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Sleep apnea: The health effects of sleep deprivation - June 2nd, 2020

If you suffer from persistent sleep apnea, it can be difficult to achieve a restful night’s sleep. In this blog, we’ll be taking a closer look at the effects of a lack of sleep on your overall health.

Weight gain and obesity

A lack of sleep is directly related to the increased production of the stress hormone, cortisol. This increased stress and anxiety can lead to poor nutritional habits and binge eating. Ghrelin, another hormone produced in the stomach, is also linked to sleep deprivation over a long period of time. Excess amounts of ghrelin in the stomach can make you feel more hungry, leading to overindulgence and unhealthy cravings, as well as a reduction in physical activity and stamina. Research also shows that people who feel tired are more likely to crave foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates.

Weakened immune system and sleep apnea

During sleep, your immune system produces infection-fighting substances such as cytokines and antibodies in order to protect your body against foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria. Some cytokines can also help you to have a more restful night’s sleep, which can strengthen your immune system further to protect your body against illness. Without sufficient sleep, your immune system is not equipped to defend your body and so it may take you longer to fully recover from illnesses caused by viruses and bacterial infections. Being deprived of sleep consistently can also increase your risk of developing long-term chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and sleep apnea.

Reduced brain function

During sleep, connections form between neurons (nerve cells) in the brain that can help you retain new information. Sleep deprivation can prevent your brain from performing optimally which can affect your ability to learn new things or concentrate. The signals sent by the rest of your body to your brain may also be delayed, which can increase your risk of getting in accidents due to decreased coordination. Not only this, but sleep deprivation can also affect your mental state and can increase symptoms of anxiety and depression.

If you suffer from sleep apnea and are looking for a custom 3D fitted CPAP mask, get in touch with our team at ApneaSeal today.

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