How Does Sleep Apnea Affect My Blood Pressure?
Sleep apnea along with high blood pressure can be harmful to your health. It’s important for you to have both conditions treated to help prevent serious complications.
What is the Relationship Between Sleep Apnea & Blood Pressure?
It is important to get an adequate amount of sleep each night to restore as well as refresh your mind & body. If you have sleep apnea, you’re most likely not getting the amount of sleep that you need. About 50% of people who have high blood pressure are more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can lead to serious health complications. Throughout the sleep cycle, breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Loud snoring and feeling tired, even after a full night of sleep, are two signs that you may have sleep apnea.
There are three different forms of sleep apnea:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
This more common form of sleep apnea happens when the throat muscles relax.
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)
This form of apnea happens when the brain isn’t sending the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome
Also called treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, this form of sleep apnea is when a person has both OSA and CSA.
What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
The common symptoms of sleep apnea are:
- Severe snoring
- You or your sleeping partner notice you stop breathing for a few seconds frequently throughout your sleep
- Feeling tired in the morning to the extreme where you feel like you could sleep for an additional eight hours
- Frequent morning headaches upon awakening
What is High Blood Pressure?
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), your blood pressure levels are:
- Considered normal if it’s less than 120/80
- Considered elevated if it’s above 120 to 129
The AHA considers obstructive sleep apnea as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people with hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure. Also, obstructive sleep apnea is described as a cause of secondary hypertension.
How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Blood Pressure?
With each pause in your breathing, while you are sleeping, your blood pressure drops, and your heart rate slows down. When breathing resumes, your heart rate rises quickly. With repeated stops and starts in breathing, your blood pressure rises. This elevated blood pressure can also stay with you when you’re awake.
Sleep apnea is much more common in people with resistant hypertension, which is high blood pressure that hasn’t been adequately controlled in spite of attempting different treatments.
If you have high blood pressure or sleep apnea, make an appointment today with Dr. Levin at eos dental sleep. We can help get the sleep apnea treatment you need to sleep well and improve your overall health, including ways to lower your high blood pressure.