Mental Health

3 Ways Sleep Apnea Impacts Health

Sleeping problems can affect your physical, cognitive and mental well-being over time, leading to a host of issues. Here are three health impacts of sleep apnea you might be unaware of.

By URLife Team
03 Jul 2024

Did you know that something as common as snoring could be a sign of a serious health issue? 

Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders. Sleep can be disrupted by many factors - stimulants such as caffeine or certain medications can keep you awake. Distractions such as electronics, especially the light from TVs, cell phones, tablets, and e-readers, can hinder falling asleep. 


Mindfulness 101:Bring calm into your day with these daily tips. Sign up here.


We all need sleep to feel rested. On average, adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, while teenagers need at least 9 hours, as per a 2024 study published in the journal Sleep Foundation. Besides, women need more sleep than men as women are 40 per cent more prone to getting insomnia than men. 

As people age, they may experience insufficient sleep due to illness, medications, or sleep disorders. A 2024  survey conducted by a community-based social media platform, LocalCircles, found that sleep deprivation was rising in India, with 61 percent of citizens reporting fewer than six hours of uninterrupted sleep in the past year. 


Related story: Guide on Sleeping With Sleep Apnea


3 Ways Sleep Apnea Impacts Health

Sleep apnea, a disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep, affects millions of people worldwide. While it might seem like just an annoying habit, sleep apnea can have significant consequences on your overall health and well-being. Keep reading to discover three surprising ways sleep apnea can impact your health, backed by the latest scientific research.

1. Verbal Memory Decline

Study links sleep apnea severity during the REM stage to verbal memory decline.

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can have a significant impact on cognitive function, particularly memory. A study published in 2024 by ScienceDaily revealed that individuals with sleep apnea often experience difficulties with verbal memory, which involves recalling words, conversations, and names. This occurs due to the frequent interruptions in breathing that disrupt the essential deep sleep stages required for memory consolidation. Over time, this can result in noticeable challenges in everyday communication and learning. It's important to be aware of the potential cognitive effects of sleep apnea and seek appropriate medical attention if you suspect you may be affected by this condition.


Related story: Sleep Apnea And It's Impact

2. High Blood Pressure

Getting too little sleep is linked to high blood pressure. 

Sleep apnea is a significant risk factor for developing high blood pressure. A 2024 study highlighted by ScienceDaily revealed that the frequent drops in oxygen levels during sleep apnea episodes cause the body to release stress hormones. These hormones increase heart rate and blood pressure, putting extra strain on the cardiovascular system. Consistently high blood pressure can lead to more severe health issues, such as heart disease and stroke. 

In addition to the increased risk of high blood pressure, sleep apnea has also been linked to irregular heartbeats, heart attacks, diabetes, and even depression. Seeking medical attention and exploring treatment options for sleep apnea is crucial in managing and reducing the associated health risks.


Related story: Reduce High Blood Pressure With This Doctor's Rx


3. May Cause Conflicts in Relationship

A new study shows fixing sleep disorders can lead to happier, healthier relationships.

The impact of sleep apnea extends beyond the individual suffering from it to their relationships. According to a 2024 article from ScienceDaily, people with sleep apnea often exhibit symptoms such as irritability, mood swings, and fatigue, which can lead to conflicts with their loved ones. Additionally, the loud snoring and frequent awakenings associated with sleep apnea can disrupt a partner's sleep, leading to tension and misunderstandings in the relationship.

From cognitive decline to cardiovascular strain and interpersonal challenges, sleep apnea's effects reach far beyond mere fatigue. Prioritising quality sleep and addressing sleep disorders can substantially enhance physical health, mental acuity, and overall well-being. If you or a loved one is experiencing sleep apnea symptoms, do not hesitate to seek guidance from a psychiatrist from UR.Life. By proactively managing sleep apnea, you can pave the way for a healthier and more fulfilling life.


Mindfulness 101:Bring calm into your day with these daily tips. Sign up here.


Follow Us On Instagram