A good night’s sleep is crucial to your mood and cognitive function throughout the day, not to mention your long-term health. But, common sleep disorders like sleep apnea can make it difficult, to say the least.
Nearly a billion of the world’s adults have sleep apnea, making it one of the most prevalent causes of insomnia. It occurs when the airways become blocked multiple times during sleep, or when the brain doesn’t send the necessary signals for breathing during sleep. This often leads to poor sleep quality and fatigue throughout the day.
In the long run, sleep apnea can negatively impact other aspects of your health, including your metabolism, cardiovascular system, digestion, and more. Read on to learn more about how sleep apnea can affect your body – and what to do about it.
Since sleep apnea disrupts your sleep cycle, it can also disrupt your glucose metabolism. It may contribute to blood sugar spikes, which can increase your risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Disrupted breathing from sleep apnea can cause blood oxygen levels to abruptly drop. This triggers increased blood pressure and, in the long term, contributes to high blood pressure. High blood pressure strains the cardiovascular system, including the heart, in turn increasing the risk of abnormal heart rhythm.
Sleep apnea can exacerbate digestive issues, including GERD and heartburn. Additionally, patients with sleep apnea are at an increased risk of fatty liver disease and liver scarring.
Sleep apnea limits the amount of oxygen that your body receives during sleep, which can worsen respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD. The lack of oxygen can also make it difficult to exercise during the day.