We know that sleep apnea can significantly impact your health. When your body stops breathing at night, all your systems are affected. Sleep apnea treatment controls these impacts so that you can avoid serious health problems.

Now a new study shows how skipping just one night’s treatment can cause serious disruption of your body’s metabolic function. It also shows that sleep apnea’s health impacts aren’t secondary to diabetes or high blood pressure. Instead, diabetes and high blood pressure get worse because of sleep apnea.

A man struggling to stay awake while at work

Real-Time Metabolic Effects

Study authors said that their research is one of the first studies looking at the real-time impact of sleep apnea on the body’s metabolism during the night. They looked at 31 obese patients with an average age of 51. As they slept, all patients were monitored either while they were using their CPAP machine or as the third consecutive night without treatment. During the night,researchers measured levels of:

  • Blood fatty acids
  • Insulin
  • Blood sugar
  • Stress hormone cortisol

The levels of these measures rose in people who didn’t use their CPAP machine. And the rise was most severe for those with the most severe sleep apnea. Blood pressure was tested after each night sleeping. It also rose in people who weren’t getting their treatment.

Independent Effects of Sleep Apnea

This study shows, among other things, that sleep apnea is not secondary to diabetes or high blood pressure. Instead, it showed that the effects of sleep apnea can independently increase blood sugar, blood pressure, and stress hormone levels.

This makes sleep apnea an independent health risk, not just something that goes along with obesity and shares its risk factors.

Treat Sleep Apnea All Night Every Night

This study also shows us why having a sleep apnea treatment goal of most nights is inadequate to help people avoid the health risks of sleep apnea. Even if treatment helps when you’re using it, it can’t help when you’re not using it, and in that time, your body is subjected to the numerous health problems. This can significantly stress your health, leading to serious consequences for your heart, brain, and other systems. Even a few hours without treatment may have serious health consequences.

Unfortunately, CPAP is a sleep apnea treatment that’s hard to use every night. Few people are happy with going through the difficult routine to wear their CPAP every night. And even those that do have difficulty wearing it all night.

On the other hand, many people find oral appliances easier to wear every night and many keep it in all night. Many people can achieve the all night every night standard with oral appliances. And that may be the only way to protect yourself from health risks.

If you’re looking for a truly effective sleep apnea treatment, please call (201) 343-4044 today for an appointment with sleep dentist Dr. Marlen Martirossian at River Edge Dental, New Jersey’s center for TMJ, sleep apnea, & reconstructive dentistry.