How does sleep apnea affect the body?

This question was asked in Gentry, Arkansas on .
My wife says I have sleep apnea because I snore and stop breathing throughout the night. I believe her because I have been tired in the morning even after a full night's sleep. If I just put aside more time to sleep will that help me feel rested even if I have sleep apnea? Can sleep apnea affect my body other than just making me a little extra tired?

Doctors Answers (7)

Susan M. Welch
Answered on: 7/16/2013

Sleep apnea has been associated with several co-morbitities. High blood pressure, Type II diabetes, High cholesterol, Thyroid imbalances, ED, acid reflux, and TMJoint disorders, just to name a few. Getting a sleep study as prevention is the best way to combat these other issues.

SomnoDiagnostics, Inc.
Answered on: 6/21/2013

Sleep Apnea is effectively treated by PAP, not more sleep. You obstruct when napping or sleeping at night. Some of the symptoms and problems experienced because of sleep apnea are as follows: a. Waking up with a very sore or dry throat b. Loud snoring c. Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation d. Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day e. Sleepiness while driving f. Morning headaches g. Restless sleep h. Erectile Dysfunction i. Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex j. Recurrent awakenings or insomnia

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 6/10/2013

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can affect your body in several ways. First, your general quality of life is often adversely impacted with such symptoms as daytime sleepiness and fatigue. These symptoms alone affect your safety and the safety of others and adversely affect your relationship with your family and fellow employees. Irritability and memory loss are common. From a general health standpoint, OSA has an impact on our nervous system which frequently leads to high blood pressure which, in turn, may lead to strokes and heart failure. Many co-existing diseases are worsened by OSA. Diabetes, through the effect upon decreased insulin resistance, is often more difficult to control. Low testosterone is commonly seen. There are many other adverse effects of untreated OSA. Most all of these effects are corrected with treatment, usually with CPAP therapy.

Richard L. Jacobson, D.M.D., M.S.
Answered on: 6/5/2013 1

Yes. It can severely impact your health short term and especially long term. Please feel free to call me and I can elaborate and provide you with effective treatment options.

Vector Sleep Diagnostics Center
Answered on: 6/5/2013 1

Your question is excellent in a sense that sleep apnea is more than just snoring and feeling tired/fatigued. In the long run, these episodes of breathing pauses/drops in the level of blood oxygen will lead to chronic conditions including, but not limited to, hypertension (high blood pressure), and heart disease among other medical and psychological/psychiatric conditions. Sleeping longer hours may help somewhat to feel more rested but this additional sleep will not resolve the main problem. Based on your wife's description, suspicion for sleep apnea is high and you need to see a sleep specialist soon to confirm the diagnosis (likely will need a sleep test) and get treatment if needed.

Timothy J. Delcambre, DDS, MHA
Answered on: 6/5/2013 1

It sounds as if you may have sleep apnea but the only true way of diagnosing this is with a sleep study. A referral to a sleep center by your primary care physician is needed. Call your doctor to get this done. If you do have sleep apnea, trying to sleep longer will not leave you any more rested. Sleep apnea disrupts your sleep pattern and restful, healthful sleep is never attained. Besides fatigue and exhaustion with sleep apnea, there is a direct relationship to daytime drowsiness (not good at work or driving a car), high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, bruxism or sever grinding and teeth wear, headaches, etc.

Kent E. Dodson, DDS
Answered on:

Extra time to sleep may help if you actually get good sleep, but if you have sleep apnea you are not getting restful sleep. You need to get into your deep sleep cycles to get repair of the body when sleeping. Sleep apnea has serious effects on the body besides feeling tired. It has been linked to a significant increase in risk for heart attack, stroke and the development of Alzheimers. Please get tested and treated properly ASAP