Ever Awake with a Racing Heart?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is common in general population. It affects 4% of men and 2% of women aged 30-65 years. It is diagnosed in the presence of excessive daytime sleepiness and an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of ≥5 on polysomnography (overnight sleep test). Heart rate increases after obstructive events in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This response is generally attributed to arousal from sleep. This is another factor to consider. How often do we go from a deep restful sleep up to a lighter sleep. This arousal index can be just as important as the apnea index. Research data suggests that obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA) results in nervous system (sympathetic) stimulation, too slow heart rate and too fast heart rate leading to heart stress.
People with Sleep Disrupted Breathing (a form of OSA) often have heart beating rhythm problems. Most people with obstructive sleep apnea, while sleeping the heart beats too slow, too fast or both. The more severe the OSA, the more severe the heart irregularity. This can lead to heart attacks, strokes, or blood clots in the lungs.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an independent risk factor for sudden cardiac death.