I just read another alarming study about what happens if you’re not getting quality rest.
Namely, people with sleep apnea tend to have an impaired exercise capacity.
Why is that a big deal? Because impaired exercise capacity equates to increased cardiovascular disease risk.
The study, by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, looked at 15 adults with moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea and 19 controls with mild or no sleep apnea. All were evaluated for sleep apnea during an overnight sleep study in a lab, and underwent exercise testing on stationary bikes.
Researchers then measured peak oxygen uptake, an indicator of physical fitness, in the final 20 seconds of exercise. They found it was significantly lower in people with moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea than in controls. And, as I said above, this translates into significantly HIGHER heart risk.
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, talk to your doctor. (Snoring is a big red flag.) There are tests he can order that can determine whether it’s a problem for you. And if it is, you may want to consider treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
CPAP involves using a machine that delivers air pressure through a mask you wear while you sleep to keep your breathing regular. Not only can a CPAP machine help you sleep soundly, but it may also help protect your heart as well.