Surprising health conditions that can be from poor breathing at night

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Posted on Monday, January 20th, 2020 at 7:37 pm    

If you suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that causes your breathing to repeatedly stop during sleep, the most obvious health-related drawback is a persistent feeling of tiredness. However, there are a number of other health conditions that may arise if you suffer from sleep apnea or have other sleep-related problems. 

Lower libido

Both men and women who suffer from sleep apnea report lower libidos and decreased interest in sex. This is because disturbed sleep often leaves you feeling groggy and irritable all day. A 2002 study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism also suggests that men who experience sleep apnea tend to release lower levels of testosterone at night, which could lead to a decreased interest in sex. 

Damaged skin

If you suffer from sleep apnea or insomnia, you may be at a greater risk of experiencing aging skin quicker than your peers. Fine lines on facial skin, dark circles under the eyes, and dull skin could all possibly be attributed to chronic sleep loss. This is because your body releases more cortisol when it is stressed, such as when you don’t get enough sleep, which breaks down collagen if it’s released in excess. Collagen is the protein in your skin that keeps it looking shiny and healthy. Sleep loss could also decrease your body’s release of human growth hormone, which repairs damages to your skin as you sleep. 

Frequent forgetfulness

“Sharp wave ripples” are the cerebral events responsible for maintaining our memories and keeping them sharp. They also transfer memories to the neocortex, where long-term memories are stored. However, sharp-wave ripple events usually only occur when we are in a deep sleep, so people who suffer from insomnia or sleep apnea may not experience these events as often. 

Increased risk of death

According to the Whitehall II Study, conducted by British researchers Michael Marmot and Eric Brunner, people who sleep five hours or less each night are at double the risk of death from all causes, but especially cardiovascular disease. 

Need to Get Better Sleep? Call the OSA Experts

If you or a loved one suffer from sleep apnea, contact Dr. Brown and the OSA team to schedule a consultation. We’ll help you find a solution that will have you sleeping soundly in no time. Call us at (631) 983-2463 today.