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5 Ways Sleep Apnea Affecting Your Health–And How To Address It

Snoring can make sleep bad for you and your partner. If snoring happens because of OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea), it can result in a much bigger problem.  Due to OSA, you can face health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Treating sleep apnea can give you easy daytime sleepiness.

Some complications linked to sleep apnea

Type 2 diabetes

Sleep apnea is prevalent among people who have type 2 diabetes. If you are obese, it will increase the risk for both disorders. There is a connection between sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes as due to lack of sleep the body is unable to use proper insulin, which can result in diabetes.

Stroke

Due to OSA, there can be a decrease in blood flow to the brain. This can result in the risk of ischemic stroke. It happens when blood vessels connecting the brain are blocked. One possible reason for this is reduced blood flow to the brain, and because of this the body will not get enough oxygen. 25% of people get this stroke in their sleep.

High blood pressure

If you already have high blood pressure, then sleep apnea can make it worse. If you wake up too often at night, your body gets stressed and makes your hormone system go into overdrive, elevating your blood pressure. 

In addition to this level of oxygen in the blood drops when you cannot breathe well, which can result in serious issues.  This is a severe side effect of snoring, but treatment can make a big difference. People having high blood pressure who get treatment for sleep apnea will experience improvement in their blood pressure.

Weight gain

Your extra pounds can increase the risk of getting sleep apnea, and this condition will also make it hard for you to slim down. Sleep experts think obesity can be a big reason for a substantial increase in OSA cases. If you are overweight, you will have fat deposits in your neck, which can block breathing at night.

On the other hand, sleep apnea can also make your body release more ghrelin hormone and can make you crave sweets and carbs. Due to this, you will also feel tired all the time, and you will not be able to turn the food you consume into energy, resulting in weight gain.

To treat the side effects of snoring, you need to be involved in exercise and other physical activities. Continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP therapy is a very common treatment for this.

Brain fog

If you are feeling slow to react, forgetful, distracted, or muddled, you have brain fog. These feelings go hand in hand with sleep apnea. To treat this, you need to go through 3 months of CPAP therapy for OSA.

How can you treat sleep apnea?

A lifestyle change is enough to treat the issue in most cases of sleep apnea. You can connect with your doctor to know if this is the right starting point for your treatment. Even if you are prescribed medicines, you should follow the following to reduce the effect of sleep apnea to improve your sleep.

Avoid sedatives, anti–anxiety medicines and alcohol.

It would be best if you strictly avoided sedatives, anti–anxiety medicines (if not prescribed) and alcohol, especially before bedtime, as they relax throat muscles and will interfere with breathing.

Sleep on your side

For sleep apnea sleeping on the back is the worst position as it can cause the tongue, jaw and other soft tissues to drop back towards the throat and narrow the airway. But if you are sleeping inside, either hand will open the airways and provide much better sleep. This is also known as anti snore sleeping position.

Exercise

Exercise can help to decrease sleep apnea breathing episodes and also help to improve energy and alertness during the day. You can go for yoga, resistance training and aerobic exercise to strengthen the muscles of your airways.

Lose weight

If you are obese, losing weight can positively impact you. This is not a complete cure, but it helps reduce the number of breathing episodes you generally experience to reduce daytime sleepiness and blood pressure.        

Wrap Up

These are some of the health effects which can be caused by sleep apnea. You can take medicines or follow the tips mentioned above to get rid of the side effects of snoring. Make sure to connect with your doctor to get a proper scheduled procedure.