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Week 3, 2013


Sleep Apnea vs. Hypertension  


North Branford , Connecticut, 1/20/13. Last week we discussed the Prostate Enlargement and Sleep Apnea in where I mentioned the frequent night awakenings caused by sleep apnea could cause the excessive blood flow returns back to patient’s heart and the heart produces excessive blood flow to the patient’s body. The autonomic nervous system responds and commands the kidney to dump water and sodium (salt) from blood to the bladder resulting in frequent night urination.


Normally the blood pressure will be lower in asleep at night due to the muscle relaxations and less blood flow demands by the human body. So the loads on the heart are lower than awake, which is good for the heart resting and reducing the chance of heart fatigue failure. Any awakening at night or in the morning will discontinue the relaxation of the muscles in human body, and active them for movements. The muscles squeeze the veins (the blood vessels for returning blood flow to the heart inlet) and cause higher returning blood flows to the heart, subsequently the heart pumps more output to the arteries (blood vessels for supplying blood to human body). More blood in the systems results in a higher blood pressure.


You may have a question here. As mentioned above that the autonomic nervous system senses the high blood pressure and commands the kidney to dump more water and sodium from the blood to the bladder. The kidney serves as a pressure regulator to prevent blood pressure from fluctuation. Why the blood pressure still high? As many people knows the autonomic system responds the situation lightning quick, but the kidney physically moves the water and sodium from blood to the bladder is slow. It is like to accelerate a car. The driver can quickly push down the gas paddle, but the engine takes time to accelerate and transfer the torque to the wheels is further delayed.


The frequent night awakenings due to sleep apnea cause blood pressure fluctuations and each pressure spike maintains at higher level for a period of times. For a moderate sleep apnea patient with AHI (Apnea – Hypopnea Index) of 40, he or she could completely stop breathing (apnea) or partially restricted (hypopnea) for up to 40 times a hour. For a typical 8 hour sleep night, total number of apnea or hypopnea could be 40x8=320 in a single night. The blood pressure will be up and down like a sine wave cycling 320 times. If the sleep apnea is not treated, the blood pressure could eventually stay high for whole night and day time pressure could be even higher. This is so called hypertension.


Statistics showed the nearly half of the hypertension patients have sleep apnea problem, and on other hand, more than half of sleep apnea patients also have hypertension issue. So if you know you have hypertension you should think about sleep apnea because the sleep apnea could be the root cause of your hypertension and sleep apnea is treatable. Control of the apnea and / or hypopnea could potentially benefits the hypertension without taking hypertension medications.


There are many ways for treatment of sleep apnea, such as CPAP machines, oral devices, surgeries. The most comfortable and easy to use device is the oral mouthpiece such as the Kudo Snorefighter. Click here for more information on how Snorefighter can help on the sleep apnea and eventually benefit the hypertension.


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Last Week Article: Sleep Apnea vs. Prostate Enlargement