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Is your sleep putting you at risk?

Are you getting good quality sleep? Have you been told you snore? Do you feel tired throughout the day? Here may be just one reason why… SLEEP APNEA.

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that is characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breathing during sleep. These pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and can occur many times per hour.

 

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open during sleep.

Risk factors for sleep apnea include being overweight or obese, having a large neck circumference, having a narrow airway, being male, being older, having a family history of sleep apnea, and smoking.

Symptoms of sleep apnea can include loud snoring, gasping or choking during sleep, restless sleep, waking up with a headache, and feeling excessively tired during the day.

 

Sleep apnea can increase the risk of several health conditions, including:

  1. Cardiovascular disease: Sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  2. Type 2 diabetes: Sleep apnea is associated with insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, which can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.
  3. Obesity: Obesity is a risk factor for sleep apnea, but sleep apnea can also contribute to weight gain due to disruptions in metabolism and hormones that regulate hunger and satiety.
  4. Depression: People with sleep apnea may be more likely to experience depression, possibly due to the impact of poor sleep quality and daytime fatigue on mood.
  5. Cognitive impairment: Sleep apnea can cause daytime fatigue, which can impair cognitive function and increase the risk of accidents and injuries.
  6. Sleep apnea can also increase the risk of other conditions such as liver problems, kidney disease, and complications during and after surgery.

 

It's important to note that treating sleep apnea can help reduce the risk of these health conditions and improve overall health and quality of life. Please call the WellessenceMD office at (847) 850-8185 for your consultation to see if you are at risk and what we can do to help you on your journey to wellness.

 

Author
Heidi R. McClain, NP Nurse Practitioner

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