Are Your Sleeping Habits Slowly Killing You?

If you feel not very refreshed after a full night’s sleep, you could have something called sleep apnea, and the position you sleep in might cause it to be worse.

“Obstructive sleep apnea is a common issue that affects your breathing during sleep, and causes air to be blocked from going through to your the lungs,” say the authors of one sleep apnea research. “The blockage in your airflow is usually due to the collapse of the soft tissues in your throat and your tongue.” 

The authors of the study found that sleep apnea is dangerous. Read on to find the three symptoms and see what sleeping position leads to an even more dangerous sleep apnea.

1 — Daytime Fatigue

If you awake from snoring, from not being able to breathe, or you gasp for air during the night, you could have sleep apnea. The new study, which looked at Saudi-based airline pilots, found that “looking for workers of this high-risk job needs to be considered. Fatigue and insomnia are secondary consequences of sleep apnea and should be looked at and treated promptly,” the study says. “If you do have sleep apnea, tissues within your throat relax during sleep, periodically restricting your airway, causing breathing problems that disrupt your sleep,” reports Harvard Health. And that is not the only symptom.

2 — Depression

The study’s authors also noted depression as a symptom. A study some years back found the same problem to be true. “Patients who have OSA have impaired health and their mental health and daily performance also decreases,” said the authors. “Because bad sleep can cause bad concentration, mood issues, anxiety, and major depressive disorder— these issues also lead to bad daytime performance.”

3 — Heart Problems

“Fast drops in blood oxygen levels that happen during sleep apnea hurt your cardiovascular system and increases your blood pressure,” says the Mayo Clinic. “Obstructive sleep apnea could also increase your risk of having a heart attack, atrial fibrillation and stroke. If you do have heart disease, low blood oxygen can cause sudden death from irregular heartbeat.”

To help your airways stay open, sleep on your stomach or side—this will help with mild sleep apnea. For anything more severe, please see a doctor.

Author: Blake Ambrose

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