How can sleep apnea affect my heart?
In people who suffer from sleep apnea, sleep goes from a restful, restorative state to a stressful physiological state that results in cardiovascular problems. Learn more from Dr. Scott Leibowitz about sleep apnea and the heart in this video.
Sleep goes from being a restful, restorative state to literally a stressful, physiologic state, more
stressful than being awake. As a result of that, we see downstream consequences of things like high blood pressure, heart arrhythmias,
increased risk for strokes. [MUSIC PLAYING]
Sleep apnea affects your heart in a number of different ways. At the root of it all, though, if you can think of each episode where you stop
or struggle to breathe-- the physiologic equivalent of someone taking a pillow and trying to smother you.
Essentially what would you do in that setting? You'd have an adrenaline rush, a blood pressure surge, a heart rate surge, essentially fight off the person with the pillow.
And that's what your body's doing over and over and over again night after night after night.
So sleep goes from being a restful, restorative state to literally a stressful physiologic state, more
stressful than being awake. As a result of that, we see downstream consequences of things like high blood pressure,
heart arrhythmias increased risk for strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, influences the risk for diabetes and blood sugar control.
So you can see it impacts obesity as well. So there's a clear overlap between cardiovascular disease
and the mechanisms that cause cardiovascular disease and what sleep apnea does to your body each night. [AUDIO LOGO]
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