Health Effects Of Sleep Apnea And Excess Weight
Deprived of sufficient, quality rest, sleep apnea sufferers experience significant stress on their cardiovascular, metabolic, and pulmonary systems. This may be particularly worrisome for obese people, because obesity can also elevate the risk of heart, lung, and metabolic problems, potentially compounding their health concerns.
How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Afib
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart arrhythmia worldwide. The prevalence of AFib is increasing every year at the current rate, the CDC estimates that over 12 million Americans will be diagnosed with AFib by the year 2030.
While AFib has been proven to be associated with medical conditions like strokes, there has been an increase in research demonstrating the connection between AFib and obstructive sleep apnea .
In this article, I will share some current research about AFib and OSA to better explain the connection between both conditions.
Quitting Smoking And Sleep Apnea
In a hallmark 2014 study, researchers found that smoking raises the risk of developing sleep apnea. If you decide to quitcongratulations, first of all! Secondly, quitting itself isnt necessarily a cure, but it can certainly help.
If you do smoke and get poor sleep, its likely you are able to mask the symptoms of poor sleep through nicotine. Nicotine is a stimulant, so a few cigarettes a day will give you an extra energy boost in the same way a cup of coffee would, and you can hide those symptoms of poor sleep. Coffee has its pros and cons as they relate to sleep, but smokings overall impact on your respiratory system makes it worse for your sleeping. Smoking narrows your airway because of the swelling of tissues and mucus. Stopping can help because smoking makes blood oxygen level drops worse due to lung damage. These drops are slowed down when you stop smoking.
Read Also: Fitbit Sleep Tile Missing
Possible Treatments And Cures For Sleep Apnea
In most cases, sleep apnea may never go away but you can manage it effectively either through CPAP therapy or other ways. For instance, there are specialty surgeries that have varying degrees of success, and others such as quitting smoking that while wont cure your sleep apnea but may help you breathe better overall.
Surprising Sleep Apnea Exercises To Help Reduce Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Did you know that sleep apnea exercises can help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea? If exercising makes you want to put on your CPAP mask and go to sleep, dont worry. Were specifically talking about exercises for your throat and some mild cardiovascular exercises that are related to improving your breathing, such as yoga.
Since sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which the relaxed muscles of the airway expand and block the flow of air, strengthening those muscles may mean that they maintain more tension during sleephelping keep your airway open.
Recommended Reading: Do Betta Fish Sleep A Lot
Dont Wait To Seek Care
When it comes to sleep and weight, early intervention is key for preventing harm and reclaiming quality of life. With adequate treatment, sleep apnea carries an excellent prognosis. And its never too late, or too early, to take an active approach to weight control. If you think you may have sleep apnea, its important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment options.
- Was this article helpful?
Avoid Alcohol And Smoking
Alcohol relaxes the throat muscles that control your breathing. This can lead to snoring and an interrupted sleep cycle. It can also lead to inflammation in your airways, blocking your airflow.
Similar to alcohol, tobacco use can also contribute to inflammation and swelling in your airways. This can worsen your snoring and your sleep apnea.
A identified smoking as a risk factor for developing sleep apnea. The study noted that people with sleep apnea may have a predisposition to smoking as well, so treating sleep apnea may help in quitting smoking.
Don’t Miss: Va Form 21-4138 Sleep Apnea
Dr John Day Cardiologist
|Dr. John DayDr. Day is a cardiologist specializing in heart rhythm abnormalities at St. Mark Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated from Johns Hopkins Medical School and completed his residency and fellowships in cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology at Stanford University. He is the former president of the Heart Rhythm Society and the Utah chapter of the American College of Cardiology.|
Do you or someone you love suffer from atrial fibrillation ? If so, you are not alone. One in four Americans will have at least one episode of A-fib in their lives. In this article, I sharehow to get rid of atrial fibrillation.
Many of my patients feel horrible when A-fib strikes. Their hearts race chaotically and they often feel short of breath, fatigued, dizzy, lightheaded, or may even have chest pain.
The effects of A-fib can be devastating. A-fib is one of the major causes of stroke. It can also put people on a number of different medications, all with serious side effects.
This is something you definitely want to avoid, if possible
If you are like most patients with this condition, you have already been put on a heavy duty blood thinner for life. You may also be on a medicine to slow your heart down or hold you in rhythm.
Do you want to live this way for the rest of your life? There are other options.
1. Get Rid of High Blood Pressure
2. Reverse Your Biologic Age
3. Keep Stress in Check
4. Reduce Inflammation
5. Get Your Weight in Line
8. Get Moving
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Doctors commonly recommend people with sleep apnea to lose weight. Obesity, specifically in the upper body, can increase the risk of airway obstruction and narrow nasal passages. These obstructions can cause you to stop breathing suddenly or for lengths of time while sleeping.
Maintaining a healthy weight can keep your airways clear and reduce sleep apnea symptoms. Research shows that modest weight reduction in people with obesity can eliminate the need for upper airway surgery or long-term CPAP therapy.
