Healthy Living

Can Sleep Apnea Really Affect a Patient's Metabolism?

Can Sleep Apnea Really Affect a Patient's Metabolism?

If there has ever been a moment where someone needs to drop a few extra pound, but can't because of fatigue and craving of sugar-filled snacks, then sleep apnea might be contributing to this issue. Actually, as it turns out, a person's metabolism can be directly affected if they do not have the proper amount of sleep.

But, because both sleep apnea and the metabolism do not seem to be related, patients often overlook this as an issue.

Disrupted sleep

So, how does this sleep disorder affect the metabolism? Naturally, it's an obvious thing for patients to wonder, but surprisingly, sleep apnea can affect a person's overall health in a number of ways. Specifically, this disorder causes a person to stop breathing while he or she is asleep, usually for 10 seconds or longer. The airway becomes blocked due to the narrowing and relaxation of the throat muscles.

Often, this reaction disrupts an otherwise peaceful rest. As a result, the lack of sleep takes a toll on the body’s energy levels, alertness, and of course, their metabolism, especially since many metabolic processes take place while a patient is sleeping.

Symptoms and signs to watch out for

One of the most common warnings is dozing off in the middle of the day and fighting to stay awake. Another is waking up and feeling like the amount or quality of sleep has not been adequate enough to feel completely refreshed.

The telltale signal, though, is snoring. Sometimes a patient's snoring can get so loud that it even wakes up the person who’s experiencing it (More than likely, however, if there is someone else in the room, that person would let the other know about their snoring). Even more importantly, if the snoring is accompanied by abnormally loud patterns in breathing, sleep apnea might be the cause. In fact, the snoring is indicative of the windpipe’s reaction to the narrowing of the airway, and waking up is the reflex reaction to not getting enough oxygen.

Aside from the loud snoring, other symptoms to watch for are:

  • Coughing or choking upon waking up
  • High blood pressure
  • Sore throat or dry mouth in the morning due to the constant snoring and/or breathing through the mouth
  • Persistent headache early in the day
  • Not being able to focus
  • Daily Fatigue

Any of these signs indicate that the person is not getting enough “deep sleep” at night because of the body’s response to an inadequate supply of oxygen. The “alarm” in the brain either brings the person into a lighter snooze or wakes him or her up completely. Either way, this lack of deep sleep impacts the body in a more negative manner over time.

As a result, when experiencing any of these symptoms, then a person is less likely to remain fit and have a daily exercise routine on account of feeling too tired. Also, the lack of sleep can impact both appetite and hormone levels, which makes losing weight rather difficult. Eventually, this could take a toll on the patient's metabolism.