YOUR HEART AND SLEEP
Table of Contents
Sleep apnea has been linked to
Am I at Risk ?
Obstructive sleep apnea aﬀects at least 25 million adults in the U.S. It is caused by a collapse of the airway in the back of the nose, mouth and throat during sleep. As a result, air cannot get to the lungs. This leads to a brief arousal from sleep that causes sleep fragmentation and poor sleep quality. This cycle can repeat hundreds of times in one night, but typically these events are not remembered in the morning. Sleep apnea is most closely linked with high blood pressure (hypertension) in the lungs and the body.
Sleep apnea has been linked to various heart conditions:
Sleep apnea increases the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, which in turn heightens the risk for developing a stroke. Additionally, patients with
untreated sleep apnea have twice the chance of their abnormal heart rhythms re-occurring after this has been treated with medication, electrical therapy and even surgery. Sleep apnea is seen in a majority of patients with heart failure. In these patients, sometimes a diﬀerent type
of apnea called “central sleep apnea” can be seen, as well as an abnormal breathing pattern called “CheyneStokes breathing pattern”. In central sleep apnea, the upper airway is not collapsed, but the brain does not send signals to the body to breathe. A number of large studies have shown that a sleeping consistently for less than 5 hours a night may have negative consequences on the heart.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: CONTENT DEVELOPED BY THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE