How Bad Is Sleep Apnea for Your Health?
Summary: Sleep apnea and poor health often go together, making the problems of obesity, poor diet, high blood pressure and heart disease worse and harder to overcome. Using a CPAP machine to keep breathing at night can help to treat more than just restricted air passages; it can also help with the other health issues as well.
It’s great to get a good night’s sleep, but too many people get just the opposite without realizing how much they missed out on. A poor night’s sleep can make you feel awful the next day, making it harder to do planned tasks well, or meet obligations. If the poor sleep continues night after night, things can get much worse than that. Over 800,000 Canadians have been told at one time or another that they may have sleep apnea, a condition that interferes with sleep. Many people are aware they have sleep apnea, without realizing how serious it can be. How bad is sleep apnea for your health? Quite bad, actually, as sleep apnea and poor health usually have a cause and effect relationship, each problem making the other worse and harder to overcome.
First of all, people with sleep apnea stop breathing when they sleep due to restricted airways. Snoring is often the first sign of the problem. Sleep apnea literally means ‘to sleep without breathing’. A person with sleep apnea may wake up a few times or many more times over the course of one night because they need to breathe. These pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to half a minute, until the brain panics and wakes up. The sleeper goes back to sleep, and is usually unaware of how often they have woken up in the night. Sometimes they think it is the snoring that is the problem.
Obviously, waking up that often in the night can make a person very tired the next day. As they woke without realizing in the night, sometimes they fall asleep for a few seconds or longer during the day, also without realizing it. Even if that doesn’t happen, tiredness leads to poor concentration, poor job performance, and memory loss, as well as an increased number of accidents.
Another one of the cause and effects of sleep apnea is high blood pressure. High blood pressure is something that is already associated with poor diet, stress and obesity, and the stress of waking up frequently at night can make it worse. Not being able to breathe causes the oxygen level in your blood to drop, so that’s another issue making it harder to regulate those important numbers. As well, it can be hard to lose weight, or exercise if you are not getting a good night’s sleep, or if you are stressed by not getting a good night’s sleep.
Heart disease, stroke and diabetes are other health problems that are more prevalent in people with obstructive sleep apnea and are more difficult to treat for the same reasons. A good night sleep can make everything seem better and make life easier to manage.
So, begin with working on sleeping through the night with the help of a CPAP machine that will keep the airways open as you sleep, and stop you from waking up frequently in the night. As soon as you begin to feel better and more rested, then you will start to feel healthier and everything will begin to come together. Contact CPAP Solutions Inc. if you think sleep apnea is keeping you from working on your health.