Feb 10 2019

Don’t let Sleep Apnea ruin your rest and your health.

Published by at 1:19 pm under General

Don’t let Sleep Apnea ruin your rest and your health.
Understanding the symptoms and dangers of Obstructive Sleep Apnea just might save your life. *

There is nothing like a good night’s sleep. We take it for granted when sleep comes easy. But if you have trouble sleeping, the effects throughout the day can be devastating. And if you have trouble getting sound sleep night after night, as in the case of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the effects are more far reaching, affecting your long term health and well being.1*

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a “…medical sleep disorder in which a person has pauses in breathing or shallow breathing during sleep…” It is caused by the upper respiratory airways being blocked either when the throat muscles collapse, or by the tongue falling back into the airway. It can also be caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids which can interfere with air flow. 1*

The degrees of Obstructive Sleep Apnea are broken down into three stages…mild, moderate and severe. During mild OSA, the person experiences between 5 to14 episodes of interruption in breathing in an hour, while during moderate OSA, breathing is interrupted between 15 and 30 times. During severe OSA, breathing is interrupted 30 or more times in one hour! 1*

When a person’s airway becomes cutoff, “…the brain has to wake itself to signal the respiratory system to kick back into gear…” Breathing resumes with usually a loud snort, gasp, or body jerk, causing the person to wake from sleep, disrupting slumber. When awoken multiple times through the course of the night, it results in low oxygen levels in the blood because the air way blockages prevent air from getting into the lungs. This low oxygen also affects both heart and brain function. The result is a feeling of being unrested, foggy and exhausted.(1,2)*

When breathing is paused during sleep, blood oxygen levels drop significantly. When this happens, the brain “…partially wakes from sleep to send signals to the nervous system to constrict the blood vessels (tighten up) in order to increase the flow of oxygen to your heart and brain. When your blood pressure increases at night to keep oxygen flowing to your heart and brain, it causes high blood pressure during sleep. Most people’s blood pressure drops ten to twenty percent during sleep, but many patients with sleep apnea show an increase in blood pressure of ten to twenty percent….”1*

Over time, this increased blood pressure that takes place while sleeping begins to cross over into periods of wakefulness. Many people with sleep apnea end up with higher blood pressure due to the extra respiratory effort needed to get oxygen while sleeping. As we know, high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and heart attack.1*

Studies have shown a strong link between sleep apnea and cardiovascular problems, as well as Type 2 diabetes and obesity.  “…Up to two-thirds of the people who have sleep apnea are overweight.  Obesity, or too much body fat, is often associated with snoring, sleep apnea, and sleep disturbance. Obesity increases the risk of sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, and stroke…” (1,2)*

According to a study by the National Sleep Foundation, men with severe OSA are 58% more likely to develop congestive heart failure than men without sleep apnea. Men between the ages of 40-70 “…with an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of 30 or higher were 68% more likely to develop coronary heart disease than those with lower AHIs…”1*

People with poor sleep habits are at greater risk for becoming overweight or obese and developing Type 2 diabetes, according to several studies. Chronic sleep deprivation may lead to insulin resistance, which can result in high blood sugar and diabetes.2*

“…Some studies show that chronic sleep deprivation can affect hormones that control appetite. For example, recent findings link inadequate sleep with lower levels of the hormone leptin, which helps control the metabolism of carbohydrates. Low levels of leptin have been shown to increase the body’s craving for carbohydrates regardless of the amount of calories consumed…”2*

Lastly, sleep apnea takes its toll on the brain. The lack of oxygen supplied to the brain can result in mood disorders, poor concentration, difficulty with memory and decision-making, depression, and stress. Research from the UCLA School of Nursing and  published online in the Journal of Sleep Research, showed that people with sleep apnea “…show significant changes in the levels of two important brain chemicals, which could be a reason that many have symptoms that impact their day-to-day lives….3*

Treatments like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which is the most common and considered the most successful sleep apnea treatment so far, have been extremely successful in treating this condition. When patients at risk for heart disease and who had sleep apnea were treated with CPAP machines, their nighttime and daytime blood pressure was significantly reduced and their risk of developing heart disease decreased dramatically.1*

Treating underlying conditions of heart disease, such as sleep apnea, can greatly reduce the chances of developing more serious health problems down the road. Just as treating the gut can prevent disease and boost the immune system, treating sleep apnea is a preventative measure for many health conditions as well. All of these conditions tie together and when they go untreated lead to metabolic syndrome which is a vicious cycle that is hard to brake.1*

Pay attention to your body! Take preventative measures for your health, including taking Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ daily. By addressing your core health and the basics, such as diet, exercise, sleep and hydration, you are laying the groundwork for long term good health.*

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

Resources:

  1. https://www.alaskasleep.com/blog/sleep-apnea-heart-disease-risks-untreated-sleep-apnea
  2. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-2-diabetes-guide/type-2-diabetes-sleep#3
  3. http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/sleep-apnea-takes-a-toll-on-brain-function

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