Those diagnosed with sleep apnea have a much higher risk of developing heart disease. Because of the increased risk, the sleep apnea patient must take action to lead a healthier lifestyle to fight against high blood pressure and heart disease. Engaging in regular physical activity is an easy way to encourage a healthier lifestyle.
But when sleep apnea leaves you feeling tired and unrested after a full night’s sleep, the last thing on your mind is getting physical activity.
A recent study conducted by the Sleep Apnea cardioVascular Endpoints (SAVE) found that treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy increased self-reported physical activity in sleep apnea patients with a history of heart disease over those not receiving CPAP therapy.
Physical Activity & Sleep Apnea
More than 70% of patients with sleep apnea are classified as overweight or obese. Sleep apnea happens when your airway becomes blocked throughout the night while you’re sleeping. When this happens, you find yourself snoring and gasping for air, and your airway tries to become unblocked. As your body mass index goes up, there’s an increase in weight and pressure on your neck — making it more difficult for you to breathe continuously and comfortably.
With regular physical activity, you’re able to maintain a healthy BMI — thus reducing the weight on your neck to help with sleep apnea symptoms and decreasing the odds of dealing with cardiovascular disease. Consider taking your dog on longer walks, relaxing with evening yoga, or weight training. Additionally, you should work on throat exercises to strengthen your throat muscles and prevent them from collapsing.
However, if you aren’t getting enough sleep at night, it may be hard to find the motivation to stay active. That’s where CPAP therapy helps.
Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea with CPAP Therapy
In the study, patients with sleep apnea and a history of cardiovascular disease were split into two groups: one group was treated with CPAP therapy and cardiovascular care. In contrast, the other group only received cardiovascular care.
In total, 2,601 participants were examined between the ages of 45 and 75 years old. Throughout the study, participants responded to a Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire at various intervals to report on their physical activity.
Sleep apnea and cardiovascular patients treated with CPAP therapy reported 20% higher levels of engaging in moderate physical activity, often meeting expert-recommended activity levels.
Call ApneaMed If You Have Sleep Apnea & Heart Disease
A lack of sleep not only leaves you feeling unrested but can disrupt other areas of your life that lead to unhealthy choices. With a sleep specialist, you can receive a recommended treatment plan to help alleviate your sleep apnea symptoms and improve your overall health.
The most common form of sleep apnea treatment is AutoPAP therapy. An AutoPAP machine offers both a continuous mode (otherwise known as CPAP) and an auto-adjusting mode, allowing you to determine which feels best for you. The auto-adjusting mode ensures you receive the ideal air pressure throughout the entire night, no matter the sleep stage or position you’re sleeping in.
If you have sleep apnea and heart disease, you must get the proper treatment that gives you enough energy to stay healthy and feel rested after a full night’s sleep. Are you ready to improve your health and get a good night’s sleep?
ApneaMed offers a variety of home sleep tests and in-home breathing equipment to help you treat your obstructive sleep apnea and reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues. Contact our team to learn more.