction are provided by dentist
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
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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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 19 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, Phili.com, Brand Week, Drug Topics, and many other media outlets.