Sleep impacts heart health From Spotlight on Health - Spring 2012
The impact of poor sleep extends far beyond daytime drowsiness. For people with untreated obstructive sleep apnea, the risk of cardiovascular disease is two to four times greater than for others.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops momentarily during sleep — this can happen dozens or even hundreds of times a night. This results in sleep disruption and low oxygen in the bloodstream as well as an increase in daytime sleepiness, motor vehicle accidents and loss of productivity.
“Approximately 40 percent of people with atrial fibrillation, 40-60 percent of people who have had a stroke and 60-80 percent of people with type II diabetes have obstructive sleep apnea,” said Troy Payne, MD, medical director of the St. Cloud Hospital Sleep Center. “Untreated obstructive sleep apnea has been shown to be a risk factor for future development of heart disease, hypertension and stroke.”
Warning signs of sleep apnea:
- Loud, frequent snoring
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Trouble concentrating, or becoming forgetful, irritable, anxious or depressed
- Morning headaches or nausea
Treatment for sleep apnea:
- Continuous positive airway pressure. Air is pumped through a mask worn while sleeping to help open the airway.
- Oral appliances. These devices open the breathing passage by bringing the jaw or tongue forward or raising the soft palate.
- Surgery. Enlarged tonsils or adenoids, nasal polyps or other growths that interfere with breathing during sleep may be removed surgically.
Learn about the services offered by the St. Cloud Hospital Sleep Center