The problem with sleep apnea is that you might not realize you have it for years. The condition involves the cessation of your breathing while you sleep and is characterized by periods of loud snoring punctuated by moments of silence. Nevertheless, sleep apnea can continue to interrupt your sleeping and breathing patterns unnoticed because these episodes don’t fully wake you from consciousness. Over time, untreated sleep apnea can significantly impact several areas of your overall health, even if you don’t realize that it’s happening until it’s too late.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, means that your blood flows through your veins at a higher pressure than it should. When you suffer from sleep apnea, you take in significantly less oxygen while you sleep, which is when your body should be circulating more of it to help repair and rebuild tissues and cells. Chronic sleep apnea can heighten your risks of hypertension and the cardiovascular troubles that it can cause, including stroke and heart failure.
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which your body’s ability to produce insulin is impaired. Insulin is a hormone that your body needs to turn sugar into energy. Like all hormones, its production depends on your body functioning optimally. Because sleep apnea deprives your body of the deep sleep it needs to rest, you can experience dramatic hormone imbalances, including the production of insulin.
Besides diabetes, hormone imbalance can also be a high risk factor in the development of mental health issues, including depression. Our moods are determined largely by our hormones (such as cortisol and testosterone). If they’re imbalanced due to sleep and oxygen deprivation due to sleep apnea, then your risks of depression could be significantly higher.
Improve Your Sleep and Your Health with a Custom Appliance
Chronic snoring and obstructive sleep apnea can have serious effects on your overall health. Fortunately, you can reduce those risks by seeking personalized treatment for your sleep disorder. To learn more, call Houston Sleep Solutions in Spring, TX, at (281) 320-2000, or in Pearland, TX, at (832) 564-3508.