Type 2 Diabetes: Midlife Women at Greater Risk of Sleep Issues

Women who are experiencing menopause are at increased risk of sleep disturbances if they have type 2 diabetes, according to new research published in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

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Hormone changes are known to interfere with sleep, primarily due to night sweats and hot flashes, as well as to affect insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. However, there has been little information about the impact of diabetes on sleep during menopause. To address this gap, researchers evaluated data from two large internet survey studies. Results showed that the average number of sleep issues was higher in midlife women with type 2 diabetes than without and, additionally, that the severity of the issues was greater for those with type 2. The effects were especially pronounced in Asian women.

“This study suggests worse sleep-related symptoms in postmenopausal Asian women with type 2 diabetes compared with those without diabetes,” noted Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director. “Further study is needed, given the limitations of the analysis, but this report highlights the fact that sleep problems are common in midlife women. Sleep is an important determinant of health, and women with poor sleep should be seen and evaluated for common and treatable sleep disorders such as insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome.”

Want to learn more about dealing with diabetes during midlife? Read “Top 10 Health Tips for Women Over 65.” And for tips on improving your sleep, see “Getting the Sleep You Need.”

Diane Fennell

Diane Fennell

Senior Digital Editor for DiabetesSelfManagement.com, Fennell has 16 years’ experience specializing in diabetes and related health conditions. Based in New York City, she has a degree from Columbia University.

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