Sleep apnea affects almost every facet of a sufferer’s daily life. After all, the inability to sleep soundly at night can have some serious consequences on your day-to-day affairs. You may not realize, however, that sleep apnea can have profound effects on your overall health.
There are two types of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.
Central sleep apnea is a condition that results from the brain sending irregular signals to your central nervous system to take in sufficient levels of oxygen for optimal functionality. This type of sleep apnea is less common than obstructive sleep apnea and can be attributed to heart conditions, a stroke, or even sleeping in oxygen-starved environments such as high altitudes. In this case, supplemental oxygen is typically used to provide a steady stream of oxygen to the brain and rest of the body.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea and is caused when there is an obstruction to the airway. This can be caused by a variety of factors, however the most common ones are jaw and oral anatomy or weight gain. Any obstruction to the airway during sleep can result in a period of sleep apnea lasting as short as a few breaths or as long as minutes. Clearly, a decrease in the flow of oxygen during rest will lead to sleepless nights and even longer days.
Due to oxygen deprivation and sleep loss, sleep apnea can lead to a variety of other physical ailments. Some notable conditions are high blood pressure, heart disease, weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and acid reflux as a condition of the weight gain. Suffering sleepless nights can take a toll on your body in other ways. Sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure due to the fact that throughout the night a person is constantly waking, leading to a hormonal imbalance due to the body’s natural sleep rhythm is being disturbed.
Heart disease may be displayed in the form of a stroke due to the low levels of oxygen in the body. The shortage of oxygen interferes with the brain’s communication with the heart to regulate blood flow through the body. Furthermore, night after night of tossing and turning can lead to weight gain since the body can’t process food correctly and the motivation to partake in physical activity will also be curbed. Serious side effects of weight gain include acid reflux and type 2 diabetes.
It’s amazing to think that all of this can be a result of not sleeping, but the sleep apnea specialists at Central Dental are here to help. Our sleep specialists offer several flexible options to help you sleep better. Call us today at one of our Central Arkansas locations and we’ll be sure to have you sleeping tight all night and feeling better all day!