Do you or your partner snore at night? If so, please read closely. A new study conducted by scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago has uncovered a critical link between how well you sleep and how well you metabolize sugar.

Scientists examined the sleep patterns of 1,008 men and women. They were specifically looking for disturbances in sleep called apneas. Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat collapses, causing breathing to stop momentarily. During an episode of sleep apnea, you may miss two, three, even four breaths before rousing slightly to resume breathing. And some people can have a hundred episodes throughout the night.

Sure -- this makes you tired the next day. But this pattern of interrupted breathing also leads to poor absorption of oxygen into your blood. And as you can imagine, not getting enough oxygen into your blood can cause a whole host of health issues. In fact, according to the University of Illinois study, a history of poor blood oxygenation may play a compounding role in developing type-2 diabetes.

Scientists found that 75 percent of the participants in their study did have sleep apnea. (This meant that they had at least five or more episodes of halted breathing per hour.) And of the men and women who had sleep apnea, 30 percent of them also had type-2 diabetes. On the other hand, only 18 percent of the men and women without sleep apnea had type-2 diabetes.

So -- if you're over 55 and a heavy snorer (and your partner will know!), it's highly possible you have sleep apnea as well. I strongly urge you to seek treatment, as sleep apnea is a progressive problem that can affect your overall health.

There are different types of non-invasive treatment options now that have shown good success in improving sleep apnea. Also, make sure you have your blood sugar levels tested as well. You run about twice the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.