7 Dangers Of Sleep Apnea

Side Effects Of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a chronic disease that affects millions of people all over the world – most don’t even know they have it. Technically, sleep apnea is when you momentarily stop breathing while asleep. This usually only lasts a few seconds, or just short enough for your body to not realize what is happening and awaken to correct the problem. While not knowing you have this condition may make it seem harmless, sleep apnea is anything but. Many dangers of sleep apnea can upset your overall quality of life.

1. It disrupts your sleep and keeps you from getting a good night’s rest. When you stop breathing, your body automatically tries to wake up and get you breathing again. With mild sleep apnea, however, your body never fully wakes up. Instead, it just almost wakes up, which means you spend half of the night not achieving the deep sleep your body wants to recover and be rested. This will make you groggier throughout the day.

2. It makes you gain weight. When you are not getting the proper level of sleep, you become more fatigued and unable to move around and exercise. This, in turn, makes you gain more weight, which makes your sleep apnea even worse. People who are already overweight are at additional risk for developing sleep apnea and entering this vicious cycle.

3. It contributes to heart problems. A lack of enough oxygen at night will disrupt proper blood flow and add to higher blood pressure. This, in turn, puts a strain on your heart and may cause you to have coronary issues. Sleep apnea is directly linked to an increase in strokes and heart attacks.

4. It makes you irritable and moody. Not enough sleep means not enough energy, and not enough power means you might become a grumpy person.

5. It can cause brain damage. This is probably one of the biggest dangers of sleep apnea. When you don’t breathe, oxygen does not travel to the brain. Usually, you begin breathing again before lasting damage can occur, but there is a chance that your body won’t wake up in time to save your brain from a lack of oxygen.

6. It wears down your organs faster. Deep sleep is when the body restores itself and rests, particularly the heart and brain. If you never enter this much needed deep sleep, your organs will not receive the recovery they need, which will lead to them wearing down faster as you age. These vital organs need to be with you for as long as you live.

7. It may give you type 2 diabetes. While it won’t directly cause it, the cycle of sleep apnea and weight gain will increase the risk of developing diabetes. It’s figured that about 80% of people living with type 2 diabetes also have sleep apnea.

While sleep apnea may not directly kill you, it will probably contribute to other significant health problems later, if not sooner. If you have been recently diagnosed or think you may have this condition, please consult your doctor for the best ways to treat it before the dangers of sleep apnea get to you.

Hania Shahbaz

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