Posted on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023 at 5:00 am    

If you suffer from sleep apnea, you know that the condition can make you tired, rundown, and exhausted. However, did you know that sleep apnea may also be breaking your heart? Valentine’s Day is about sharing love, so how about sharing some love with your heart by taking steps to manage your sleep apnea?

The sleep experts at Silent Night Therapy want to help you understand how sleep apnea can impact your heart health and what you can do to put a little love in your heart this Valentine’s Day.

How Does Sleep Apnea Hurt Your Heart?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where a person’s breathing starts and stops periodically throughout the night. Obviously, sleep apnea impacts the quality of a person’s sleep and can cause daytime fatigue, drowsiness, and exhaustion. Many sleep apnea sufferers don’t know that the condition can lead to significant cardiovascular problems. How exactly does a sleep disorder impact cardiovascular health? Listen to your heart:

  • H – H is for heart failure. Some studies indicate that obstructive sleep apnea increases a person’s risk of heart failure by 140 percent. It may also increase an individual’s risk of coronary heart disease by 30 percent.
  • E – E stands for elevated blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure is also known as hypertension. Medical studies suggest that as many as half of all patients with sleep apnea also have underlying issues with hypertension.
  • A – A is for atrial fibrillation. New research points towards a strong link between sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition characterized by an irregular heartbeat. Instead of a normal heart rhythm, the heart can begin quivering. Atrial fibrillation can lead to stroke and other significant heart-related complications. One study shows that as many as half of atrial fibrillation patients also suffer obstructive sleep apnea.
  • R – R is for resistant hypertension. Again, hypertension is elevated blood pressure. Resistant hypertension is a medical condition where the blood pressure remains high, even with antihypertension medication and aggressive treatment. Many patients with resistant hypertension have also been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.
  • T – T stands for Type II diabetes. There is some indication that obstructive sleep apnea can alter how the body metabolizes glucose and promote insulin resistance and type II diabetes.
  • S – S is for stroke. Hypertension, cardiovascular disease, atrial fibrillation, and type II diabetes can all increase an individual’s chances of suffering a devastating stroke. There is a link between obstructive sleep apnea and the above medical conditions. That means sleep apnea can also increase a person’s risk of stroke.

How does sleep apnea lead to significant heart conditions? Obesity may play a vital role in developing both heart disease and obstructive sleep apnea. An increase in fat deposits around the neck can block the upper airway, leading to obstructive sleep apnea. Obesity is also associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

There is also evidence that repetitive disruptions in breathing may damage the heart and cardiovascular system by causing drops in a person’s blood oxygen level. Frequent changes in oxygen levels may stress the body and cardiovascular system, promoting systemic inflammation.

Managing sleep apnea with a CPAP machine or oral appliances can give you a more peaceful night’s sleep and may decrease your risk of cardiovascular complications.

Heal Your Heart This Valentine’s Day 

This Valentine’s Day, skip the flowers and candy and give yourself the gift of better sleep. Contact Silent Night Therapy today to set up a complimentary consultation. Start your self-love journey with help from the sleep experts at Silent Night Therapy.