As someone who struggles quite a lot to sleep well, and lives with a chronic snorer, I sometimes feel at my wits end. We have considered that he may be affected by sleep apnea, but there is a potential solution available.
Also known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), this common sleep condition occurs when fatty tissue obstructs your airways during rest, causing insufficient oxygen to enter your body.
OSA can cause frequent nightly arousals, which disrupts the therapeutic effects of quality sleep. If left untreated, this can spiral into worsening health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Fortunately, there are many clinical ways to manage sleep apnea. The most notable sleep apnea treatment is CPAP therapy, a clinical intervention that involves the usage of a CPAP machine and CPAP mask to be worn during sleep.
The constant airflow provided by the machine and into the patient’s mouth through the mask helps open the trachea and promotes unobstructed breathing during rest. In turn, this enables patients to sleep better throughout the night.
While putting on a CPAP mask every night may seem like a hassle, you can gain many lifelong benefits from sticking to this habit. Let’s look into seven unique benefits of undergoing CPAP therapy.
1. Improves Blood Oxygen Levels
CPAP therapy directly increases the oxygen supply entering the body during rest. The body relies on oxygen to support a plethora of vital bodily processes, so this increased supply is a much-needed change in reducing the risk of impairments.
Oxygen, for one, plays a crucial role in cellular respiration. This process is crucial since it helps convert nutrients from food into actual energy (or ATP) that the body can utilise, which helps in supporting the body’s vitality. It also helps remove dead cells in the body through a process called detoxification.
Secondly, oxygen also improves brain and muscle function. This can help in increasing overall cognition and performance, which can lead to improved mental sharpness and greater physical endurance.
2. Improves Daytime Mood
Adequate oxygenation (and its subsequent outcomes) isn’t the only benefit patients can derive from CPAP therapy. This therapy also inhibits the production of the stress hormone cortisol, a hormone that tends to ramp up when you lack sleep.
Elevated levels of cortisol are closely linked to higher stress, anxiety, and mood disturbances. This can make you feel more agitated and anxious throughout the day, which can directly interfere with your daily life.
To combat this, undergoing CPAP therapy with equipment from CPAP Direct can be beneficial for sleep apnea patients. This therapy allows patients to achieve uninterrupted sleep, which reduces cortisol production and restores helpful sleep hormones like melatonin.
Moreover, proper sleep also helps improve your brain function due to the full recovery and rest of your brain’s mood regulator, the amygdala.
With all these factors combined, sleep apnea patients can feel more well-rested when they wake, leading to more pleasant feelings and interactions during the daytime.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure and Heart Problems
Another negative health factor that arises due to sleep apnea is high blood pressure. This health risk occurs because the body works overtime to ensure that enough nutrients enter the organs and tissues in the body, even when there’s insufficient oxygen.
To combat this, undergoing CPAP therapy is extremely beneficial. Not only does this therapy help improve oxygen flow and reduce blood pressure, but it also keeps the body in a perpetually calm state during sleep, thereby reducing cortisol and heart disease risk.
People with sleep apnea have an increased chance of suffering from heart problems such as stroke, coronary heart disease, and heart failure. CPAP therapy has been proven to reduce the risks of succumbing and being hospitalised to these diseases considerably.
4. Enhances Cognitive Function
Sleep apnea can cause people to suffer from fragmented sleep. This prohibits patients from entering the deeper phases of sleep that are responsible for helping repair and grow new tissues and cells in the brain.
This impairment can reduce cognitive health over time, leading to reduced memory span and problem-solving skills. Patients will generally find themselves struggling to focus and maintain mental clarity when they are deprived of sleep.
Daytime drowsiness and chronic brain fog may also kick in after some time, causing even more difficulties in a patient’s waking life.
CPAP therapy helps solve this problem by enabling patients to sleep better. When people get enough restorative rest, their brain gets ample time to recover. This can help our minds perform daily tasks optimally and more productively.
5. Reduces Morning Headaches
Do you struggle with headaches in the morning? If so, this is a common symptom of sleep apnea and poor sleep in general.
The lack of adequate oxygenation can cause hypoxia. A low oxygen supply can cause the body to increase blood pressure leading to the brain, causing throbbing head pain. On top of that, brain fog and dizziness can also occur.
Getting CPAP therapy can curb oxygen deprivation in the brain and the rest of the body. This helps lower headache pain. On top of that, it can also lead to a cascade of other beneficial effects, namely lowering blood pressure and keeping the brain sharp.
6. Speeds Up Metabolism
Sleep apnea and weight gain have an inextricable link. When a person is diagnosed with sleep apnea, they have an increased chance of becoming overweight or obese over time. Similarly, if a person is overweight, they are more likely than most to develop sleep apnea.
Several factors underpin this two-way relationship. For one, poor sleep can negatively impact metabolism, causing it to slow down. This reduced energy release can lead to the accumulation of fat.
Secondly, healthy habits may also be less of a priority for people with poor sleep habits. Patients may feel too lethargic to exercise. They may neglect proper eating habits due to reduced inability to focus. They may be less productive in general.
CPAP therapy is a wonderful solution to prevent you from succumbing to uncontrollable weight gain. This therapy can help restore a person’s metabolic rate and make them more likely to keep their weight at healthy levels, thereby keeping them healthy overall.
7. Improves Mental Health
Living with sleep apnea can have profound implications on one’s mental health. Its effects seep beyond the bedroom, affecting a person’s waking life, including their relationships, finances, and other personal obligations.
Because sleep apnea causes fatigue and robs people of their cognition, this can lead sufferers to spiral into depression, insecurity, and stress. This can negatively influence a person’s motivation and actions, which can make their lifestyle fall deeper into a pit of despair.
If nothing seems to be going right in your life as a sleep apnea sufferer, one saving grace to help you regain control of your life is CPAP therapy. This therapy can turn your health around, whether it’s your physical, mental, or emotional health. This is because getting proper sleep is crucial for mental health.
All the best in your sleep journey!