You likely know that cardiovascular health requires a commitment to exercise and a heart-healthy diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. However, another lesser-known but equally important element is the quality of sleep you get daily.
How well you sleep each night also affects other body systems, including the metabolic and immune systems. Unfortunately, people with sleep apnea tend to have poor sleep quality. In particular, sleep apnea that goes undiagnosed is linked to adverse effects on cardiovascular and metabolic health; for example, heart disease and diabetes, respectively.
Worst of all? You may be completely oblivious that you suffer from this common breathing disorder. Sleep apnea affects over 20% of obese people but only 3% of those within a healthy BMI weight range.
What is Sleep Apnea and its Symptoms?
Sleep apnea occurs when the upper airway muscles become overly relaxed and wholly or partially close off the airway while you are sleeping. Sometimes you stop breathing for ten seconds or more before your reflexes kick in and start breathing normally again.
A person’s bed partner may become aware of their sleep apnea before the sleeper themselves. For example, your sleeping companion might comment on your snoring or breathing pauses. However, snoring loudly does not necessarily indicate sleep apnea and vice versa.
People with this condition may also experience erratic mood swings and unexplained fatigue because of frequent awakenings and the inability to fall into a deep, restful sleep.
Some individuals report waking up with a dry mouth because the condition causes them to breathe through their mouths all night instead of their noses. Others may wake up with a headache brought on by either a lack of oxygen or an excess of carbon dioxide.
Indirect Sleep Apnea Consequences
There are physical symptoms and long-term health consequences brought on by sleep apnea, and then there are indirect consequences, which are situational problems caused by sleep apnea symptoms. For example, a daytime car accident, diminished productivity at work (which may affect job security) and falling asleep during a class (which may lead to bad grades) are all probable consequences of unaddressed sleep apnea.
Eliminate the Risk of Sleep Apnea Consequences
At the Atlanta Sleep Apnea Treatment Center, you can have one of our specialists diagnose and treat your sleep apnea, whether it is mild or severe. So, contact our clinic today to start feeling better now and in the long term.
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1820 The Exchange SE, #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
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