Sleep Apnea and Heart Health

By Eugena Brooks

February is not just for celebrating Black History and valentines.

February is also heart health awareness month. These days the average person suffers from both poor sleep and poor eating habits leading to excessive obesity which is a major contributor to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues.

For people with Sleep Apnea, there is a lot to be concerned about. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most racial/ethnic groups in the United States, including African Americans, Hispanics, and Whites. Those suffering from sleep apnea are constantly awakened, have poor-quality sleep and feel exhausted all day.

This results in it being difficult to be motivated for healthy exercise; and busy schedules lead to a habit of ‘grab-and-go’ unhealthy meals. The result is obesity and poor cardiovascular health.

Sleep apnea is found in 47% to 83% of people with cardiovascular disease, 35% of people with high blood pressure, and 12% to 53% of people with heart failure, atrial fibrillation (a heart rhythm abnormality), and stroke.

Researchers estimate that untreated sleep apnea may raise the risk of dying from heart disease by up to five times. Avoiding heart issues and other apnea comorbidities can be as simple as lowering your fat and sugar intake, eating less red meat replaced by more fish and poultry. Taking regular brisk walks or a 15-minute cardio workout a couple of days per week will make a big difference improving heart health, weight loss and raising your energy level too. So make 2020 your best year. Be your own valentine and create a better future by breaking bad habits in your history.

Make these simple adjustments that will lead to big benefits, better health and a happier you.