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Can Sleep Apnea Cause Rapid Heartbeat

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How Is Sleep Apnoea Diagnosed

Sleep Apnea and its Impact on the Heart

If you have suspected sleep apnoea, a number of;tests may help to diagnose it. They may include thefollowing.

The doctor will usually start by asking you about;how you sleep. For example, whether you snoreor have periods when you appear to stop breathing.;As you may not be aware of how you sleep, askingsomeone to watch you sleeping and tell you about;it, or asking a regular sleeping partner to comewith you to the appointment, can be helpful.;Theyll also ask about whether you feel sleepy, ordrop off to sleep, during the day. They might give;you tests to rule out other causes of tiredness.

You might be asked to fill in an Epworth Sleepiness;Scale questionnaire, which looks at whether youhave periods of sleepiness during waking hours.;It asks you about the likelihood of you dozing duringactivities such as watching TV or sitting talking to a;friend.

The information from these tests should confirm;whether you have sleep apnoea or not, and whattype you have. Results can also determine how;severe it is, depending on how frequently breathingis affected . It can also identify treatment that might be;helpful.

Treating Anxiety And Panic Disorders

Reducing stress and caffeine can also help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders. Talk therapy with a therapist can also be beneficial to help identify the cause and triggers of anxiety or panic attacks and find ways to manage the symptoms. Prescription medications are also available for both anxiety and panic disorders.

What You Need To Know About How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Heart

Snoring can keep you awake, ruin your sleep cycle and your daily rhythm, even harm your relationships. But more than being just an annoyance, snoring may bring about life-threatening consequences.If youve ever awakened yourself with a sudden snore or if your partner nudges you awake to get you to turn over its possible you could be affected by sleep apnea, which is associated with high blood pressure, arrhythmia, stroke;and heart failure.;;

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What Are The Treatments For Sleep Apnea

Conservative treatments: In mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea, conservative therapy may be all that is needed.

  • Overweight persons can benefit from losing weight. Even a 10% weight loss can reduce the number of apneic events for most patients. However, losing weight can be difficult to do with untreated obstructive sleep apnea due to increased appetite and metabolism changes that can happen with obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Individuals with obstructive sleep apnea should avoid the use of alcohol and certain sleeping pills, which make the airway more likely to collapse during sleep and prolong the apneic periods.
  • In some patients with mild obstructive sleep apnea, breathing pauses occur only when they sleep on their backs. In such cases, using a wedge pillow or other devices that help them sleep in a side position may help.
  • People with sinus problems or nasal congestion should use nasal sprays or breathing strips to reduce snoring and improve airflow for more comfortable nighttime breathing. Avoiding sleep deprivation is important for all patients with sleep disorders.

Hypoglossal nerve stimulator: A stimulator is implanted under the skin on the right side of the chest with electrodes tunneled under the skin to the hypoglossal nerve in the neck and to intercostal muscles in the chest. The device is turned on at bedtime with a remote control. With each breath, the hypoglossal nerve is stimulated, the tongue moves forward out of the airway and the airway is opened.

Diseases Related To Sleep Apnea

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Rapid Heart Rate

Researchers are still learning about the effects that sleep apnea can have on your health but they have noticed some trends. Multiple studies have shown that sleep apnea increases the risk for CVD and high blood pressure. It also increases your risk of death due to cardiac arrest. Those living with both sleep apnea and pre-existing conditions, like heart failure, are at a higher risk of death than those living with heart failure alone.

Sleep apnea causes high blood pressure. High blood pressure caused by sleep apnea can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, or arrythmias. The heart has 4 chambers and these must pump in a particular way to send blood through the lungs and then out into the body. Arrythmias mean that the heart is not working as it should. Less blood may move through the body so some cells may not get the oxygen they need. Arrthymias can result in heart attacks, heart failure, or strokes.1

Sleep apnea is also associated with obesity, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. These disorders can also increase risk of CVD.

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Mechanisms Potentially Underpinning The Association Between Osa And Cardiac Arrhythmias

Several pathophysiological consequences of OSA, including intermittent hypoxia-induced oxidative stress, recurrent arousals and intrathoracic pressure swings may provoke cardiac arrhythmias , either directly or via effects on the autonomic nervous system. In the following section, these mechanisms will be discussed separately with a focus on the effects on the autonomic nervous system.

    Possible mechanisms underpinning the association between obstructive sleep apnoea and cardiac arrhythmias. Three main mechanisms are thought to trigger atrial and ventricular arrhythmias. Intrathoracic pressure swings are associated with increased transmural gradients, exerting tension forces which might lead to structural remodelling of the cardiac walls. Sympathetic activation induced by recurrent arousals, intermittent hypoxia, oxidative stress and intrathoracic pressure swings is thought to induce electrical remodelling and electrical instability in the myocardium. Structural and electrical remodelling represents the substrate on which dysrhythmias onset. Increased oxidative stress may also provoke electrical remodelling and thus increase the risk of arrhythmias.

