Connecting Your Health to Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that creates pauses in breathing or shallow breathing during sleep. While it may seem like a mere inconvenience, the effects of sleep apnea can extend far beyond the realm of sleep itself. It can create a profound influence on your overall health and well-being. 

Connecting Your Health to Sleep Apnea

Understanding Sleep Apnea

There are two primary types of sleep apnea:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This form of sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the throat relax excessively during sleep, leading to partial or complete obstruction of the airway.

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): In CSA, the brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles responsible for controlling breathing, resulting in intermittent pauses in breathing during sleep.

Regardless of the type, sleep apnea disrupts normal breathing patterns during sleep. This can lead to fragmented sleep, decreased oxygen levels in the blood, and a range of other health issues.

Impact on Heart Health

One of the most significant health risks associated with untreated sleep apnea is its impact on heart health. The repetitive episodes of oxygen deprivation and arousal from sleep place a lot of strain on the cardiovascular system, increasing the risk of:

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure): Sleep apnea is strongly associated with the development and exacerbation of hypertension, a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions.

Heart Disease: Those with untreated sleep apnea are at higher risk of developing various forms of heart disease. This can include coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias).

Stroke: Sleep apnea is a recognized risk factor for both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. This is possibly due to its effects on blood pressure regulation and cerebral blood flow.

Health Effects

In addition to its cardiovascular implications, sleep apnea can also disrupt metabolic and endocrine function, potentially contributing to:

Type 2 Diabetes: Sleep apnea is associated with insulin resistance and impaired glucose metabolism. This can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Weight Gain and Obesity: The relationship between sleep apnea and obesity is bidirectional, with obesity being a risk factor for sleep apnea and vice versa. Disrupted sleep patterns and hormonal imbalances associated with sleep apnea can contribute to weight gain and difficulty losing weight.

Daytime Functioning and Quality of Life

Beyond its physiological effects, sleep apnea can significantly impact daytime functioning and quality of life, leading to:

Fragmented sleep and recurrent awakenings can result in excessive daytime sleepiness. This can impair cognitive function, concentration, and overall productivity. Furthermore, sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. These can further worsen daytime fatigue and impair quality of life.

The cumulative effects of sleep apnea on physical health, mental well-being, and interpersonal relationships can diminish overall quality of life and functional status.

Seeking Treatment and Support

Given the impact of sleep apnea on health and well-being, it’s essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of this sleep disorder. You also need to seek evaluation and treatment from healthcare professionals. Treatment options for sleep apnea may include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliances, and lifestyle modifications.


413 N. McCroskey St.
Nixa, MO 65714



Monday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Saturday & Sunday: Closed