Hypertension | Symptoms of an Obstructed Airway

Diagnosed with High Blood Pressure?

Sleep is a very important component of your body’s natural process to lower its blood pressure. During the deep phases of sleep, the body receives a reset to the cardiovascular system, which in turn lowers your blood pressure, as well as your heart rate. 
Sleep apnea is caused by an obstructed airway which causes you to stop breathing while sleeping.  In response, your brain tells your body to wake up so you will start breathing again.  Most people who suffer from sleep apnea experience several apneic episodes per hour throughout the night, causing you to wake frequently and prevents adequate rest and reboot. 

During these sleep apneic episodes your body believes it is in danger, pushing it into a fight or flight response.  This causes your body to wake, and also increases your heart rate and blood pressure.  This response multiple times per night, night after night, keeps your blood pressure and heart rate elevated and over time leads to hypertension, also known as high blood pressure.  Hypertension commonly leads to further cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, stroke, and coronary artery disease. 
Furthermore, when you suffer from sleep apnea you likely do not breathe through your nose consistently or constantly. Nose breathing generates nitric oxide within your body, which opens up the blood vessels and acts as a natural vasodilator. Vasodilation lowers blood pressure by widening the blood vessels, allowing for better blood flow.  

If you suffer from high blood pressure, wake frequently throughout the night, or if your bed partner complains of your snoring or notices you stop breathing in your sleep, you may suffer from Sleep Apnea. At the Breathing and Sleep Center of Colorado Springs we offer a home sleep test to officially diagnose your sleep apnea.  Contact us today to schedule your patient consultation and start your journey to a better night’s sleep. 

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