How Does Sleep Apnea Affect the Heart Health?

How Does Sleep Apnea Affect the Heart Health?

February 1, 2022

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that very few people know about, even though it affects a large part of the global population. It is a disorder of the respiratory system, where patients have difficulty breathing properly when they sleep.

Ideally, sleep apnea features periods of not breathing when asleep. A patient can stop breathing for any amount of time, ranging from a few seconds to minutes. The longer one stops breathing, the more severe the sleeping disorder is. If it is severe enough, sleep apnea can be life-threatening, having many damaging implications for your general health.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Experts are still researching to identify the particular causes of sleep apnea, especially because there are different types. The disorder occurs when the throat muscles relax too much, disallowing proper airflow in and out of your body. Some of the factors that increase the risk of this sleeping disorder include:

  1. Smoking and other tobacco usages – if you are a frequent tobacco consumer, you have many health issues to worry about, including oral cancer and sleep apnea.
  2. Poor sleeping postures
  3. Being obese or overweight
  4. Aging – even though children can suffer from this sleeping disorder, ideally, the older you are, the more likely you are to get sleep apnea.
  5. Having a big neck circumference

Impact of Sleeping Disorder

The impact of your sleeping disorder on your health will depend on how long you have suffered from the disease and its severity. Some of the consequences of sleep apnea to your health are:

  1. Blood pressure problems – You will likely suffer inconsistent blood pressure surges due to obstructive sleep apnea. Most of our patients, Taylor Made Sleep, end up having Hypertension due to the sleeping disorder.
  2. Heart problems – Various heart conditions may occur due to sleep apnea. They include atrial fibrillation and heart attacks.
  3. Strokes and other brain-related problems – occurring due to insufficient oxygen traveling to your brain.
  4. Diabetes – If you do not seek obstructive sleep apnea treatment early, your body may develop insulin resistance, resulting in type 2 diabetes.
  5. Metabolic syndrome – Includes various health disorders, including abnormal cholesterol levels, Hypertension, high blood sugar levels, to mention a few.

Symptoms of Sleeping Disorder

The symptoms of sleep apnea are more evident if the disease is serious. You may continuously dismiss the symptoms as random occurrences when they are not. It is why you should visit a sleep center near you for proper diagnosis when you suspect you have a sleeping disorder. Some symptoms of sleep apnea to consider are:

  1. Snoring at night – This can be described as loud snoring that disrupts sleep for partners sleeping next to you.
  2. Irritability and mood swings
  3. Tiredness and fatigue
  4. Morning headaches
  5. Sore throat and feeling very thirsty in the mornings
  6. Repeatedly gasping for air at night
  7. Interrupted sleep patterns – So that you hardly sleep through the night.
  8. Increased waist circumference – For patients who begin to suffer from metabolic syndrome.
  9. Excessive sleepiness during the day.

How to Improve Your Sleep with Treatment Options Available for Sleep Apnea

Improving the quality of your sleep will significantly improve your health, whether or not you have a sleeping disorder. The stakes are higher if you have sleep apnea; you have to be increasingly intentional about improving your sleep. Some of the ways to improve your sleep are:

  • Change your sleep position – Perhaps the posture you adopt when you sleep contributes to the lack of proper breathability at night. You may need to change your sleeping postures frequently to find one that works best for you.
  • Use a night guard – Dentists can customize a mouthpiece that you can wear at night to aid your breathing as you sleep. The night guard helps keep your airways open, promoting better breathing at night.
  • Exercise – Physical activity will help improve your blood and oxygen circulation, lose excess weight, and rejuvenate your body. The result will be improved sleep.
  • Use a humidifier in your room – it can help overcome any obstruction in your airways, promoting better breathability.

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