    Isnt Sleep Apnea Just A Fancy Name For Snoring

    Not at all. Snoring is that annoying sound that occurs when air passes relaxed tissues in your throat as you sleep. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a persons breathing repeatedly starts and stops during sleep.;Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, but many who have sleep apnea do snore regularly and loudly. One in five adults suffers from at least mild sleep apnea; it afflicts more men than women.;The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea , in which weight on the upper chest and neck contributes to blocking the flow of air. A less-common type, central sleep apnea , occurs when the brain fails to send regular signals to the diaphragm to contract and expand. CSA has been associated with brain stem stroke.

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    Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

    Continuous positive airway pressure therapy is the first line of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP is administered through a facemask thats worn at night. The facemask gently delivers positive airflow to keep the airways open at night. The positive airflow props the airways open. CPAP is a highly effective treatment for sleep apnea. A dental device may also be necessary to keep the lower jaw positioned forward.

    Should I Talk To My Doctor About Sleep Apnea

    Sleep apnea linked to heart disease and stroke

    If you have high blood pressure and are concerned about whether you might also have sleep apnea, speak with a doctor. Diagnosis is the first step to accessing effective treatments for OSA that may improve your sleep and blood pressure. Consider whether any of the following symptoms apply to you:

    • Daytime sleepiness
    • Difficulty with attention and memory
    • Headaches in the morning
    • Dry mouth when waking up
    • Irritability, anxiety, or depression

    Sleep apnea is often not recognized by the affected individual. In many cases, a bed partner notices nighttime symptoms of OSA, which prompts a visit to the doctor. If you share a bedroom or home with someone else, ask if they have noticed you exhibiting any of these signs while you are sleeping:

    • Loud snoring
    • Choking or gasping during sleep
    • Pauses in breathing during sleep

    Experiencing one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have sleep apnea, but it is a good reason to bring up sleep with your doctor.

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    Main Reasons Why You Wake Up With Heart Racing

    A pounding heartbeat can be a terrifying thing regardless if it wakes you up while asleep or in the morning. Sometimes, a racing heart is harmless and occurs occasionally. However, in other cases, it can be a sign of serious medical condition which requires medical assessment and treatment. Did you just wake up with a racing heart? If yes, read on and find out the most common causes of a pounding heartbeat and the treatments.

    Sleep Apnea And Heart Disease

    Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and globally. Several behaviors increase the risk of heart disease, including eating an unhealthy diet, not getting enough physical activity, drinking too much alcohol, and smoking. Health conditions that increase the risk of heart disease include high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, diabetes, and obesity.

    Untreated sleep apnea also significantly increases the risk of heart arrhythmias and cardiovascular disease. Its estimated that patients with sleep apnea are 2-4 four times more likely to develop heart arrhythmias than people without this condition. Sleep apnea increases the risk of heart failure by 140% and the risk of coronary heart disease by 30%.

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    Causes Of Awakening From Sleep With A Racing Heart

    This is most commonly caused by anxiety that could result from underlying stress or a bad dream, says Morton Tavel, MD, Clinical Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, and author of Health Tips, Myths and Tricks: A Physicians Advice.

    1;; Side effects of medications like those for cold, or asthma inhalers

    2;; High caffeine intake before bedtime

    3;; Drop in blood pressure while asleepthe heart speeds up to compensate to make sure theres enough blood circulating throughout your body. Causes are many including pregnancy.

    4;; Drop in blood sugaragain, the heart speeds up to compensate. Causes include strenuous exercise with inadequate recovery nutrition.

    5;; Hyperthyroidism , though youll likely have additional symptoms like unintentional weight loss or feeling hot when nobody else in the room does.

    6;; A less likely cause would a heart rhythm disorder that results in an inappropriately rapid rate, says Dr. Tavel.

    In this latter case, the problem is usually benign and often resolves spontaneously.

    The condition is called supraventricular tachycardia, of which there are several types.

    People who have this are primarily young adults. It can last minutes to hours and be accompanied by a tight chest and feeling breathless.

    Dr. Tavel also explains, In some instances, it can be terminated by vigorous coughing or by breath-holding combined with bearing down .

    If it doesnt stop within about 20-30 minutes, medical attention should be sought promptly.

    Sleep Apnea And Bradycardia

    Can Sleep Apnea Cause Rapid Heart Rate

    We discussed the crossover between sleep apnea and bradycardia in our post on;sleep apnea and infants. Here, well go into more detail about the connection between these two health conditions.

    First of all: What is bradycardia? It may not be a term you hear every day, but bradycardia is often associated with sleep apnea in medical diagnoses and research studies.1;That makes it of natural interest to anyone exploring the causes of, and solutions to, sleep apnea.

    Often associated with sleep apnea in infants, bradycardia is a medical term that means a slow heart rate, which can apply to people of all ages. The;American Heart Association; defines bradycardia as a heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute, but adds that whats too slow for each individual depends on age and the physical condition youre in.2

    Physically active adults often have a resting heart rate slower than 60 BPM but it doesnt cause problems, the AHA article adds. Your heart rate may fall below 60 BPM during deep sleep.

