Why is sleep important to the heart?
While you may think that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an affliction that only affects your airway and quality of sleep, that’s not at all the case. When you sleep, your body essentially rebuilds itself, healing from the deleterious effects of the day, much like your computer may perform system updates overnight. Your heart rate and blood pressure drop, essentially letting your body’s processor sit idle.
So what happens when you interrupt that process? Just like messing with computer processes make things sluggish and prone to viral attacks, disturbing your sleep patterns can have a severe negative impact on the efficacy of your major organs—including your heart. According to research, poor sleep can cause complications like glucose imbalance, metabolic dysregulation, increased blood pressure, arrhythmia and organ inflammation, and has been linked to atrial fibrillation, stroke, myocardial infarction and death. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, so getting a good night’s sleep is vitally important.
What is obstructive sleep apnea?
An estimated 22 million Americans have some form of sleep apnea and as many as 80 percent of those cases go undiagnosed. Obstructive sleep apnea specifically, is associated with obesity, which is also a major risk factor for heart disease. In OSA sufferers, the muscles that hold open the airway lose tone and essentially crush closed when muscles are relaxed and the body is prone. Every time the airway buckles, breathing stops. Determine your risk factor for OSA and consult your doctor immediately.
What happens to your heart during OSA?
Obviously, oxygen is necessary to keep us alive; it’s why breathing is an involuntary response. While you sleep, your conscious self may not be aware of breathing difficulties and they may continue unabated. People with sleep apnea may experience pauses in breathing up to 30 times per hour or more, meaning that there are moments throughout those eight hours of sleep a night where the heart is starved of oxygen, which means your blood is starved of oxygen, which means all your other organs are starved of, you guessed it, oxygen. Plus, studies have shown that people who sleep fewer than six hours a night are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.
How can RespShop help?
RespShop.com is a leading retailer of CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) breathing machines, which send warm, moisturized pressurized air through a tube and into a mask situated over your nose and/or mouth, gently keeping your airway open so you can breathe and sleep easily through the night. Shop now.