Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) happens when the upper airway is blocked during sleep. As a result, it creates breathing problems and repeated awakenings during the sleep cycle.
Sleep and Inflammation
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080902075211.htm. An article in the September 2008 issue of the Biological Psychiatry Journal reported that losing a little sleep at night can trigger inflammation. Researchers measured (NF)-ĸB, nuclear factor kappa B, levels that regulate the body’s inflammatory responses.
Those with more sleep had higher levels of (NF)-ĸB compared to those missing a portion of their normal sleep cycle. Higher levels of inflammation occur because of OSA-caused awakenings during the night.
Sleep and Oxidative Stress
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-40989-6. The rest, repair, and recuperation during sleep eliminate ROS (reactive oxygen species) that our bodies generate when we are awake. Impairing the sleep cycle retains levels of oxidative stress that would have usually been removed from the body. Again, OSA causes interrupted sleep intervals not conducive to eliminating oxidative stress.
CPAP and Sleep
https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/sleep-apnea-aging-cpap-treatment/2022/03/21/id/1062134/. A recent small sleep study (https://erj.ersjournals.com/) measured two dozen people diagnosed with OSA before and after using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines. The participants’ blood and DA were analyzed to measure biological age. This sleep study lasted one year.
Those with OSA and not using CPAP machines were found to have accelerated the biological aging processes. CPAP machine keeps the airways open, and the body receives a steady flow of oxygen, reducing or eliminating sleep disruptions. Those using CPAP machines showed slower signs of aging.
Reducing OSA sleep disruptions by using CPAP machines reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, which, in turn, lowers the rate of aging.
OSA is one of several factors that can increase the rate of aging. Smoking and diet are two causes that were also identified and addressed during this study. Untreated sleep apnea increases the risk of other health issues besides aging. High blood pressure, stroke, and mental decline are frequently observed in patients with untreated sleep apnea.
Check with your doctor when you have issues getting consistent sleep issues. Stress is a significant cause of sleep difficulty and can be managed with a more aggressive stress management program. Reducing alcohol levels before bedtime helps also. Plan your last meal of the day at least three hours before bedtime.
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