Did you know that the quality of the sleep you are getting each night is critical to your heart’s well-being? Did you know that your sleeping problems might be undiagnosed sleep apnea, which can lead to an increased risk in cardiovascular and metabolic health?

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea happens when the upper airway muscles relax while you are sleeping and cut off your airway. This prevents you from getting the right amount of air and causes your breathing to stop for ten or more seconds until your reflexes kick in and wake you up to resume breathing.

Here are the facts presented by the ADA:

  • Sleep apnea affects approximately 3% of normal weight people and over 20% of overweight people.
  • Sleep apnea affects more men than it does women annually.
  • Sleep apnea causes problems across multiple body systems and can lead to an array of health and wellness issues.

Look at five major issues that can be caused by your undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea.

Depression and Memory Loss

Sleep deprivation from sleep apnea can cause a myriad of brain issues, including depression and memory loss. During sleep, we consolidate our memories, so people with sleep apnea who are constantly waking during the night tend to experience more memory loss. In addition, people with sleep apnea are more likely to be depressed than people without it.

Breathing & Adult Asthma

Sleep apnea can worsen asthma symptoms and increase the risk of asthma complications in adults. Asthma complications can lead to breathing issues, both day and night.

Weakened Immune System

A lack of sleep weakens your immune system. This leads your body to be more susceptible to infections. A weakened immune system can leave you feeling drained and constantly sick.

High Blood Pressure

This is an increased risk of high blood pressure with sleep apnea. This is made even worse because high blood pressure can create more breathing problems, which are already being affected by sleep apnea.

Liver Issues

Through research, it has been found that people who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea also have an increased risk of higher liver enzymes being present. It is also linked directly to being diagnosed with fatty liver disease.

Other Effects of Sleep Apnea on Your Health + Wellness

Sleep apnea affects so many systems and creates an array of potentially dangerous situations for people. Systems in your body that can be adversely affected due to a diagnosis of sleep apnea include:

  • Respiratory System
  • Endocrine System
  • Digestive System
  • Circulatory and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Nervous System
  • Reproductive System

While many people think sleep apnea is just a problem that disrupts your sleep, you can see it is a far more destructive diagnosis. The good news is that the team at The Complete Dentistry of Orland Park can help alleviate your symptoms and help you through your sleep apnea.

If you feel you or a family member is being affected by sleep apnea, reach out to us today to set up a consultation!