In some cases, weight loss can eliminate sleep apnea. However, if you regain the weight, its possible for the condition to return.
Read Also: Fitbit Alta Hr Sleep
Health Risks If You Do Not Treat Your Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is not just an annoying habit it is a serious condition. It could even kill you. If you do nothing about your sleep apnea, you put yourself at higher risk for diseases, accidents, and early death.
Here are some of your risks if you dont treat your sleep apnea:
- You can develop high blood pressure.
- Your risk of heart attack or stroke increases.
- Your memory and concentration can worsen.
- You are at much higher risk of causing a car accident .
- You may develop an irregular heart beat.
How Common Are Sleep Apnea And Afib
Both sleep apnea and AFib are relatively common medical conditions. An estimated 22 million adults in the U.S. have sleep apnea. Meanwhile, at least 2.7 million Americans are currently living with AFib. Over 12 million adults are expected to have AFib by 2030.
There is no single cause of either sleep apnea or AFib. Several of the risk factors for both conditions overlap, including:
- Headaches or dry mouth upon waking
- Feeling tired after a full night of sleep
The only way to definitively diagnose someone with sleep apnea is with an overnight sleep study, which is also called polysomnography. A sleep study measures your breathing rate, leg and eye movements, heart rate and rhythms, oxygen levels, and brain waves while you rest.
A sleep specialist can use this data to determine your apnea-hypopnea index , which measures how many breathing interruptions experienced per hour. Your AHI will determine whether you have mild, moderate, or severe sleep apnea.
Recommended Reading: How To Fail A Va Sleep Apnea Test
Does Weight Loss Method Matter In Osa
With several options for losing weight, many OSA patients want to know which one is best for sleep apnea. Some of the best weight loss methods include:
- Dietary changes
Doctors usually prescribe dietary and exercise interventions as a first-line treatment for obesity. Obese patients who are unlikely or unable to achieve adequate weight loss through behavior modifications may consider pharmacological or surgical interventions. There is evidence that behavioral modification is just as effective as certain weight-loss surgeries in improving OSA. Encouragingly, exercise alone can modestly improve the severity of OSA, even without significant weight loss.
Regardless of technique, OSA improvement is proportional to the amount of weight lost. Therefore, patients should discuss with their doctor which weight loss strategy is best-suited to their personal circumstances, overall health, and their OSA severity.
Q: Im Experiencing Afib At Night Should I Be Worried
A: Its not uncommon for atrial fibrillation to occur at night. The nerves that control your heart rate typically are in sleep mode, and thats when your resting heart rate drops. Under these conditions, pacemaker activity from areas other than the normal pacemaker in the heart can trigger the onset of AFib.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy
In addition, many patients with AFib have an underlying issue of obstructive or central sleep apnea. If you are frequently sleepy during the daytime, that is especially likely to be the case. If you suffer from AFib, sleep apnea can disrupt the hearts rhythms. This is a dangerous combination.
Read Also: Veterans And Sleep Apnea
Different Types Of Sleep Apnea Exercises
In the same way that you must be committed to using your sleep apnea machine every night, you should also consider adding some of the following exercises, which have been proven to help with sleep apnea symptoms to your routine. Before starting any exercise regimen, consult with your doctor to plan the best course of action for you.
Can Losing Weight Cure Sleep Apnea
Treating sleep apnea, like treating many diseases, starts with lifestyle and behavioral modifications. For most OSA sufferers, this includes working toward a healthy body weight. Weight loss reduces fatty deposits in the neck and tongue which can contribute to restricted airflow. This also reduces abdominal fat, which in turn increases lung volume and improves airway traction, making the airway less likely to collapse during sleep.
Losing weight can also significantly reduce many OSA related symptoms, such as daytime sleepiness. Irritability and other neuropsychiatric dysfunctions markedly improve as well. There is an overall improvement in cardiovascular health, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and in particular quality of life. Weight loss of just 10-15% can reduce the severity of OSA by 50% in moderately obese patients. Unfortunately, while weight loss can provide meaningful improvements in OSA, it usually does not lead to a complete cure, and many sleep apnea patients need additional therapies.
Read Also: O2vent Optima Price
Mechanisms Underlying The Association Between Sdb And Af
There are a number of risk factors and comorbidities that are common to both AF and sleep-disordered breathing , including age, male sex, hypertension, congestive HF and coronary artery disease . In addition, there are a number of different potential mechanisms by which obstructive sleep apnea might contribute to the development of AF. These include intermittent hypoxia, recurrent arousals and increased negative intrathoracic pressure , all of which result in increased sympathetic nerve activity and oxidative stress, and possible electrical and mechanical remodeling of both atria and the left ventricle . Electrical abnormalities and cardiac mechanical alterations have been documented in patients with OSA , supporting the suggestion that susceptibility to AF is increased in the presence of OSA. Although there are many plausible explanations for the observed association between SDB and AF, more data are needed to allow the physiological mechanisms that link these two conditions to be fully understood .
