Sleep Apnea – The hidden risk

sleep apnea heart diseaseSleep apnea is a disorder in which people have one or more pauses / shallow breathing that last from a few seconds to a few minutes throughout the night.

When this happens it can effect your sleep cycle, causing you to feel tired all day, but that is not all.

In a study in the Wisconsin State Journal, they found that people who have sleep apnea are at an increased risk of heart disease.

Most people have a 10 to 20 percent drop in their blood pressure as they are sleeping. Since people that have sleep apnea don’t stay in a deep sleep cycle throughout the night, it prevents the protective blood pressure drop that most people get when they sleep.

This nighttime reduction in blood pressure is known as dipping. According to Dr. Khin Mae Hla,

“When you don’t have the normal nocturnal dipping, you are more likely to develop poor cardiovascular outcomes, “

-Life Extension Foundation

sleep apnea cpapAccording to Dr. Hla, people that use a CPAP machine can reverse this blood pressure problem and reduce their risk of heart disease. But more research is needed.

However, previous research has shown that sleep apnea does increase your risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular issues.

Doctors from the University of British Colombia have said that those that have it are “ticking time bombs” in regards to cardiovascular issues.

Sleep apnea usually occurs more often in people that are overweight, and since more people in America are becoming overweight, there is a rise in sleep apnea and a reduction in people getting the drop in blood pressure that is needed during a proper sleep cycle.

This increases the risk of cardiovascular disease even more in people that are overweight.

If you are not sure if you have sleep apnea, you can get yourself tested at a sleep center. To find a sleep center near you, Click Here.