The Dangers of Ignoring Sleep Apnea

The Dangers of Ignoring Sleep Apnea

Sep 21

I will freely admit, sleep is not something I consciously think about. Sure, I want to sleep when I am tired or have had too much pasta. Never have I thought about sleep illnesses or diseases. Sleep apnea is a daunting term that I have heard of, but it’s hard to say if I will ever have it without undergoing a sleep study. Sleep apnea is when breathing stops in your sleep; this paused breathing can last a couple seconds to several minutes. While you may not wake up, I discovered some haunting facts that we should pay attention to, according to WebMD.

According to the article, it is dangerous to ignore sleep apnea, even for a brief time. Having sleep apnea and not knowing can increase your stress and cause hypertension, causing heart problems in the long run. Essentially, sleep apnea may kill you since breathing ceases. One of the ways you can protect yourself is using a continuous positive airway pressure tool to help you breathe throughout the night. What is concerning to read is that about 20 to 30 percent of adults have sleep apnea, which causes your airway to shut off while you sleep. Because of unnoticed sleep apnea, you may feel drowsy throughout the day. There isn’t a clear, direct correlation to what causes sleep apnea. Researchers are trying to understand if it is linked with diabetes, obesity, or even heart disease. There may be unknown correlations with sleep apnea. Dr. Jun from John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, conducted a test to see how 31 obese patients slept. Most of the demographics were 51-year-old white men. Through a sleep study, they tested the mens’ blood levels, blood sugar, and stress hormones. They discovered that the levels were higher with those with the more severe sleep apnea cases.

Because there are so many sleep diseases and general “sleeping” conflicts, I feel as though there is an extra blur to truly understand what causes sleep apnea. It may also be the case that the one with sleep apnea needs to have a partner or spouse to inform them of any breathing cessation during their sleep. There are signs that inform you, such as drowsiness or mood swings, but those signs can overlap with perhaps another diagnosis. Other signs include awakening with a sore throat or having headaches in the morning.

It is important to take care of your health, especially if sleep apnea is related to elevated blood pressure and stress hormones. It is important to eat a correct diet and find some form of exercise to stay in shape. I know yoga and getting my blood flowing helps wring out my body and helps me get a better, deep sleep. While yoga isn’t for everyone, it is important to know the signs and encourage the practice of mental health and self-care.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *