You may not realize the impact your sleep apnea is having on your overall healthy and day-to-day life, but it is taking a large toll on every part of your life. From morning headaches to an inability to perform at work or school, sleep apnea is disrupting your life. By getting your sleep apnea treated, you can take the next step toward a healthy, happy life. In this two-part series of blogs we will be taking a look at various reasons why it is important to get treated as soon as possible. Let’s take a look at the first four reasons why you should seek treatment for your sleep apnea:

1. You’ll finally feel refreshed and awake

This may seem like a no brainer, but treating your sleep apnea will leave you feeling refreshed and awake, rather than sluggish and tired. Sleep apnea doesn’t just cause snoring at night—it affects the quality of sleep you get every single night. During an apnea event, oxygen gets blocked by relaxed tissues in the upper respiratory system. When this occurs it prevents air from reaching the lungs. This causes your brain to wake itself from certain stages of sleep to signal the body to increase respiratory effort in order to splint open the airway—this can occur several times an hour.

Can you imagine waking up that often?  When your brain is constantly being distracted to keep air flowing, it is not spending the necessary time needed for deeper stages of sleep in order to repair the rest of the body, store your memories, and improve cognitive functions. Because of the constant need to wake up, the brain doesn’t ever really get to complete its nightly work. And this is why you feel exhausted the next day.

2. You’ll get a better night’s sleep

Another symptom of sleep apnea is restless sleep. If you suffer from sleep apnea you might find yourself fully waking up at night for frequent trips to the bathroom, or partially waking from sleep to toss and turn. Each time you wake up, whether it is partially or fully, you are diminishing the quality of sleep you get each night. And, as a result, it is taking you longer to re-enter the stages of sleep needed to get a good night’s sleep. By seeking treatment for your sleep apnea, you can greatly reduce the number of times you wake up a night so you can finally get the full night’s sleep you need.

3. Your partner will thank you

Have you ever been woken up to an elbow jab to the side? Many of us have been there before and let’s face it; it is never fun no matter what side you are on. While you are tossing and turning, and snoring, your sleep partner is experiencing a loss of sleep due to your symptoms. Not to mention, if you suffer from moderate to severe sleep apnea, the long pauses in breathing followed by choking or gasping sounds can be frightening for your partner. So, if your own quality of sleep isn’t enough to seek treatment, think about your partner’s sleep loss.

4. You’ll be healthier in the long run

To this day there have been numerous studies on links between various illnesses and medical problems and untreated sleep apnea. Some of these health concerns include:

  • Heart disease
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Death

Sleep apnea is linked to each health condition for an array of reasons. For instance, sleep apnea causes high blood pressure at night because the brain makes getting oxygen rich blood cells to its various systems a priority. When there is an obstruction in the breathing process, it tells the brain it needs to kick up the blood flow by constricting blood vessels to keep things running. The next day you might have trouble shutting off these mechanisms that are giving you high blood pressure during the day.

It’s not just your sleep that is affected by untreated sleep apnea—your health and even your life can depend on seeking treatments, along with your partner’s well-being. Contact Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia for more information on sleep apnea and treatment options available.