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Sleep apnea may increase cardiovascular risk

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Cleveland OH

When we sleep, our blood pressure and heart rate decrease to help protect the heart.

But a new study finds people diagnosed with sleep apnea may not be experiencing these cardio-protective benefits.

Dr. Reena Mehra treats obstructive sleep apnea at Cleveland Clinic and authored the study.

“In sleep apnea, however, because of these bad influences of oxygen levels going down and so forth, we believe your blood pressure doesn’t go down like it normally should. Your heart rate doesn’t go down like it normally should,” said Mehra.

Mehra and a team of researchers studied nearly 300 people with established heart problems.

They found those with sleep apnea were at an increased risk for non-dipping blood pressure and heart rate while they slept.

Mehra said this is important because combining underlying heart problems with sleep apnea may increase cardiovascular risk even more.

“There is a lot of data actually that shows that non-dipping blood pressure profiles puts you at increased risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk for mortality or dying,” said Mehra.

Mehra said more studies are needed, but if you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, she recommends getting it treated sooner, rather than later.

“It should be impetus for somebody who has sleep apnea to say ‘I really should look into getting my sleep apnea treated because I’m at increased cardiovascular risk,’” she said.

Complete findings for the study are available online in the “Journal of Hypertension.”


I have suffered from Insomnia since the age of 12. A lack of sleep plagues many adults and children alike for various reason. The words of my sleep therapist still haunt me. She told me that “you have to want to sleep to get sleep”. When I first heard her say this, I didn’t want to believe it. But after thinking about it, I realized it was so true. I share with you a list of some things that keep people awake: http://www.prevention.com/health/sleep-energy/10-reasons-you-cant-sleep

Here I share with you some alternative sleep methods or aids.

Help Kids Sleep All Night

http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/7547.html

http://children.webmd.com/features/help-kids-sleep-all-night

Help for Adults

http://www.sleepaidresource.com/alternative-sleep-aids.html

http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/conditionsitoq/a/Insomnia.htm

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My nocturnal hours

Always awake,
Wishing for sleep,
Even though I fear it,
Dreams and nightmares taunting me in the brief moments I do sleep,
Admiring all those who can sleep,
I listen to the sounds the house brings,
I rise from rest to start the day since I know I won’t get my way to sleep deep and peacefully,
For now I say goodbye to my nocturnal hours as I give up trying to sleep and start the day,
See you a little later my dear nocturnal friend.