Sleep Apnea Risks

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that can have serious health consequences if left untreated. It is characterized by numerous pauses in breathing throughout the night, usually resulting in low oxygen level in the bloodstream and restless nights. Unfortunately, it often goes undiagnosed since it happens while sleeping.

Increased daytime fatigue

Because of the increased fatigue people who suffer from this disorder experience, they are more at risk of having a daytime accident. It can be dangerous when operating heavy machinery and driving a vehicle. In addition, sleep apnea contributes to hindering the thought process and decreases memory in a person.

Grave health consequences

The low blood oxygen level this sleeping disorder leads to can be very dangerous, and this is especially true for people who have central sleep apnea. The pauses in breathing during the night can last up to minutes, and depriving the brain from oxygen for long periods of time can have dire consequences such as brain damage, seizure, epilepsy, stroke, and heart failure or attack. At worst, central sleep apnea can cause sudden death.

All types of this sleep disorder can also reveal medical issues that were previously hidden by making the symptoms more acute. It also plays a role in the development of type 2 diabetes.

Lowered metabolism and digestion

People who experience periods of apnea during sleep are more at risk to develop unexpected weight gain. Although the studies have yet to determine the exact reason, it is hypothesized that sleep quality affects basal metabolic rate in living beings and that people who don’t get enough sleep will tend to have a slower metabolism. They tend to gain weight more easily. Because the quality of sleep in a person is hindered by sleep apnea, a direct link between this disorder and weight gain can be established.

In addition, people who tend to have less sleep than their body needs can develop various digestive troubles ranging from indigestion to diarrhea or constipation.

Those are just a few of the risks of sleep apnea. If you suspect you suffer from this sleep disorder, make sure to talk to a doctor to fully diagnose your issue and offer you solutions.


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