Gestational Diabetes Linked to Sleep Apnea
It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep when wrestling with a pregnant belly, but women with gestational diabetes—diabetes that occurs during pregnancy—may have more challenges. A small study found that gestational diabetes is associated with an increased risk for obstructive sleep apnea. In this serious disorder, a person repeatedly stops breathing while asleep as throat muscles relax and block the airway. Researchers monitored the sleep behavior of 15 nonpregnant women, 15 pregnant women without diabetes, and 15 women with gestational diabetes. None of the nonpregnant women had the sleep disorder. In contrast, 11 of the pregnant women with gestational diabetes and four of those without diabetes experienced sleep apnea. This condition is known to increase blood glucose levels, which the authors suspect may predispose women to gestational diabetes. Loud snoring is one sign of possible sleep apnea.
Source: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, published online Aug. 21, 2013