What Is The Best Course Of Treatment For Sleep Apnea
Trick question: the best treatment for sleep apnea is the one that works best for you. If you think you have sleep apnea, consult with a physician to evaluate whether or not you need a sleep study.
If you do and it is concluded that you have any of the three types of sleep apnea, youll likely start with CPAP therapy. CPAP therapy involves using a mask that fits on your face, which blows air into your airways, so they stay open at night. While wearing a CPAP mask can take some getting used to, changes in technology have made CPAP therapy much more comfortable for wearers today. There are also other types of machines, such as an APAP and a BiPAP machine that can also help that course of treatment.
Its also entirely possible that with a little willpower and weight loss, your sleep apnea can resolve itself. Snoring in itself isnt indicative of sleep apnea. There are cases where its simply an irritating form of noise pollution. However, if you snore or have been told you do, you should certainly see a doctor to discuss whether or not you should do a sleep study.
Check out our post for actionable home remedies for sleep apnea to take your sleep into your own hands.
Also Check: Deviated Septum Va Disability
What Triggers Afib During Sleep
Many people describe that their atrial fibrillation is worse at night, often waking them up from sleep. Many factors can trigger atrial fibrillation during sleep however, one of the more likely reasons is low oxygen levels due to sleep apnea.
I highly recommend that any patient who is diagnosed with atrial fibrillation should undergo screening for sleep apnea.
Effect Of Sleep Apnea On Atrial Fibrillation Management
Sleep apnea also seems to affect the efficacy of a rhythm-control strategy for atrial fibrillation. For example, patients with obstructive sleep apnea have a higher risk of recurrent atrial fibrillation after cardioversion 12 and up to a 25% greater risk of recurrence after catheter ablation compared with those without obstructive sleep apnea .13
Several observational studies showed a higher rate of atrial fibrillation after pulmonary vein isolation in obstructive sleep apnea patients who do not use continuous positive airway pressure than in those who do.14-17 CPAP therapy appears to exert beneficial effects on cardiac structural remodeling cardiac magnetic resonance imaging shows that patients with sleep apnea who received less than four hours of CPAP per night had larger left atrial dimensions and increased left ventricular mass compared with those who received more than four hours of CPAP at night.17 However, a need remains for high-quality, large randomized controlled trials to eliminate potential unmeasured biases due to differences that may exist between CPAP users and nonusers, such as general adherence to medical therapy and healthcare interventions.
Don’t Miss: Gear S2 Sleep Tracking
The Relationship Between Sleep Apnea And Afib
There is evidence of an association between sleep apnea and AFib. However, its not entirely clear how the two conditions are linked.
Current estimates indicate that having OSA increases the risk of having AFib by two to four times. Severe OSA is associated with an even higher risk of developing AFib.
The risk of developing temporary AFib is also higher immediately following an apnea event during sleep. People with OSA also have a higher likelihood of developing recurrent AFib, especially if their OSA is left untreated.
Should You Avoid Alcohol
If you have sleep apnea, the best advice would be to abstain from all alcohol use. If you enjoy drinking an alcoholic beverage, even occasionally, this is unlikely. At the very least, don’t consume alcohol in the several hours prior to bedtime to minimize the effects overnight. Use your treatment for sleep apnea every night.
You should also keep in mind the importance of setting up your continuous positive airway pressure under typical sleeping conditions. Therefore, if you drink alcohol daily but abstain prior to your titration study, the pressure may not be adequate to maintain your airway when you drink.
AutoCPAP machines that can adjust the pressures through the night may help to avoid this issue. To maximize your response to therapy, consider the role that alcohol use plays in optimally treating your sleep apnea.
Don’t Miss: How Does Garmin Measure Rem Sleep
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious sleep-related medical condition. Sleep apnea causes a person to stop breathing for periods of time during their sleep. Caused by a partial or full blockage of the upper airway during sleep, apnea episodes can occur multiple times throughout the night and can last up to 30 seconds in duration. The longer the period of apnea lasts, the longer the brain, heart, and body are subjected to low levels of oxygen.
It is estimated that over 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea with around 80% of all moderate to severe cases going undiagnosed. Sleep apnea is usually diagnosed by monitoring a patient during a sleep study, which can be performed either in a sleep lab, or with an at-home sleep study.
Sleep Apnea Can Trigger Afib So Dont Ignore It
Do you ever get jolted awake in the middle of the night and your hearts racing ? Does your sleep partner or housemate complain about your snoring or snorting? Do you wake up with headaches? Or scariest of all scenarios, do you wake up in AFib…
I use mine everyday it makes a big difference and I can tell what I’m sleeping if it has any type of leak because my breathing will change
I was recommended to get,a sleep machine but my apnea isn’t that bad. I have afib. my cat alerts me when I stop breathing by getting on me and constantly pawing at my face until I wake up.
I have a Bipap machine…its saving my life…I dont like it …but breathing isn’t over-rated its a machine that has oxygen running through it
Read Also: N Acetylcysteine Bipolar