We had a lovely friend, Steve swing by recently to trial our CPAP machines for sleep apnea…
Strange thing is….he looks perfectly healthy!
- Lean and in shape
- Doesn’t smoke
- Doesn’t drink
- Doesn’t have heart conditions
He does however complain of sleep anpea tiredness and him and his dad both snore the house down!
Considering all the rah rah around how bad sleep apnea is on life expectancy (reduced by up to 15 yrs), and blood pressure (increased)…I did some research into why this happens and whether our friend is at risk
The reduced life expectancy is believed to be the stress caused by frequent wake-sleep-wake cycles and the cortisol response (stress hormone).
This also leads to the second issue: frequent “jump starts” to the nervous system causes a constant state of red alert constricting blood vessels and spiking blood pressure.
It gets worse…people with apnea tend to have lower reserves of nitric oxide and this is the exact thing that reverses constricted blood vessels. Side note: nitrix oxide helps men get erections. Apneic men often suffer erectile dysfunction. Go figure..
nitrix oxide helps men get erections. Apneic men often suffer erectile dysfunction
What are the stats?
Apneic people suffer
- 140% more risk for heart failure
- 60% more risk for stroke
- 30% more risk for a coronary
If I may indulge….30 years ago there was an interesting study done: apneic patients that chose to undergo a tracheostomy (that classic move you seen in medical shows where they cut a hole in your throat/or stab with a pen depending on your gore tolerance) saw their apnea go, but so did any atrial fibrillation (a heart condition), blood pressure normalized, and they lived ten years longer than their counterparts who opted out.
So back to our mate Steve, he chose the less gory route of using our CPAP machine and unbelievably his AHI score went from 30 down to 5. That’s a total normalization of his apnea! Not surpringly he felt energetic!
Moral of the story:
If you snore, get checked for sleep apnea-its a simple $99 overnight test done at home
If you are overweight, try lose 10% and that can have dramatic improvements to apnea
If your bed partner gasps for air at night and snores it could be a sign…get them tested!