Sleep apnea is when a person’s breathing repeatedly pauses during sleep, causing blood oxygen levels to change, resulting in micro wake-ups and sleep disturbance. Deep sleep stages disappear, and a person feels tired during the day.
When a person restarts their breathing, they might snore loudly, waking both them and their bed partner. As sleep apnea can occur up to 100 times an hour, it disrupts the structure of sleep, has a detrimental effect on the body and requires medical intervention.
The effects of sleep apnea can disrupt and worsen the body’s wellbeing.
What are the side effects of sleep apnea?
- Mental and neural disorders
Unhealthy sleep, as one of the side effects of sleep apnea, can impair mental activity, making it hard to think clearly, reduces efficiency and diminishes the quality of life. Sleep apnea sufferers are more likely to be depressed and have memory loss.
- Weakened immune system
Accumulated lack of sleep due to severe sleep apnea weakens the immune system, increasing the possibility of contracting infectious diseases.
- Impaired respiratory system
Most patients with sleep apnea have joint pathology (arterial hypertension, ischemic heart disease, bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), etc), significantly weighting the course of the syndrome. Regular breathing troubles (shortness of breath), while you sleep, are also side effects of sleep apnea.
- Heart diseases
If you have sleep apnea, you’re more likely to have heart failure or abnormal heart rhythm, increasing the risk of stroke. Increasingly, sleep apnea is the cause of stroke in young men, ischemia and myocardial infarction in patients with atherosclerosis. Effects of obstructive sleep apnea can cause fatty liver disease, liver scarring and rising levels of liver enzymes.
- Problems with the Endocrine system
Sleep apnea sufferers are likely to have high cholesterol which can interfere with normal blood flow, increasing blood pressure, stress on the heart muscle and oxygen starvation of the heart and brain. Since the effects of obstructive sleep apnea increase blood sugar level, you can develop type 2 diabetes.
- Sexual disorders
Sleep apnea side effects in men may include disorders in the reproductive system, thus reducing sex drive and causing erectile dysfunction that requires prolonged treatment.
- Sleepiness and feeling fatigue
An apnea sufferer wakes up sleepy in the morning, feeling broken as neither the body nor the psyche is restored to the proper extent during sleep. Side effects of severe sleep apnea could be: feeling tired during the day, headache, trouble paying attention, irritability etc.
All the above symptoms and disorders show that sleep apnea severely disrupts the functioning of the respiratory system. Constant sleepiness and inhibition can cause depressive conditions, and a malfunction in the immune system and other vital functions.
If you have a snoring problem or noticed stop breathing events during the night, visit your doctor. Timely intervention and treatment will help rid many, future complications. Remember, full sleep is a necessary condition for your health!