The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Stroke Risk

The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Stroke Risk

The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Stroke Risk

According to published research, both sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing greatly raise the risk of stroke. Two patients were studied in this research; both were overweight, elderly ladies who suffered from sleep apnea. 

Both patients woke up in the middle of the night after experiencing an acute stroke or TIA during the monitoring period. During rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, oxygen levels dropped significantly in both subjects.

Sleep Apnea and the Risk of Stroke

Stroke risk is strongly linked to sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, SDB, hypersomnia, and insomnia, according to research published in the Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association. Stroke patients with sleep apnea exhibited distinctive behaviours, according to the study’s findings.

Some estimates place the percentage of ischemic strokes that occur throughout the night at between 20 and 40 percent, with the majority occurring just as people are about to nod off. Sleep apnea has been linked to a subtype of these strokes called cryptogenic strokes. 

Therefore, between 50 and 70 percent of nighttime strokes are thought to be caused by sleep-disordered breathing. On top of that, those who have suffered from more than one stroke are more prone to suffer from sleep-disordered breathing than those who have only suffered from one.

Stroke risk is elevated in those with sleep problems, and people who have recently suffered a stroke may develop sleep apnea.

Does Sleeping Increase Your Risk of Stroke?

True, and the likelihood of it happening is higher than you may think. Indeed, anywhere from 14% to 44% of all strokes occur while the victim is asleep.

A stroke victim may be awakened by their symptoms if they occur in the middle of the night. We refer to this as a “wake-up stroke.”

People who have a stroke are less likely to receive the quick therapy they need to achieve a full recovery, even if they do wake up afterward.

Interruption of blood supply to the brain causes stroke. Strokes are a major global health problem, as well as a major public health problem in Australia.

That’s why it’s crucial to not just recognise the symptoms of a stroke but also learn how to avoid having one. Quick and comprehensive medical care can improve stroke patients’ chances of a good result and survival.

Based on their root causes, strokes may be divided into two broad categories.

  • Stroke caused by a disruption in blood supply to the brain (ischemic) The formation of clots or the accumulation of plaque in your arteries can both contribute to this condition.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke is triggered by bleeding or leakage in the brain. A broken blood artery in the brain is to blame for this condition.

When Should I Worry About Having a Stroke?

There are a few telltale signs of a stroke. Helping stroke victims obtain the prompt medical treatment they need to achieve a good recovery is greatly facilitated by recognising these signs. Damage to the brain and body can occur even in the event of a little stroke.

Some warning signs of a stroke include: 

  • Sudden tingling or weakness in an arm, face, or leg, usually on one side of the body.
  • Abrupt onset of bewilderment, difficulties in communicating, or trouble in comprehending others.
  • Having trouble seeing clearly out of either eye.
  • A severe, unexpected headache with no obvious origin.
  • Unexpected problems with your sense of balance, dizziness, coordination, or ability to walk.

Is there a direct causal relationship between sleep apnea and stroke?

Although further study is required, there are a few things that scientists feel may serve as catalysts. Among these are:

  • Changes in airway pressure owing to apneas or hypopneas.
  • Hypoxemia, or low blood oxygen levels, can occur intermittently.
  • Endothelial dysfunction, in which the heart’s blood arteries narrow rather than widen in response to cardiac stress.
  • Sympathetic activation, which means your heart is pumping too fast to provide your body with blood and oxygen.

These factors can raise stroke risk for those with severe sleep apnea. The cardiovascular system should also sound an alarm if you have any of these risk factors.

Getting enough sleep has been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. For the millions of Americans who struggle with poor sleep and sleep disorders, this is unfortunately easier said than done.

Strategies for Sleeping Better to Decrease Stroke Risk

It shouldn’t be difficult to get a good night’s sleep every night. We hope that the following advice will assist you in lowering your risk of stroke while also allowing you to receive the restorative sleep you require.

Take Proper Precautions Regarding Your Sleep

Hygienic practises before to bedtime, in general, are known as sleep hygiene. Some examples of such routines include:

  • Don’t drink any alcohol or caffeine within three (3) hours of bedtime, and don’t drink caffeine at all within six (6) hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid using electronics in the hour leading up to bedtime. A good night’s sleep is disrupted by the blue light emitted by these devices.
  • Be sure to leave yourself enough of time to get everything done during the day and unwind afterwards. Meditation, keeping a diary, visiting with loved ones, reading a good book, or soaking in a hot tub are all terrific methods to unwind without relying on modern technology.
  • Maintain a consistent sleep-wake schedule by always going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. By maintaining a regular schedule, you may condition your body to get up and go to sleep at the appropriate times.

You Should Get Checked for Sleep Disorders

It might be challenging to recognise sleep disturbances in their early stages. But the longer they go unchecked, the more damage they may do to your body. Diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and erectile dysfunction are just some of the complications that can arise from untreated sleep apnea.

Consult a physician or sleep specialist without delay if you or your sleep companion exhibit any of the following symptoms:

Having trouble falling asleep, waking up too early in the morning, feeling tired during the day, and snoring or gasping so loudly that others in the room can hear it can all be signs of sleep apnea.

Consistently use of a CPAP machine is recommended.

Sleep apnea cannot be cured by ignoring the problem. The right treatment might help you get rid of your sleep apnea symptoms for good. Sleep apnea may be treated with CPAP by using a continuous flow of pressured air to gradually open the airways. This allows the patient to breathe normally and get a good night’s rest.

Some people with sleep apnea discontinue using their CPAP machine because they find it too cumbersome, unpleasant, or inefficient. However, CPAP therapy is only effective if used consistently.

Talk to your doctor or a sleep expert if you’re having trouble getting used to or finding the CPAP therapy unpleasant. If conventional therapies aren’t working, they might suggest other options for you to try.

In Conclusion.

It’s possible that the relationship between sleep apnea and strokes is much closer than you think. Both are major issues on their own, but together they pose a far greater risk.

If you’re having trouble sleeping or any other health issues, don’t brush them off, no matter how little they may appear. Taking those additional precautions may save your life.

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