Sleep Apnea Creates Norepinephrine Spikes In The Body
When your airway is blocked or constricted at night when youre asleep, your body must find a way to open up the airway so you can breathe. It does this by releasing norepinephrine, also sometimes referred to as adrenaline. Norepinephrinenorepi is the main awake neurotransmitter in the brain, and it arouses the brain to signal the throat to open up and let air in.
Although most people dont actually wake up, the arousal is enough to increase the muscle tone in the throat and return it to how it normally is during the day. Unfortunately, the norepinephrine release also creates a fight or flight response in your body that increases your heart rate, as well as your blood pressure.
Its release is so effective at raising blood pressure in the body, norepinephrine is used in the ICU to treat people in shock and at risk of death for low blood pressure. This is because its the most powerful agent we know of to increase blood pressure.
The more frequently you have these respiratory events at night, the more norepinephrine youre going to release, and the more your blood pressure will rise. This can make keeping blood pressure under control exceedingly difficult if you have undiagnosed sleep apnea or arent properly treated.
How Does Pregnancy Affect Sleep
Many women find that sleep evades them during their pregnancies. Anxiety, physical discomfort, and changing hormones make sleeping difficult when you’re an expecting mother. An estimated 50 percent of pregnant women experience insomnia. However, research makes it clear that it is vital that pregnant women get enough sleep.
In this article, we will examine why sleep changes during pregnancy. We’ll share tips on the best sleeping positions during pregnancy, look at common sleep problems pregnant women encounter, and investigate the best sleep hygiene practices that can be practiced during pregnancy.
Why Is Sleep Different During Pregnancy?
There are various reasons why an expecting mother may find sleep challenging to find during pregnancy. Some of these reasons include:
– Dreams of vivid colours.
– Anxiety about having a baby may also cause sleepless nights .
– During the third trimester, a number of pregnant women experience vivid, disturbing dreams that further impair sleep quality.
Pregnant women are likely to experience a few of the above symptoms, but sometimes they are due to sleep disorders. Symptoms of sleep disorders can lead to further difficulties later on for the mother or child, so let your doctor know if you are having any problems.
Problems and Sleep Disorders Associated with Pregnancy
1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
2. Restless Legs Syndrome
3. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder
Treatment for Sleep Disorders During Pregnancy
Screen Dreams Or Nightmares
Another issue affecting our sleep in recent years is the prevalance of brightly lit screens in our lives computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.
Light is what synchronises our body clock, so light at night can disrupt our natural sleep cycle. The problem is that the type of light that our electronic devices emit is exactly the kind of light that will disrupt our body clock. Energy-efficient light bulbs can have a similar effect.
According to Prof Charles Czeisler, from Harvard University, Light exposure, especially short wavelength blue-ish light in the evening, will reset our circadian rhythms to a later hour, postponing the release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin and making it more difficult for us to get up in the morning.
Its a big concern that were being exposed to much more light, sleeping less and, as a consequence, may suffer from many chronic diseases.
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What Does Sleep Have To Do With High Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure directly responds to sleep loss along with a whole host of negative side effects. A 2010 study conducted amongst 538 middle-aged adults found that sleep deprivation was a reliable predictor of increased blood pressure levels. The results remained consistent even after being adjusted for age, race, sex, and presence of high blood pressure medication. In these cases, both shortened sleep duration and poor sleep quality contributed to the increase in blood pressure readings.
In part, sleep deprivations effects on the mental and emotional state shed light onto the forces at work. Without enough sleep, the brain becomes more sensitive to negative thoughts and feelings, which causes an increase in stress hormones like cortisol that naturally cause a rise in blood pressure.
Osa And Resistant Hypertension
OSA is common in patients with resistant hypertension, which is defined as BP that remains uncontrolled with three or more medications. In a prospective evaluation of 41 patients with resistant hypertension, Logan et al found that 96% of the men and 65% of the women had significant OSA . In 71 consecutive subjects referred to the hypertension clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for resistant hypertension, we found that 90% of the men and 77% of the women had OSA . As OSA severity increases, there is an increased need for additional BP medications that is, the more severe the OSA, the less likely BP is controlled with pharmacologic therapy.- A prospective, but uncontrolled CPAP trial demonstrated that CPAP use can have substantial antihypertensive benefit in patients with resistant hypertension. Logan et al reported that CPAP use after 2-month follow-up in 11 patients with resistant hypertension lowered nighttime systolic BP by 14.4±4.4 mm Hg and diastolic BP by 7.8±3.0 mm Hg.
