Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing repeatedly pauses while you sleep. When this happens, your body wakes you up to resume breathing. These multiple sleep interruptions prevent you from sleeping well, leaving you feeling extra tired during the day. Sleep apnea does more than make you sleepy, though. When left untreated, it can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and other long-term health risks.
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People with sleep apnea are more likely to be depressed than people without this sleep disorder. Read More
A lack of sleep can leave you mentally foggy, making it hard to solve problems or think clearly. Read More
A lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to infections. Read More
Sleep apnea increases your risk of high blood pressure, a condition that can make your breathing worse if you already have sleep apnea. Read More
Sleep apnea has been linked to fatty liver disease and higher-than-normal levels of liver enzymes. Read More
Repeated pauses in breathing during the night can deprive your body of the oxygen it needs to function. Read More
People with sleep apnea are more likely to have type 2 diabetes, and vice versa. Sleep apnea can also make your diabetes more difficult to manage. Read More
People with sleep apnea are more likely to have high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels — a risk factor for heart disease. Read More
Sleep helps consolidate memories. People with sleep apnea are more likely to experience memory loss. Read More
People with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) often complain of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, and apnea can worsen heartburn. Read More
Sleep apnea can worsen asthma symptoms and increase your risk of asthma complications. Read More
Sleep apnea causes your breathing to stop — sometimes many times — while you sleep. Read More
Sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythm, stroke, and heart failure. Read More
Sleep apnea can curb your sexual desire. In men, it might contribute to erectile dysfunction. Read More
Waking repeatedly during the night interrupts your sleep, which leaves you feeling tired during the day. Read More
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Sleep helps consolidate memories. People with sleep apnea are more likely to experience memory loss. Read More
People with sleep apnea are more likely to be depressed than people without this sleep disorder. Read More
A lack of sleep can leave you mentally foggy, making it hard to solve problems or think clearly. Read More
People with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) often complain of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, and apnea can worsen heartburn. Read More
A lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to infections. Read More
Sleep apnea can worsen asthma symptoms and increase your risk of asthma complications. Read More
Sleep apnea causes your breathing to stop — sometimes many times — while you sleep. Read More
Sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythm, stroke, and heart failure. Read More
Sleep apnea increases your risk of high blood pressure, a condition that can make your breathing worse if you already have sleep apnea. Read More
Sleep apnea has been linked to fatty liver disease and higher-than-normal levels of liver enzymes. Read More
Sleep apnea can curb your sexual desire. In men, it might contribute to erectile dysfunction. Read More
People with sleep apnea are more likely to have high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels — a risk factor for heart disease. Read More
Repeated pauses in breathing during the night can deprive your body of the oxygen it needs to function. Read More
People with sleep apnea are more likely to have type 2 diabetes, and vice versa. Sleep apnea can also make your diabetes more difficult to manage. Read More
Waking repeatedly during the night interrupts your sleep, which leaves you feeling tired during the day. Read More
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memory_loss
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depression
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mental_confusion
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liver_problems
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abnormal_cholesterol
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Sleep apnea happens when your airway becomes blocked or collapses during the night. Each time your breathing restarts, you might let out a loud snore that wakes both you and your bed partner. Many health conditions are linked to sleep apnea, including obesity and high blood pressure. These conditions, coupled with the lack of sleep, can harm many different systems in your body.
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Respiratory system

By depriving your body of oxygen while you sleep, sleep apnea can worsen symptoms of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). You might find yourself short of breath or have more trouble exercising than usual.

Endocrine system

People with sleep apnea are more likely to develop insulin resistance, a condition in which the cells don’t respond as well to the hormone insulin. When your cells don’t take in insulin like they should, your blood sugar level rises and you can develop type 2 diabetes. Sleep apnea has also been associated with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of heart disease risk factors that include high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol levels, high blood sugar levels, and a larger-than-normal waist circumference.
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Digestive system

If you have sleep apnea, you’re more likely to have fatty liver disease, liver scarring, and higher-than-normal levels of liver enzymes. Apnea can also worsen heartburn and other symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can interrupt your sleep even more.

Circulatory and cardiovascular systems

Sleep apnea has been linked to obesity and high blood pressure, which increase the strain on your heart. If you have apnea, you’re more likely to have an abnormal heart rhythm such as atrial fibrillation, which could increase your risk of a stroke. Heart failure is also more common in people with sleep apnea.
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Nervous system

One type of sleep apnea, called central sleep apnea, is caused by a disruption in the brain’s signals that enable you to breathe. This type of sleep apnea can also cause neurological symptoms like numbness and tingling.

Reproductive system

Sleep apnea can reduce your desire to have sex. In men, it could contribute to erectile dysfunction and affect your ability to have children.

Other systems

Other common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
  • dry mouth or sore throat in the morning
  • headache
  • trouble paying attention
  • irritability
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Takeaway

Sleep apnea can disrupt your nightly slumber and put you at risk of several serious diseases, but there are ways to control it. Treatments, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and oral appliances, help keep oxygen flowing into your lungs while you sleep. Losing weight can also improve sleep apnea symptoms while reducing your heart disease risk.