Why does sleep apnea causes me to feel tired during the day?
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that involves the partial or complete interruption of breathing during sleep. It occurs when the airway becomes blocked, reducing or completely stopping airflow into the lungs. This can lead to a decrease in oxygen levels in the blood and disrupt the normal sleep cycle.
There are two main types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): This is the most common type of sleep apnea and occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open during sleep. The tongue, tonsils, and other tissues in the throat can relax and block the airway, causing the person to snore loudly or gasp for air.
- Central sleep apnea (CSA): This type of sleep apnea is less common and occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing. This can lead to pauses in breathing and a decrease in oxygen levels in the blood.
Both types of sleep apnea can disrupt sleep and lead to daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and other health problems. Treatment options for sleep apnea include lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and quitting smoking, as well as medical treatments like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliances, and surgery. It’s important to talk to a healthcare provider if you suspect you have sleep apnea, as it can lead to serious health complications if left untreated.
What are the consequences of untreted sleep apnea
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a variety of health consequences, some of which can be serious and potentially life-threatening. Here are some examples:
- High Blood Pressure: Sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure or make existing high blood pressure worse. This occurs because the repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep cause a spike in blood pressure, which can put a strain on the heart.
- Heart Disease: Sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk of developing heart disease. This is because the repeated drops in oxygen levels during sleep can lead to changes in the way the heart functions, which can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems.
- Type 2 Diabetes: Sleep apnea has also been linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is because the repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep can affect the body’s ability to regulate glucose levels, which can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.
- Depression and Anxiety: People with sleep apnea are at an increased risk of developing depression and anxiety. This may be due to the impact that disrupted sleep can have on mood and emotional well-being.
- Daytime Sleepiness and Fatigue: Sleep apnea can cause excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue, which can make it difficult to perform daily tasks and activities. This can also increase the risk of accidents or injuries.
- Decreased Quality of Life: Sleep apnea can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, as it can lead to daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and mood disturbances. It can also affect social and interpersonal relationships.
- Inability to lose weight:untreated sleep apnea has also been linked to an inability to lose weight or to weight gain. This is because the repeated disruptions in sleep can affect the body’s ability to regulate hormones that control appetite and metabolism. Additionally, daytime sleepiness and fatigue can make it difficult to exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle. As a result, people with untreated sleep apnea may find it challenging to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight.
In conclusion, untreated sleep apnea can have serious health consequences, including high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression and anxiety, daytime sleepiness and fatigue, and a decreased quality of life. It’s important to seek treatment if you suspect you have sleep apnea, as early intervention can help reduce the risk of these health problems.