Not many people know about sleep apnea, an illness that is all too often under-diagnosed, but which affects a large and increasing number of people. Depending on age, gender and calculation criteria, it is estimated that up to 26% of the population suffer from sleep apnea.
Causes of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea with metabolic origins – also called ‘obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome’ (OSAS). This is an apnea resulting from the effort of breathing to fight against an ‘obstruction’ of the upper airways (nose, mouth, pharynx, larynx).
Sleep apnea with neurological origins – called ‘central sleep apnoea syndrome’ (CSAS). This involves an abnormality in breathing control.
Consequences of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea has a negative impact on the quality of sleep by reducing the length of deep and REM sleep with mini awakenings. It can be responsible for:
Drowsiness: Sleep apnea provokes periods of drowsiness during the day and can generate irritability, reduced sexual drive and sometimes a state of depression.
Cardiovascular problems: Sleep apnea can also be associated with high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems because it reduces the partial pressure of oxygen in the blood.