Many Americans have a sleep disorder and most don’t know they have one. The consequences of not treating sleep disorders are scientifically proven and include the risk of developing other serious diseases. These diseases include:
Obesity is a cause of sleep apnea and the relationship between sleep apnea and obesity is even more complex. Additional weight gain is a common sleep apnea symptom, so obesity can cause sleep apnea. Also, sleep apnea can worsen obesity.
There is a very close connection between diabetes and sleep apnea. Frequent awakenings and low oxygen levels seen in sleep apnea can cause or complicate type 2 diabetes/adult onset diabetes.
High Blood Pressure, Stroke and Heart Failure
Many studies have concluded that sleep apnea causes variations in blood pressure and oxygen levels that enlarge the heart, promote high blood pressure and arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation. Untreated atrial fibrillation is a leading cause of stroke.
The relationship between sleep and depressive illness is complex. Depression may cause sleep problems and sleep problems may cause or contribute to depressive disorders. For some people, symptoms of depression occur before the onset of sleep problems. Insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea are very common among depressed patients.