Tired from Obstructive Sleep Apnea? Why It’s Important to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
A good night’s sleep is extremely valuable to your general health and enjoyment of life. But a good night’s sleep is about more than putting in the hours in bed—when you have obstructive sleep apnea, even though you may go to bed on time, you are not getting the hours of good rest your body needs. Why? People with moderate obstructive sleep apnea may stop breathing up to 30 times an hour, all night long. This rouses your body from deep sleep and prevents your body from doing the good work it should be doing at night!
The body at work during sleep.
Sleep matters—even beyond your level of tiredness during the day. The best way to illustrate all of the reasons sleep is good for you is to take a close look at what your body does during sleep. While you may think of sleep as your chance to shut down for the day, the body actually kicks into high gear. The body is truly a miracle of science, going into hard work mode to repair itself while you get those excellent Zzzzs. Here’s what your body is doing during sleep—as long as your obstructive sleep apnea doesn’t hold you back!
Information and memory processing. During REM sleep, your brain is very active—as active as when you are awake. Scientists believe that during this phase of sleep, your body is “taking out the trash”—sorting through all the information you’ve taken in during the day and deciding what to keep or get rid of. This may help improve your concentration, problem solving skills, and enhance your memory. Obstructive sleep apnea can prevent your body from cycling into REM as often as it needs to to get this sleep benefit every night!
Your nervous system relaxes. Sleep gives your body’s nervous system the chance to rest. Studies have shown that this important shut down has a direct effect on your blood pressure—people who sleep less can develop hypertension, which could be the scientific reason that people with obstructive sleep apnea are at greater risk of cardiovascular disease.
Your body goes into repair mode. While you sleep, your immune system releases cytokines, which fight inflammation and infection. A number of hormones are released at higher and lower levels while you sleep—different from how they act during the day. Your growth hormone increases, helping your body to grow and repair. Your cortisol hormone goes down—this hormone is linked to stress levels. Good sleep helps to keep hormones that are tied to appetite in balance, helping you to recognize when you feel hungry and full. All of this explains why good sleep is connected to immunity, stress levels, and likelihood of obesity.
These are just a few of the incredible things your body does when you shut down for the night. When you have obstructive sleep apnea, though, your body doesn’t get the chance to get you that good, healthy sleep you deserve! Perhaps this explains the many surprising effects of obstructive sleep apnea on the body’s overall health.
Effects of obstructive sleep apnea:
- Daytime drowsiness and fatigue
- Increased risk of heart problems
- Increased risk of stroke
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of diabetes
The good news is, obstructive sleep apnea can be treated. If you have mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea, or you can’t tolerate a CPAP, treatment can be as easy as an oral appliance. This solution gently moves the lower jaw and tongue forward, which keeps the tongue from blocking the airway. This simple solution could be all it takes to end snoring and allow your body to fall into a normal sleep cycle!
Do you suspect you are not getting good sleep at night due to obstructive sleep apnea? Visit us for a consultation—we can help diagnose your obstructive sleep apnea and get you on the road to a good, restorative night of sleep.