High blood pressure is a common condition that, if left untreated, can increase your risk of life-threatening health complications such as heart attack and stroke. Although it is not always clear what causes the condition, certain sleep disorders have been linked to increased blood pressure. A sleep study can help to evaluate and treat a variety of sleep disorders and sleep-related problems, which can not only help to improve your sleep but also your overall health.
Sleep plays an important role in our overall health, and getting enough high-quality sleep is vital to both our physical and emotional health. Not only can sleep boost mood, productivity, and immunity, it can also help to strengthen and repair the heart and circulatory system. Yet, it is estimated that as many as 70 million Americans suffer from sleep-related problems, such as snoring, insomnia, sleep apnea, parasomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and sleep/wake rhythm disorders.
Evidence has found that sleep deprivation (having fewer than six hours sleep per night), poor sleep quality, and sleep apnea can not only affect your quality of life but can also lead to more serious medical conditions such as high blood pressure. Sleep helps the blood regulate stress hormones, allowing the nervous system to remain healthy. Over time, poor sleep can damage the body’s ability to regulate stress hormones, which can lead to high blood pressure.
Blood pressure measures the force the heart uses to pump blood through the arteries (the vessels that carry the blood from the heart) to the rest of the body. It is normal for blood pressure to rise and fall through the day and night. For example, it usually rises during the day when you’re moving about or exercising and drops during the evening and night when you’re resting, which reduces the strain on the cardiovascular system. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, means blood pressure is consistently too high, making the heart work harder to pump blood around the body.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea disorder affecting around 20% of the American population. It is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition because it causes breathing to stop and start repeatedly during sleep. Loud snoring, awakening with a dry mouth, irritability and excessive tiredness during the day, a morning headache, and trouble concentrating are all signs of the condition.
OSA happens when the muscles at the back of the throat relax, causing the airway to narrow or close when breathing in. This prevents enough air from getting in and lowers the oxygen level in the blood. When the brain senses the body’s inability to breathe, it causes the person to wake momentarily to take a breath, usually with a gasp, snort, or choke but without them realizing. This can happen repeatedly through the night, preventing deep, restful sleep.
Sleep apnea can cause a number of health complications, such as daytime fatigue, type 2 diabetes, liver problems, and metabolic syndrome. There is strong evidence to show that sleep apnea can also cause high blood pressure and heart problems. Because sleep apnea means the body is being repeatedly deprived of oxygen, it impairs the body’s ability to regulate blood pressure. Increased blood pressure puts added strain on the cardiovascular system and on other organs such as the brain, kidneys, and eyes.
Ongoing sleep deficiency raises the risk of chronic health problems. An overnight sleep study, known as a polysomnogram, can be an effective way to accurately monitor and evaluate sleep activity throughout the night and to diagnose any underlying sleep disorders that may be having an impact on overall health.
A sleep study is conducted in a private and comfortable room specially equipped and technologically advanced to record sleep activity. It uses a recording that includes various measurements to painlessly record breathing through your mouth and nose, heart rate, oxygen levels, brain wave activity, and muscle, eye, and leg movements during sleep. These recordings can help identify and diagnose any sleep disorders which may require treatment.
Sleep Lab in South Carolina
If you are having trouble with your blood pressure or a sleep disorder, speak to the sleep medicine specialists at SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation, LLC to see if a sleep study is right for you. Call us at (803) 732-2433 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today to learn more.
At SC Internal Medicine Associates and Rehabilitation, LLC we provide comprehensive, compassionate, and effective care to patients. To find out more about our comprehensive medical services, please contact us, or you can use our secure online appointment request form.