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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
On-line version ISSN 1414-431X
MARTINS, R.C.; ANDERSEN, M.L. and TUFIK, S.. The reciprocal interaction between sleep and type 2 diabetes mellitus: facts and perspectives. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2008, vol.41, n.3, pp. 180-187. Epub Nov 26, 2007. ISSN 1414-431X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2006005000194.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a systemic disease characterized by intolerance to glucose and peripheral resistance to insulin. This endocrine disease affects fundamental mechanisms of the central nervous system and jeopardizes the balance of vital functions such as the cardiovascular and circadian rhythm. The increased prevalence of metabolic disorders in our society is aggravated by endemic voluntary postponement of bedtime and by the current sedentary lifestyle, leading to epidemic proportions of obese people. Diabetes and chronic loss of sleep share the fact that both affect millions and one is detrimental to the other. Indeed, sleep deficits have marked modulatory effects on glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity and foster metabolic syndrome that culminates in sleep disorders like restless syndrome and sleep apnea, which in turn lead to poor sleep quality. We examine the hypothesis that these two worldwide emerging disorders are due to two interlinked cycles. In our paradigm, we establish an intimate relationship between diabetes and sleep disturbances and postulate possible mechanisms that provide support for this conjecture. In addition, we propose some perspectives about the development of the reciprocal interaction between predictor components of metabolic syndrome and sleep disturbances that lead to poor sleep quality. The ability to predict the development and identify or associate a given mode of sleep disturbance to diabetes would be a valuable asset in the assessment of both. Furthermore, major advances in care coupled with healthy lifestyles can ensure a higher quality of life for people with diabetes.
Keywords : Diabetes; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity; Apnea; Sleep.