Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Longevity May be Shortened by Sleep Apnea

For the past eight years, researchers at Johns Hopkins University have studied the lives and sleep patterns of men and women between the ages of 40 and 70 years old. The study showed that about one-third of the people studied suffered from some form of sleep apnea. 8 percent of men and 3 percent of women in the study suffered from severe sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the throat become over-relaxed during sleep, closing the passageway and preventing the lungs from receiving the oxygen they need. When this happens, the brain wakes from sleep temporarily to open the passageway and give the body the air it needs.

For people with severe sleep apnea, or Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the brain can wake the body more than 30 times in just an hour. Obstructive Sleep Apnea prevents the brain from staying in deep, REM sleep, which allows it to rejuvenate and rest. The dangers of sleep apnea include high blood pressure, depression, and heart attack.

The results of the sleep research concluded that men aged 40 to 70-years-old who suffer from severe sleep apnea are twice as likely to die early than men who do not suffer from a sleep disorder.

To make sure you are not at risk of suffering an early death, or putting your body at risk for serious health side effects, please contact Gurnee, Illinois sleep dentist, Dr. Ira Shapira to schedule a sleep evaluation today.

posted by Lynn at 10:03 AM