Sleep apnea is when your body stops breathing intermittently while you sleep.
Each time this happens, you’ll wake up to help resume breathing.
Waking up randomly throughout the night means poor quality of sleep, which in turn is not going to make the day feel any better.
It’s not just feeling tired during the day and poor sleep that’s the effects of sleep apnea. If untreated, sleep apnea can lead to more serious ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, and many other chronic conditions.
How does it happen?
Sleep apnea occurs when airways become blocked or collapse while you sleep. This restricts airflow and your body wakes up to correct the blockage. A loud snore or snort usually happens when you wake up and start breathing again.
This brief interruption in breathing has a myriad of immediate and long-term effects on the body.
Let’s explore a few of them below:
Worsen existing breathing conditions
When sleep apnea occurs, it’s depriving your body of oxygen that can worsen existing conditions you have such asthma or any chronic pulmonary diseases. Moreover, over the long-term, it can affect your cardiovascular health resulting in you being short of breath more often and having trouble doing strenuous activities such as sports or exercising.
Develop insulin resistance
Sleep apnea also increases the chances of developing insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is when your body’s cells stop responding to the hormone insulin. This means your blood sugar levels aren’t regulated and you’re a type 2 diabetic. This condition can also trigger further issues such as being more prone to conditions such as high cholesterol.
Sleep apnea can also result in issues developing related to your digestive system. You’re at more risk to develop conditions such as fatty liver disease and liver scarring.
You’ll also face heartburn and acid reflux. All of these are chronic conditions that’ll deteriorate your quality of life.
Sleep apnea does no wonders for your heart either. It’s been linked to obesity and higher blood pressure, which in turn leads to various cardiovascular conditions such as arrhythmia, tachycardia, and abormal heart rhythm. It also increases your chance of facing a stroke and heart failure.
A specific type of sleep apnea known as central sleep apnea has been known to affect the nervous system. It interrupts brain signals that help regulate breathing and can result in symptoms in other parts of the body such as numbness or tingling.
In addition to these more serious long-term effects on your health. There are many daily issues that develop due to sleep apnea. You’ll experience more headaches, lack focus and be more irritable.
Sleep apnea does a lot more than just ruin a good night’s sleep. It can affect your health drastically and in multiple areas. Using treatments such as CPAP and other appliances, the condition is manageable and can reduce your risk of developing any long-term serious health conditions.