Sleep Apnea: A Major U.S. Health Risk
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than 12 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a debilitating and sometimes life-threatening sleep disorder.*
OSA begins when a person’s airway tissue and throat muscles relax during sleep, causing the breathing passage to temporarily close or collapse. Unaware of what’s happening, breathing can stop for a few seconds – or even a few minutes – before signals to the brain arouse the person from sleep so that breathing can resume. This process can repeat itself up to 60 times an hour, or up to 400 times a night.
These frequent blockages restrict the normal flow of oxygen throughout the body, creating dozens of other health-related issues:
* labored breathing
* disrupted sleep cycles
* daytime fatigue / lethargy
* depression / irritability
* personality / changes
* memory loss
* weight Gain
* high blood pressure
* inability to lose weight
* congestive heart failure
For more information about sleep apnea, visit the American Sleep Apnea Association website.
* NIH (National Institutes of Health) Data, 2005, 2009