what is sleep apnea

Can Exercises Reduce Risk of Sleep Apnea?

Can Exercises Reduce Risk of Sleep Apnea?

One of the most common causes of interrupted sleep is a blocked airway, which is the case with those who suffer from sleep apnea. Because of this blockage, you will have trouble breathing while you sleep. Sleep apnea is characterised by snoring and periodic interruptions in breathing while sleeping. About 80% of those who snore have sleep apnea.

Although OSA is the most frequent, there are two other forms of sleep apnea.

When the airway is physically blocked during sleep, a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis. When the brain has trouble regulating the muscles responsible for breathing during sleep, a condition known as central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs.

Mixed or complex sleep apnea occurs when a person has both obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA) and so has obstructions from both conditions.

Exercising can help with the first two degrees of sleep disruption and the third level is beneficial in its own right. Not breathing when sleeping is a significant problem that can have major consequences for your health, as you may well know. 

Thanks to its ability to alleviate symptoms and prevent the onset of sleep apnea, exercise is a double-edged sword for your health.

Can Exercises Reduce Risk of Sleep Apnea?

Physical Consequences of Sleep Apnea

Some of the organs and tissues that are impacted by sleep apnea are the brain, the heart, and the reproductive system. Because sleep apnea is so often overlooked, patients are often prescribed drugs and therapies that don’t provide optimal results. 

In the case of people with untreated sleep apnea, the effectiveness of medications like insulin and blood pressure medicine may be diminished.

When it comes to the negative consequences of OSA on the body, exercise has an even higher impact because it is also helping lessen the effect of sleep apnea. This is because many of the symptoms associated with OSA are also warning indicators.

Reduced sleep quality is a major consequence of OSA. This is because the exhaustion and physical repercussions of breathing difficulties sometimes persist even after a full night’s sleep.

Additional health issues that can be exacerbated by sleep apnea include:

Problems with cognitive function or memory loss; diabetes or pre-diabetes; excessive daytime sleepiness; erectile dysfunction; high blood pressure; gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); heart disease or heart failure;

Adding insult to injury, obstructive sleep apnea worsens with age and weight. That’s why it’s crucial to finish your therapy or get help if you suspect you have sleep apnea. The symptoms you’re experiencing won’t go away on their own, and they may get worse if you ignore them.

What methods exist for dealing with sleep apnea?

Before discussing the role of exercise in treating sleep apnea, it is crucial to realise that while weight reduction can assist OSA symptoms, it will not cure the illness.

Treatment with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is the gold standard for treating sleep apnea and other breathing disorders during sleep.

Patients with sleep apnea can benefit from CPAP therapy by using a device that delivers a steady stream of air to their airway while they sleep. Consistent use of a CPAP device has been shown in several trials to improve cognitive function, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack, and even extend life expectancy.

Common treatments for sleep apnea include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines and dietary and lifestyle changes. Losing weight can help alleviate certain OSA symptoms, but it won’t cure the condition. 

Losing weight can help lessen symptoms and improve sleep quality, which makes sense given that being overweight can make the condition worse.

Can Exercise Cure Sleep Apnea?

The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea increases with body mass index. It may be the most important contributor to sleep apnea for certain people. That’s because carrying more weight around your neck might cause your upper airway to get blocked, making breathing difficult. 

This is the root cause of the severe snoring that is a hallmark of OSA. The same is true for the lungs: excess body fat in the midsection can diminish lung volume and so limit one’s breathing ability.

One of the finest things you can do for yourself is to lose weight if you’re overweight or obese and have sleep apnea. Losing weight can help you breathe easier by reducing the pressure in your chest. This can help you stop snoring. 

The severity of OSA might be decreased by half with just a 10% to 15% weight loss in obese individuals.

Researchers found that moderately obese OSA patients may not need long-term CPAP therapy if they lost weight. When paired with CPAP treatment, losing weight can have additional health benefits.

As a result, this is where exercise comes in. Physical exercise is a key factor in achieving weight reduction success. Exercise may not even be the most beneficial part if you have OSA, even if weight loss can lower OSA severity by 50%.

How to Treat Sleep Apnea with Throat Exercises

Additional exercises for the nose, mouth, and throat can aid in reducing or eliminating snoring in addition to the weight reduction benefits of aerobic activity.

When your airway muscles relax or protrude during sleep, you experience snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. These manoeuvres assist with nasal breathing as you sleep by training and strengthening the muscles that line the nasal passages, moving the tongue, and opening the mouth slightly.

Oropharyngeal exercise, also known as myofunctional treatment for sleep apnea, works on the muscles and soft tissues of the jaw, neck, and mouth. It’s a great way to train your tongue and jaw into a more comfortable resting position.

Some studies have found that myofunctional treatment can lessen the effects of sleep apnea. One meta-analysis showed that patients treated with myofunctional therapy had a reduction in their apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) from 24.5 to 12.3. Reduces moderate apnea to a milder form of the condition.

