Up to one in four people with type 2 diabetes may also have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition that causes your breathing to pause over and over as you sleep. OSA makes blood-sugar control more difficult and may raise your risk for high blood pressure and heart disease.
You may have OSA if your bed partner reports that you snore loudly and seem to gasp for air at night; if you wake up feeling tired, irritable, forgetful, and headachy; or if you’re extremely sleepy during the day. OSA raises the risk for traffic accidents by making you drowsy at the wheel, too.
If this sounds like you, ask your doctor whether you should be evaluated at a sleep clinic. It’s worth it: In one study of 25 people with diabetes who got treatment for their OSA, researchers found that after-meal blood sugar levels dropped from 191 mg/dl to a healthier 130 mg/dl. The best fix for OSA? A continuous positive air pressure machine that blows a gentle stream of air into your throat to keep airways open.