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.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Regular Exercise May Help You Sleep Better, Reduce Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

It is well-documented that regular exercise can decrease your risk of cardiovascular problems and improve your general health. But a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation indicates that those who exercise also sleep better and experience fewer risk factors for sleep apnea.

The National Sleep Foundation’s 2013 Sleep in America poll surveyed 1,000 adults between the ages of 23 and 60 who self-reported their levels of physical activity as vigorous, moderate, light or no activity. Vigorous included activities such as running, cycling and swimming; moderate included weight lifting, yoga and tai chi; and light was defined as regular walking.

The survey found that people who reported their physical activities as vigorous and moderate were twice as likely to report restful sleep on a regular basis. On the flip side, symptoms of insomnia were common among those who reported little to no exercise.

As a group, non-exercisers reported more symptoms of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common and potentially deadly sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing stops repeatedly during sleep; if not treated, sleep apnea can increase a person’s risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and other severe health complications.

According to the National Sleep Foundation survey, 44 percent of those who categorized their exercise routine as “no activity” exhibited at least a moderate risk for sleep apnea. Only 19 percent of those who listed their activity level as vigorous demonstrated risk factors for sleep apnea.

Although sleep apnea is dangerous, it is also treatable. In addition to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, there are a number of comfortable and effective sleep apnea treatments such as custom-made oral appliances similar to sports mouthguards.

If you or a loved one suffers from chronic snoring or other symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact I Hate CPAP to locate a qualified sleep dentist near you.

posted by Steve at 2:19 PM