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    Ii Sleep And Cardiovascular Disease

    Sleep and sleep disorders both play a role in cardiovascular disease . The exact role that they play is still not quite clear. One thing that is certain is that there is a higher risk of sudden cardiac death in the first few hours after you wake up. This may be due to the amount of work your heart has to do when your body gets up and moving again. CVD is a leading cause of death in the U.S. It takes the life of nearly 2,600 Americans every day.

    Common forms of CVD include the following:

    • High blood pressure
    • Stroke
    • Congenital heart defects

    People with obstructive sleep apnea have been shown to have higher rates of coronary heart disease and strokes. People who have had a heart attack are more likely to have OSA than those without heart disease. It can be even harder for someone to fully recover from a heart attack if their OSA is not treated.

    OSA is a sleep disorder that occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat blocks the airway. This is very common, because the muscles inside the throat relax as you sleep. You stop breathing, keeping the oxygen you need from getting to the lungs. When you stop breathing, your body wakes up. It happens so quickly, you aren’t even aware of it. You can stop breathing hundreds of times in one night. Being treated for OSA reduces your risk of death due to CVD.

    Signs And Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

    Family members or bed partners often pick up on the signs of sleep apnea first. Many people with sleep apnea don’t know they’re snoring and gasping for breath at night. If you have any of the following signs, see your doctor:

    • daytime sleepiness
    • loud snoring followed by silent pauses
    • gasping or choking during sleep
    • morning headache
    • poor concentration or memory loss
    • lowered sex drive

    Snoring by itself doesn’t necessarily mean that you have sleep apnea. It is true that loud snoring is common in people with this disorder, but there’s a big difference between simple snoring and sleep apnea.

    Untreated sleep apnea can cause serious health problems. If it’s not treated, sleep apnea can lead to:

    • high blood pressure
    • work-related injuries

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    Sleep Apnea Cardiac Arrhythmias And Sudden Death

    Normal physiologic sleep consists of rapid-eye-movement sleep and non-rapid-eye-movement sleep, which alternate within sleep cycles of approximately 90 minutes in length. Non-REM sleep constitutes about three quarters of each 90-minute cycle and is characterized by increased parasympathetic tone and decreased sympathetic activity, which together decrease the heart rate, blood pressure, and cardiac output. On the other hand, REM sleep can be described as erratic, and it is characterized by irregular breathing patterns and varying heart rate. It constitutes the remaining quarter of each sleep cycle.

    Sleep And Coronary Artery Disease

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    People with obstructive sleep apnea have been shown to have higher rates of coronary artery disease . There are two main reasons why this may occur:

  • OSA increases the risk for high blood pressure, which is a known cause of CAD.
  • The events that occur during OSA can put great stress on the heart and worsen existing disease.
  • CAD limits the flow of blood due to narrow arteries. This prevents the right amount of oxygen from reaching the heart. Sleep apnea also causes the blood oxygen level to drop during pauses in breathing. This leads to a rise in the heart rate and blood pressure. An extra strain is put on the heart. The amount of oxygen sent to the heart decreases at the time when the heart needs more oxygen. Studies have shown that the presence of OSA increases the risk of death from CAD. But if the sleep apnea is treated, death due to CAD is reduced.

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    Why Does Sleep Apnea Affect The Heart

    Yet, researchers have yet to fully understand exactly how sleep apnea could lead to troubles with heart health. The sleep disorder is also strongly associated with obesity, stroke and type II diabetes, all health troubles that can play into the development and worsening of cardiovascular problems.;However, the studies are stacking up. Even if you separate out the other risk factorsstress, metabolic syndromesleep apnea is still an independent risk factor for cardiovascular problems, says Mostafavi.

    A joint scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology outlines some of the biological reasons that could explain sleep apneas influence on cardiovascular disease and death, even when those other conditions are taken into account;^7.

    In a typical, non-disordered nights sleep, a persons blood pressure, heart rate and respiration dip and climb as they enter and leave different stages of sleep. But in sleep apnea, those changes are more dramatic and tied to the duration of apnea episodes instead of sleeps natural rhythms. This disruption of the sleep cycle sets off a host of changes throughout the body;^8.

    A person with sleep apneas blood oxygen levels can drop to less than 60 percent. Normally these levels are at 95 to 100 percent. This hypoxemia triggers a number of changes. Blood vessels constrict and increase blood pressure, causing spikes that can reach 240/130.

    Sleep Apnea Can Increase The Risk Of Developing Atrial Fibrillation

    The Heart Rhythm Society reports that some common risk factors for atrial fibrillation include:

    • High blood pressure
    • Diabetes
    • Heart diseaseÂ;

    The Society also reports that sleep apnea is a lesser-known cause of atrial fibrillation that isn’t completely understood. However, it is a factÂ;that those who have sleep apnea have four times the risk of developing atrial fibrillation. The possible reasons for this include:

    • In the absence of treatment, sleep apnea can lead to the development of atrial fibrillation risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes.Â;
    • Sleep apnea is a direct trigger of arrhythmias, or irregularities in heart rhythm, during sleep.Â;
    • The stresses and chemical changes that happen in the body as a result of sleep apnea-related oxygen deprivation may subsequently lead to the development of atrial fibrillation.Â;

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