Strong associations of diabetes with sleep impairment have been frequently reported. In the present review, we discuss current evidence and hypotheses for how type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus are associated with sleep impairment. This association may be described as a vicious circle, where sleep disorders favor the development of type 2 diabetes or exacerbate the metabolic control of both types of diabetes, whereas diabetes itself, especially when associated with poor metabolic control, is often followed by sleep disorders. In this review, novel findings concerning the neuro-endocrine-metabolic mediation of the mentioned circle are highlighted. Understanding how this association occurs, the impact of sleep impairment on diabetes, and the impact of diabetes on the development or exacerbation of sleep disorders should lead to potential new therapeutic strategies for treating both conditions.
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