Diabetes and Sleep

Healthy sleep can be just as important as living a healthy lifestyle when you're awake. At least 70% of people living with type 2 diabetes have some form of sleep disordered breathing1 which can result in poor sleep, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and other serious health problems.

If you have type 2 diabetes, it's important to talk to your doctor if you are always tired or if your sleep is not restful.

Excessive snoring is one possible symptom of sleep apnoea. So if you're a snorer, or you live with one, find out if the snoring may be a sign of sleep apnoea by taking our Sleep Test.

Studies have found that the percentage of people living with diabetes who also have sleep apnoea to be anywhere between 172 and 483 percent. Diabetes and sleep apnoea share some common risk factors, including male gender, advanced age, and obesity.

They also present similar symptoms including obesity, impaired glucose metabolism, nocturnal sweating and nocturia, erectile dysfunction, unrestful sleep and fatigue.

Studies have shown that sleep apnoea can also affect the body's ability to use glucose and insulin4.

While obesity is a contributing factor to both sleep apnoea and type 2 diabetes, studies have shown that sleep apnoea affects glucose and insulin4 levels even in people who are not overweight. Treating sleep apnoea may help patients manage glucose levels5.



  1. Einhorn et al, 'Prevalence of sleep apnea in a population of adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus', Endocr Pract, 2007
  2. West et al, 'Prevalence of obstructive sleep apnoea in men with type 2 diabetes', Thorax 61, 945-950, 2006
  3. Einhorn et al, 'Prevalence of sleep apnea in a population of adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus', Endocr Pract, 2007; Foster et al, Diabetes Care, 2009
  4. Arohnson et al, 'Impact of untreated obstructive sleep apnoea on gluciose control in type 2 diabetes', Am J of Respiratory and Crit Care Med, 2009
  5. Harsch et al, 'Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Treatment Rapidly Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome', AJRCCM, 2004 ; Schahin et al, Med Sci Monit, 2008 ; Babu et al, 'Type 2 Diabetes, Glycemic Control, and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure in Obstructive Sleep Apnea', Arch Intern Med, 2005