Why is sleep so important to good health?
The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep per night for optimal sleep, concentration, and good health. Getting fewer than seven hours of sleep regularly can negatively impact your immune, cardiovascular, endocrine, and nervous systems. If you have disturbed sleep, due to sleep apnea -- or pauses in your breathing due to the collapse of the muscles at the back of your throat -- during the night, you are also deprived of quality sleep.
Insomnia, or chronic sleeplessness, as well as sleep apnea, increase your risk of developing conditions including:
- Heart disease
You may also increase your risk of getting into an accident (especially while driving) and reduce performance at work and school. Your memory and concentration may also suffer.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes people to stop breathing in their sleep. When breathing stops, oxygen levels in the blood drop dramatically which signal the brain to jolt the body out of sleep. This puts stress on the heart and disrupts the sleep cycle. As a result, sleep apnea patients suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness and are at high risk for cardiovascular problems such as heart failure, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, arrhythmias, and more. Additionally, recent studies provide evidence linking sleep apnea and other diseases including cancer, diabetes, overactive bladder, impotence, developmental disabilities in children.
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
One of the most prominent risk factors for sleep apnea is being overweight or obese, although patients with normal weight can also have sleep apnea. Other factors that increase the risk of having sleep apnea include: being male, older age, having a family history of sleep apnea, or having a wide neck. Patients with risk factors should be screened and tested for sleep apnea.
How is sleep apnea assessed?
If you have symptoms of sleep apnea, such as chronic or loud snoring or episodes of waking up gasping for air, Dr. Avi provides a comprehensive sleep testing either in his state-of-the-art, elegant, yet, comfortable, fully accredited sleep lab or at the comfort of your home, using an award winning home-sleep test device. If you do have sleep apnea, Dr. Avi will discuss with you different treatment options, including PAP Therapy, which is the gold standard in the treatment of sleep apnea. We offer APAP devices and accessories which we will customize to your needs.