Sleep Apnea or Hypertension?

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Sleep Apnea or Hypertension?

Sleep Apnea or Hypertension?

Posted on Monday, August 15th, 2022 at 3:43 pm    

Hypertension (or high blood pressure) is a common condition. It occurs when the force of the blood against the artery walls is significant enough to eventually cause problems like heart disease.

Many people with dangerously high blood pressure show no symptoms or signs. Some of those suffering from hypertension experience shortness of breath, nosebleeds, or headaches, but it is important to note that these symptoms may not be present until their level of hypertension has become life-threatening. That’s why it is crucial to have your blood pressure level checked regularly.

Sleep apnea is also a common condition. It causes abnormal breathing while sleeping and can affect anyone at any age, although men suffer from it two to three times more often than women. Middle-aged to older people also have an increased risk of developing sleep apnea.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Often, sleep apnea is not recognized by the affected person. Sometimes a bed partner may notice the symptoms of sleep apnea, which prompts a visit to the doctor. Ask your partner if they have noticed any of these signs of sleep apnea while you sleep:

  • Pauses in breath during sleep
  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping or choking during sleep

During the day, you may experience excessive drowsiness, irritability, trouble focusing, morning headaches, or dry mouth. If you have one or more of these symptoms, it does not necessarily mean you have sleep apnea. Only a qualified doctor can make that diagnosis.

Types of Sleep Apnea

The three types of sleep apnea are:

  • Mixed Sleep Apnea
  • Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

OSA is the most common of the three types. If it is left untreated, OSA can lead to health issues like stroke, diabetes, heart disease, atrial fibrillation, and, yes, hypertension.

When OSA causes you to periodically stop breathing, stress hormones are released into your system that may lead to high blood pressure. The stress hormones are released because your body senses that your blood oxygenation has decreased.

Treating Sleep Apnea May Lower Your Blood Pressure

If your blood oxygen levels stabilize when you get treatment for your sleep apnea, your blood pressure may also improve. Some people are even able to reduce their blood pressure medications after getting their sleep apnea under control. Always consult with your doctor before adjusting any medications.

Other Causes of Hypertension

Although untreated sleep apnea can cause hypertension, it is important to consider other risk factors. These may include:

  • Being overweight
  • Too much salt in the diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Alcohol consumption (more than 1 or 2 drinks per day)
  • Genetics
  • Older age
  • Stress

If you have hypertension, it is important to have a doctor make an evaluation as to its cause. They can also determine whether sleep apnea is a contributing factor.

Contact Us

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, contact Silent Night Therapy to schedule a consultation. We offer the alternative, non-invasive solution of oral appliance therapy. By preventing obstructions in your airway, these oral appliances are as effective as any CPAP machine. Call us today at 631-983-2463 for an appointment.

 


Caffeine and Sleep Apnea

Posted on Monday, August 1st, 2022 at 3:31 pm    

Caffeine in the form of tea was discovered in China around 3000 years ago. As a species, we’ve been enjoying that stimulant’s buzz ever since. It’s rare to find someone today who doesn’t get their “caffeine fix” one way or another- whether it is through tea, coffee, soda pop, or an energy drink.

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may be curious about the effects that caffeine has on your sleep. Scientists have wondered that too, and have conducted multiple studies to determine whether there is a link between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and caffeine consumption. We’ve compiled some of their findings for you.

The Positives of Caffeine

If you are reading this quickly and retaining what is being said, you may be enjoying caffeine’s primary selling point- it can improve focus and concentration. And when consumed in moderation, coffee and tea can decrease the risk of several cancers, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. Read on to decide if these benefits are worth the potential downsides, especially in relation to sleep.

The Cycle of Caffeine Reliance

Here’s a fun conundrum: what if the thing you use to fight grogginess makes it so you lose sleep and become groggy? We’ve all had those days when we rely on our favorite caffeinated beverage to get through it all without dozing off. Then, all the caffeine in our system gives us a jittery, fitful sleep, and we wake up the following day feeling even worse.

This cycle can be draining for anyone, especially someone dealing with sleep apnea. That’s why avoiding caffeine in the evening and maybe even the afternoon is important. Caffeine can take up to ten hours to completely clear your system.

The High Blood Pressure Connection

Caffeine consumption can be a contributing factor in the development of high blood pressure. If left unchecked, high blood pressure can cause sleep apnea. Suddenly, we have another destructive cycle. High blood pressure gives you sleep apnea, sleep apnea makes you need more caffeine during the day, and more caffeine during the day increases your blood pressure. You can see where this is all leading: moderation is best regarding caffeine consumption.

The Emotional Component of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

A lack of sleep can put someone on edge. Mood swings and depression are commonly reported by those with sleep apnea. The answer? Ingesting tons of caffeine to give you a lift, of course. Is this a good long-term solution? Not even close. By reducing your caffeine intake, you’ll sleep more soundly, feel better emotionally, and hopefully not need a chemical lift.

For Help with Your Sleep Apnea, Contact Us

If you have found yourself caught in a cycle of using caffeine to make up for a bad night’s sleep, contact Silent Night Therapy today. Take the first step in getting the sleep you need and call us at 631-983-2463.