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How Hypertension Affects Your Body
High blood pressure contributes to hundreds of thousands of fatalities each year, with nearly half a million deaths in the United States alone. According to the Center for Disease Control, Tennessee has a high prevalence of hypertension in adults ages 20 and older, with an age-adjusted prevalence between 32 and 38.6 percent.
Left untreated, hypertension can damage your heart and contribute to severe health issues that can lead to a disability or even premature death. Some of these include:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Kidney Disease or Failure
Poor Sleep And Hypertension
Sleep is closely linked to hypertension. Even one night of poor sleep can raise your blood pressure. Sleeping less than 7 hours for a number of nights in a row can increase your blood pressure and your risk of developing hypertension. Poor sleep quality affects your blood pressure and your heart more than you realize.
If you have sleep apnea, you have an even higher risk of developing hypertension. This is because you consistently sleep poorly, and this leads to a rise in blood pressure. Sleep apnea can further increase blood pressure by restricting the flow of oxygen during sleep.
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What Is The Relationship Between Sleep Apnea And Blood Pressure
Of the two types of sleep apnea, only OSA is linked to high blood pressure. CSA isnt a known cause of hypertension, but it develops in 30 to 50% of people with heart failure.
The prevalence of OSA is estimated to be between 4 and 7% of the general population, but it affects 30 to 40% of people with hypertension. Of people diagnosed with OSA, it is estimated that around half also have high blood pressure.
In healthy individuals, blood pressure naturally lowers by between 10 and 20% at night, a phenomenon that is sometimes referred to as blood pressure dipping. People with severe OSA experience blood pressure dips of less than 10%, which indicates a nondipping blood pressure pattern.
People who have nondipping blood pressure at night face an increased risk for cardiovascular issues. Additionally, many patients with OSA experience a sudden and pronounced elevation of their blood pressure when they wake up in the morning. This morning surge is another factor that may increase risk for cardiovascular disease. Moderate to severe OSA increases all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.
OSA doesnt only affect blood pressure at night. Studies show that daytime blood pressure levels also increase with sleep apnea severity.
Risk Factors For Hypertension
Age is a common risk factor for hypertension, as well as gender and family history. And while its a common health condition among American adults, hypertension does not have any visible symptoms or signs of illness. This is why its sometimes called the silent killer.
Hypertension is strongly connected to conditions like heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and even erectile dysfunction. These conditions are also linked to sleep-disordered breathing, also referred to as sleep apnea. Research indicates up to 50% of people suffering from hypertension also have sleep apnea, which is why anyone struggling with high blood pressure can benefit from a sleep test.
The good news is that hypertension is highly treatable with a healthy diet, productive sleep habits, and exercise. If your hypertension doesnt respond well to these lifestyle changes or medication, getting a sleep test to see if you have undiagnosed sleep apnea is important.
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What Relationship Does Sleep Apnea Have To High Blood Pressure
Sleep apnea can raise your blood pressure, a condition also known as hypertension. High blood pressure occurs when the pressure of the blood against the walls of the arteries is too high. This can damage the arteries and lead to health problems such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.
When you have sleep apnea, your body is constantly trying to get more oxygen. After you go to sleep, your blood pressure typically falls between 10-20% and this is called blood pressure dipping. Those with sleep apnea may see their blood pressure dip less than 10% and this is called nondipping. If you have nondipping blood pressure you are at an increased risk for cardiovascular problems and this extra work can lead to other health problems over time, including high blood pressure.
Sleep Apnea And High Blood Pressure
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues at the back of the throat relax and block the airway during sleep. Researchers think these pauses in nighttime oxygenation may activate the bodys fight-or-flight mechanism, which raises the blood pressure. Interestingly, however, the use of continuous positive airway pressure devices to maintain nighttime breathing do not necessarily improve hypertension in people with both and high blood pressure. Nonetheless, if you have both OSA and hypertension you should adhere to the treatment plan for improving your sleep apnea, as this may have a positive effect on your blood pressure.
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What Can I Do To Get Better Sleep
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
- Get enough natural light, especially earlier in the day. Try going for a morning or lunchtime walk.
- Get enough physical activity during the day. Try not to exercise within a few hours of bedtime.
- Avoid artificial light, especially within a few hours of bedtime. Use a blue light filter on your computer or smartphone.
- Dont eat or drink within a few hours of bedtime avoid alcohol and foods high in fat or sugar in particular.
- Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
Work with your health care team to identify obstacles to good sleep, including other medical conditions.
