When you have sleep apnea you experience pauses in your breathing while you're asleep. This means that you’re actually having short bouts of suffocation. That's why sleep apnea can lead to a wide range of serious health problems if left untreated.
Sleep apnea can contribute to a wide range of physical health problems including an increased risk of: high blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heartbeat, stroke, heart attack, and even type 2 diabetes.
Those who suffer from sleep apnea wake up frequently in the night due to the pauses in breathing, that means they don't get the amount or quality of sleep they really need. Poor quality sleep and insufficient sleep are linked to a higher risk of depression and anxiety. Studies have shown that those who suffer from sleep apnea are more likely than the general population to experience these mental health issues.
Quality of Life
Sleep apnea patients often feel exhausted, short tempered and listless, and have trouble concentrating on tasks due to the lack of sleep caused by sleep apnea.
People with sleep apnea often find that their relationships suffer as well. Not only, as mentioned, are their own personalities affected, but their sleep partners often get less sleep because of the snoring, resulting in greater stress and tension within relationship.
Lack of sleep and the lack of oxygen to the brain caused by sleep apnea can mean serious problems for your memory.
A higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s has been linked to sleep apnea, and studies show that people with sleep disordered breathing (like sleep apnea) experience earlier onset of mild cognitive impairment compared to people. That is to say, the forgetfulness we associate with old age starts sooner in life for these individuals.
If you think you might suffering from sleep apnea, do yourself and your family a favour, and get yourself assessed.