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Sleep Apnea: When Losing Sleep Becomes Dangerous

Snoring and Sleep Apnea Solutions 2 | Dr. Cavendish - Phoenix, AZ Dentist

Snoring a bit while you sleep is no big deal. Snoring all the time is a red flag that you might have sleep apnea. And that could be literally dangerous.

There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (your throat collapses during sleep so you can’t breathe)
  • Central sleep apnea (your brain doesn’t send the right signals during sleep to keep breathing)
  • Complex sleep apnea (you suffer from both)

The result is the same. You never get a good night’s sleep. Just how bad is that? Here are eight reasons you should consider sleep apnea treatment from our Phoenix, AZ dental office.

8 Reasons Sleep Apnea Is Unhealthy

1. Heart disease. Whether you have obstructive, central, or complex sleep apnea, you’re still waking up repeatedly because you cannot breathe. When you’re not breathing, you’re not getting the oxygen your body relies on. Depriving your body of oxygen leads to a lot of problems. To compensate, your heart starts to beat much harder and faster. It tries to get what little oxygen you have to all parts of your body. This isn’t the good stress you get when you exercise. This is closer to panic, and it happens when you should be resting. All of that extra stress instead of rest can lead to heart disease.

2. Hypertension. This is related to heart disease from sleep apnea. When you don’t get enough oxygen while you sleep, your heart pumps blood much faster to move the little oxygen you do have around your body. Night is a time for rest, not tension. Yet with your heart pumping faster, you’re putting extra stress on your circulatory system. That increases your blood pressure, which can lead to hypertension problems.

3. Obesity. Your body is supposed to rest while you sleep. When you don’t, your body starts to send signals that you need food. After all, you need food while you’re awake. Studies have shown that losing so much sleep due to sleep apnea can lead to weight gain and obesity. If that’s not bad enough, this creates a downward spiral. Being overweight can make sleep apnea worse, which leads to gaining weight, which makes sleep apnea worse ….

4. Gout. Gout is a condition related to arthritis. It’s an inflammation centered on your joints, but it tends to target your toes. Gout is caused by having too much uric acid in your bloodstream. When you suffer from sleep apnea, you tend to have higher uric acid levels, which can trigger gout.

5. Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a serious problem in our nation. This is when your body develops a resistance to insulin, the chemical that carries glucose from your blood to your cells. When you have sleep apnea, your insulin stops working correctly. While research is ongoing, there does appear to be a link between sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes.

6. Getting irritable and moody. Everyone can have bad days. If you had a sleepless night or had to wake up way too early, you could easily be irritable the next day because you’re so tired. With sleep apnea, you can wake up more than 200 times each night. The repeated problem with breathing makes you panic and robs you of sleep. That means you are going to be more irritable and moody. In fact, you are much more likely to suffer from depression if you also have sleep apnea.

7. Bad job performance or getting fired. Your performance at work (or at school) depends upon your ability to focus and make good decisions. If you continuously make bad decisions or don’t do your job well, you could risk getting fired. When you suffer from sleep apnea, this can happen. Losing all of that sleep makes you exhausted, not just tired. You’ll have trouble focusing on the job. You may even fall asleep there. Plus, your mood tends to be worse. The chance of you snapping at a colleague or even a supervisor is going to be much higher.

8. Car accidents. Losing the ability to focus on your job can be bad. Losing that ability when driving can be so much worse. When you’re exhausted because of sleep apnea, you’re more prone to making mistakes and bad judgment calls. Driving depends on you being able to make split-second decisions and pay attention to the road. Sure, most driving is uneventful. We’ve all had that moment where, if we weren’t paying attention, we could have gotten in a very bad accident. If you have sleep apnea, how fast do you think your reaction time will be?

Sleep apnea treatment can help make your life that much more safe. At our Phoenix, AZ dental office, you can get a dental appliance for sleep apnea that helps you finally get sleep. Call us at 602-842-6504 for your next appointment.