What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a common, yet often undiagnosed, sleep disorder that affects 1 in 5 people. When a person has OSA, they actually stop breathing repeatedly during sleep because their airway collapses. Most of the time, an individual with OSA is unaware that they stop breathing throughout the night. OSA is usually first recognized by a sleep partner who has witnessed snoring and breathing problems during the night. When a person has OSA, their muscles that control their upper airway relax too much, and their airway becomes blocked. These pauses may last for 10 seconds or more and can happen up to 30 times or more per hour. Airway collapses could be attributed to a large tongue, extra tissue in the airway, or decreased muscle tone that keeps the airway open. These factors can prevent air from getting into the lungs. You may find yourself waking up and gasping for air although usually if this happens you will not remember. These constant disturbances of healthy sleep can place stress on your brain and heart preventing you from getting a good night’s rest. Extreme fatigue can affect your work, relationships, memory and quality of life. OSA can be life threatening if left untreated.

What happens when you have sleep apnea?

Air stops flowing
An apnea event is when air stops flowing to your lungs for ten seconds or longer, meaning you stop breathing.

Brain sends a signal
Your brain sends a signal to your body to wake up and take a breath. You take a breath and fall back to sleep.

Cycle repeats
These apnea events can occur hundreds of times a night and many people with sleep apnea don’t know it’s happening.

Benefits of sleep apnea treatment and CPAP therapy

Effective sleep apnea therapy, which includes the use of CPAP equipment, has been shown to help ease common symptoms and improve energy levels, productivity and overall mind-body wellness. It’s important to remember that if left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to other serious health issues.

Ignoring OSA could put you at risk for serious health problems such as:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Disease or Irregular Heart Rhythms
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity/Overweight
  • Depression
  • Driving or Work-Related Accidents

Health conditions associated with Sleep Apnea

  • Heart Disease/High Blood Pressure
  • Stroke
  • Type II Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Obesity

Common Sings and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea include (but are not limited to):

  • Snoring
  • Excessive Day time fatigue
  • Memory issues/Short term memory loss
  • Frequent nighttime waking
  • Morning Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Drop in blood oxygen levels
  • Waking up gasping for air
  • Waking up un-refreshed
  • Waking up frequently throughout the night
  • Repetitive movement during sleep
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight issues

How Does Sleep Apnea contribute to heart disease?

  • When air flow into our lungs stops our oxygen saturation drops
  • This drop in oxygen levels puts stress on our body that causes a release of Epinephrine
  • When this happens repeatedly our body’s level of Epinephrine remains elevated. This can cause high blood pressure.
  • Using PAP therapy will help to keep our blood oxygen at a normal level. Which will decrease the release of EPI and help to reduce high blood pressure.
  • High blood pressure can lead to heart attack and stoke

How Does Sleep Apnea contribute to Diabetes?

  • Statistics show that up to 48% of people diagnosed with Type II Diabetes are also diagnosed with Sleep Apnea
  • Sleep Apnea deprives the body of Oxygen. This causes our fat cells to respond poorly to insulin altering our body’s glucose metabolism and promoting insulin resistance/glucose intolerance causing Type II diabetes
  • Treating sleep apnea will maintain our body’s blood oxygen levels which can help reverse insulin resistance

How Does Sleep Disruption affect mental health?

  • It is hard to describe exactly how poor sleep can cause mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. But we know that they can be linked.
  • It is known that people who do not sleep well have a greater risk of developing depression and that people that have depression tend to have difficulties sleeping ( The Chicken vs The Egg)
  • Poor sleep can result in irritability and exhaustion
  • It also skews our ability to regulate our emotions
  • A good quality sleep is crucial to allow our brain to recharge at the end of the day to optimize how it functions throughout the next (like your phone battery)

How does Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) contribute to Obesity?

  • There is a link between poor sleep and our fat cells as mentioned in the last slide
  • Fat cells are meant to eliminate fatty acids and lipids from our blood steam
  • Not sleeping well impairs our fat cells, making it harder for them to do their job. This leaves harmful fatty acids and lipids to free roam in our blood
  • This can cause weight gain and lead to the development of Type II diabetes
  • Poor sleep can also cause us to overeat or crave unhealthy foods
  • Poor sleep can also disrupt our normal metabolic processes and make it harder for the body to regulate hormones (Like insulin and EPI)

About the author : homesleepblogger

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