Your sleeping struggles may come with a bigger risk than you think.
Do you wake up every morning craving more sleep? Does your partner complain about your snoring? Don't disregard these problems as mere symptoms of age. They may actually be signs that you have sleep apnea, which is a condition that occurs when your breathing is obstructed during sleep. This results in waking up several times throughout the night, usually before deep, REM sleep can take place. If sleep apnea is left untreated, you may be at risk for these complications.
- Fatigue – The most immediate and obvious pitfall of sleep apnea is the direct result of sleep deprivation. No matter how much sleep you're getting, the constant waking throughout the night will leave you fatigued the next day. You may struggle to focus at work, your productivity levels are likely to drop, your memory could be affected, and you may become a danger on the road.
- Cardiovascular problems – One of the most serious complications of sleep apnea is the increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and sudden cardiac arrest. The more severe your case becomes, the larger your risk grows.
- Liver problems – Sleep apnea has been linked with liver disease, with patients more likely to present with liver scarring and other damages.
- Obesity – Unhealthy sleep patterns can affect your body's appetite, causing you to eat more calories than you need each day. Although obesity can sometimes be the cause of sleep apnea, some patients may also gain weight because of the sleep disorder.
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, get an official diagnosis and treatment plan from the Medical Center of Lewisville Sleep Diagnostic Institute. Call us for more information at 972-420-7400.