7 Ways Sleep Apnea Is Harmful to Health & Safety
Sleeping well doesn’t only mean that one gets to have a sufficient amount of hours. It also encompasses things and factors such as comfort, effects, and the overall state of the body while an individual is sleeping. Sleep disorders are pretty common. In fact, studies show that 75 percent of the world’s population has been affected by the sleeping disorder, and this number is only expected to go up.
As mentioned by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in 2017, obstructive sleep apnea is a common and serious sleep disorder that causes an individual to stop or to have deterred breathing while sleeping. With sleep apnea, one’s airway becomes blocked repeatedly, consequently limiting the air that enters the individual’s lungs. Shortage of air during sleep results in loud snoring as an individual thrives to breathe while sleeping. Because of the shortage of air, the body and brain don’t have enough oxygen and might cause a person to wake up. Such circumstances might happen only on certain nights, but in advanced states of sleep apnea, such circumstances could occur even hundred times a night.
Sleep apnea can make a person wake up in the morning feeling restless and sore despite having a full night sleep. Feelings of fatigue might come in during the day, and it might also cause difficulties in concentration and in keeping up. Such feeling of fatigue and restlessness is due to the fact that a patient’s body has woken up several times at night, even if the patient is still particularly unconscious of all those waking moments.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine stated in 2016 that sleep apnea actually has long-term effects on an individual’s health due to cumulative stress and disturbances such as depression, high blood pressure, diabetes and prediabetes, stroke, and other heart diseases. Here are just 7 of the most common risks that those with sleep apnea face.
Heart diseases: A study shows that people diagnosed with sleep apnea are more likely to have heart attacks than those who weren’t. The culprits of such complication might be the shortage of oxygen or the stress of waking up in the middle of sleep. Stroke and atrial fibrillation, a condition characterized by fast and fluttering heartbeats, are also linked to the illness. Sleep apnea falters the process of one’s body’s oxygen intake, and it makes it hard for one’s brain to control the blood flow in one’s arteries and eventually in the brain itself.
High blood pressure: If a person already has it, sleep apnea can make high blood pressure even worse as it actually makes you feel stressed out due to the frequent interruptions every night. Furthermore, frequent interruptions in the middle of the night causes a person’s hormonal system to be overactive, hence boosting one’s blood pressure level. The shortage of oxygen due to inadequate breathing also adds up and contributes to the problem.
It is notable that treatments can make a difference with regards to blood pressure in a person that has sleep apnea. In fact, many patients with sleep apnea have seen improvements in their blood pressure since they began with their treatments. In some cases, the medications that are meant to appease the patient’s blood pressure might be cut down. Of course, the patient can only cut his or her medications if their doctor allows them to do so.