What Drugs Increase Blood Flow
Pentoxifylline is used to improve blood flow in patients with circulation problems to reduce aching, cramping, and tiredness in the hands and feet. It works by decreasing the thickness of blood. This change allows your blood to flow more easily, especially in the small blood vessels of the hands and feet.
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How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Heart
Its difficult to overstate the hearts importance to health. Responsible for pumping blood throughout the body, the heart powers the circulatory system that ensures that all the organs and tissues in the body get the oxygen they need.
Unfortunately, heart problems are a leading cause of illness and death in the United States. While its already well-known that factors like poor diet, limited exercise, and smoking can harm the heart, theres a growing recognition of the dangers of sleep deprivation for heart health.
Sleep provides time for the body to restore and recharge, playing a key role in nearly all aspects of physical health. For the cardiovascular system, insufficient or fragmented sleep can contribute to problems with blood pressure and heighten the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and stroke.
As a result, getting good sleep may help prevent damage to the cardiovascular system, and for people with heart problems, can be part of following a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Does Sleeping Position Affect Heart Health
There is limited evidence linking a persons sleeping position with their overall heart health.
Some research that focuses on people with congestive heart failure has found that sleeping on your left side may change aspects of heart and lung function.
Congestive heart failure is a buildup of fluid in the lungs or other parts of the body that occurs when the heart isnt pumping blood effectively. Studies have found that people with congestive heart failure frequently avoid sleeping on their left side, and this effect is greater in people with larger heart dimensions. While the exact reason for this is unknown, it may relate to how this sleeping posture alters positioning of the heart, pressure on the lungs, and/or the sensation of the heart beating against the chest wall.
While studies have found that people with heart failure often avoid sleeping on their left side, it does not show that this sleeping position causes heart problems. Based on research to date, a persons sleeping position is not considered to be a risk factor for heart disease or other cardiovascular problems.
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Should I Talk To My Doctor About Sleep Apnea
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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How Does Sleep Apnea Treatment Affect Blood Pressure
There are a number of treatment options for OSA. Treatment not only improves sleep quality but could also help manage hypertension. The most common and effective treatment is called continuous positive airway pressure .
CPAP treatment involves wearing a facemask attached to a machine that pumps air into the lungs at night. It works by preventing the airway from collapsing, which improves sleep quality in people affected by OSA. Studies investigating the effects of CPAP in patients with hypertension and OSA have shown that treatment with CPAP lowers blood pressure during the day and at night, especially in patients with severe OSA. CPAP also reduces catecholamine levels.
Some patients have a hard time adjusting to the CPAP facemask at night. Consistent, proper use of CPAP is important in order to effectively manage OSA and hypertension. Mouthpieces are one alternative to CPAP and are designed to help maintain an open airway during sleep. Research is needed to determine if mouthpieces also lower blood pressure in people who experience high blood pressure and OSA. Certain surgical procedures are also done to treat OSA in selected patients.
Does High Blood Pressure Affect Sleep
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Effect Of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure On Bp
If OSA contributes to hypertension development or progression, then effective OSA treatment with continuous positive airway pressure should lower BP. However, reports are conflicting. This lack of a consistent treatment effect may be related to multiple variables, including differences in study design, type and size of cohorts, degree of CPAP compliance, treatment duration, and accuracy of BP assessments.
Recently, four metaanalyses of randomized controlled trials on CPAP use have been published . Bazzano et al analyzed 16 randomized clinical trials published between 1980 and 2006, representing 818 participants, that compared participants treated with CPAP with control subjects, that had a minimum treatment duration of 2 weeks, and that reported BP changes during the intervention and control period. Mean net change in systolic BP for participants treated with CPAP vs control subjects was 2.46 mm Hg mean net change in diastolic BP, 1.83 mm Hg and mean net change in mean arterial pressure, 2.22 mm Hg . The authors concluded that their analysis provided evidence that effective CPAP treatment reduces BP.
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What Happens If I Don’t Sleep
Everyone’s experienced the fatigue, short temper and lack of focus that often follow a poor night’s sleep.
An occasional night without sleep makes you feel tired and irritable the next day, but it won’t harm your health.
After several sleepless nights, the mental effects become more serious. Your brain will fog, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. You’ll start to feel down, and may fall asleep during the day. Your risk of injury and accidents at home, work and on the road also increases.
To find out how to tell if you’re too tired to drive, visit the governments Welcome to THINK! website.
If it continues, lack of sleep can affect your overall health and make you prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Here are 7 ways in which a good night’s sleep can boost your health: