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The Surprising Side Effects of Sleep-Disordered Breathing Malibu, CA

The Surprising Side Effects of Sleep-Disordered Breathing

woman woke up lack of sleep

Sleep is seen as a time of rest and rejuvenation, essential for physical and mental well-being. However, when sleep is disrupted by conditions like sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), the consequences extend far beyond just feeling tired during the day. While many are aware of the more commonly discussed symptoms, such as snoring and daytime fatigue, the lesser-known side effects of these conditions can be surprising and impactful.

Depression and Anxiety

One of the lesser-known side effects of sleep-disordered breathing is its link to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Chronic sleep disruptions can disrupt the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to mood disturbances. Additionally, the stress of struggling to breathe during sleep can contribute to feelings of anxiety and agitation, further exacerbating mental health symptoms.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Studies have shown a strong association between sleep-disordered breathing and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), particularly in children. The fragmented sleep patterns characteristic of SDB can mimic the symptoms of ADHD, including impulsivity, hyperactivity and difficulty concentrating. Addressing sleep-disordered breathing in individuals with ADHD may lead to improvements in attention and behavior.

High Blood Pressure

Sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing are closely linked to hypertension or high blood pressure. During episodes of apnea, the body experiences drops in oxygen levels and increases in carbon dioxide, triggering the release of stress hormones that can raise blood pressure. Over time, untreated sleep-disordered breathing can contribute to the development of chronic hypertension, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular complications.

Metabolic Dysfunction and Weight Gain

Sleep-disordered breathing has been implicated in metabolic dysfunction and weight gain. Disrupted sleep can alter the body’s regulation of appetite hormones, leading to increased cravings for high-calorie foods and decreased feelings of fullness. Also, the fatigue and lack of energy associated with poor sleep can impair motivation for physical activity, contributing to a sedentary lifestyle and weight gain.

Cognitive Impairment

Chronic sleep disruptions due to sleep-disordered breathing can have detrimental effects on cognitive function. Studies have shown that individuals with untreated sleep apnea may experience deficits in memory, attention, and executive function. The cumulative impact of poor sleep over time can impair academic and occupational performance, as well as increase the risk of accidents and injuries.

While snoring and daytime fatigue are often the hallmark symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing, the lesser-known side effects can have profound implications for physical and mental health. From depression and anxiety to hypertension and cognitive impairment, the consequences of untreated sleep apnea and SDB extend far beyond just feeling tired during the day. Recognizing these potential side effects underscores the importance of early detection and treatment of sleep-disordered breathing to mitigate its impact on overall well-being.

Advanced Treatments for SDB

If you have signs or symptoms of sleep apnea or sleep-disordered breathing, contact our team at Southern California TMJ and Sleep Center. We can schedule your consultation with Bob Perkins, DDS, to discuss treatment options to overcome SDB and improve your health and quality of life.

Posted on behalf of Bob Perkins, DDS

24955 Pacific Coast Highway, Ste. C100
Malibu, CA 90265

Phone: (310) 456-5700