Keeping your mouth and throat muscles toned and strong via daytime exercise might help reduce snoring and treat moderate obstructive sleep apnea by limiting muscular vibration during sleep. When performed in conjunction with a CPAP machine and a healthy lifestyle, these activities can be even more beneficial.

Exercises that focus on deep breathing can also assist with sleep apnea by opening and strengthening the muscles around the airways. Using them before bed can help you breathe more easily through your nose and keep your airways from collapsing as you sleep.


Modifying your way of life can help your sleep apnea, but it may not be enough for severe cases. An expert in sleep medicine can help you choose which treatments are best for you.

You may take our sleep quiz to see whether you have sleep apnea if you haven’t been diagnosed with it yet. You can use it to evaluate your symptoms and determine if sleep apnea testing is necessary. A consultation and sleep study might be helpful if you have trouble sleeping. Get in touch with Air Liquide Healthcare right now to set up a consultation and learn more about the effective treatments available.

Getting a simple and quick sleep exam might be the difference between another night of bad sleep and the peaceful sleep you deserve if you have obstructive sleep apnea.

More to read: Can Sleep Apnea Contributes to Hair Loss?

Can Sleep Apnea Cause High Blood Pressure?

Can Sleep Apnea Cause High Blood Pressure?

How closely linked are sleep apnea and hypertension? To what extent does obstructive sleep apnea contribute to the development of high blood pressure? When persons with sleep apnea utilize continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), does their blood quality improve? Keep reading to get the details on all of this and more.

The link between obstructive sleep apnea and hypertension

Hypertension is the medical word for high blood pressure. If your systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure readings have been persistently high across many measurements, you have high blood pressure. Sleep apnea and pulmonary hypertension are related, however pulmonary hypertension is a distinct medical condition and deserves its own page. An average blood pressure reading should be about 120 over 80. In order to determine if you have prehypertension or hypertension, refer to the following blood pressure chart:

The most prevalent form of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and the one most linked to cardiovascular problems including hypertension and heart disease, will be discussed in this article. A sleep apnea test is necessary for the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleep condition caused by disordered breathing during sleep characterized by repeated episodes of partial or complete throat closure. Chronic, excessively noisy snoring is a hallmark symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. Both in-lab and at-home sleep apnea tests (simply called sleep studies) are acceptable for this purpose. Sleep apnea is diagnosed when a doctor examines the results of a sleep study. Learn more for adapting to CPAP therapy for your sleep apnea.

Can Sleep Apnea Cause High Blood Pressure?

The Dysfunctional Relationship Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Hypertension

Independent of other risk variables like weight, several studies suggest that people with OSA are more likely to develop hypertension. It appears that sleep apnea is linked to diastolic or combination systolic/diastolic hypertension more so than systolic HTN alone. One’s risk of developing hypertension is increased by 50% in those with moderate sleep apnea, defined as an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of 5-15 (an average of 5-15 irregular breathing occurrences per hour). An AHI between 15 and 30 indicates moderate sleep apnea, and those with this condition have three times the risk of developing hypertension as those without the condition. This pattern is consistent with what doctors refer to as a “dose-response curve” between OSA and hypertension: the more severe the sleep apnea, the higher the risk of hypertension. An association of this nature provides the strongest proof possible that two seemingly unrelated medical disorders are, in fact, connected.

Explaining the Link Between Sleep Apnea and Hypertension

Each episode of irregular breathing puts a significant strain on your body. Your body’s “sympathetic nervous system” will activate in response to this. The “fight or flight” response triggers a cascade of harmful physiological reactions within the body, such as a rise in heart rate and a decrease in blood oxygen levels. Systolic blood pressure has been seen to rise far into the 190s during atypical obstructive breathing episodes in studies where blood pressure was recorded directly through a catheter inserted in an arm artery.

It is hypothesised that the pathophysiology (bad physiological changes in the body) of chronic stress on the body while it should be recovering during sleep is responsible for the association between sleep apnea and hypertension.

Untreated OSA is associated with an increase in “diurnal” (daytime) blood pressure, which can progress to hypertension if left untreated. Higher morning blood pressure measurements are generally the first indicator of this problem.

Resistant Hypertension and Sleep Apnea

High blood pressure that is not well controlled by three different blood pressure drugs is considered resistant hypertension. One of the most prevalent symptoms of resistant hypertension is sleep apnea. Eighty-five percent of those with resistant hypertension are also diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, according to studies. A sleep apnea testing is recommended for those who have been diagnosed with resistant hypertension.

Can Sleep Apnea Cause High Blood Pressure?

Indirect (or Secondary) Hypertension

High blood pressure condition that is caused by another health issue is called “secondary hypertension.” One of the most prevalent reasons why people develop secondary hypertension is sleep apnea. All of them are included below.

Conditions include sleep apnea, renal artery stenosis, pheochromocytoma, primary aldosteronism, chronic kidney disease, Cushing’s syndrome, and aortic coarctation are all linked to sleep deprivation.

Young, otherwise healthy people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure should get a sleep study to rule out obstructive sleep apnea as the major cause of their hypertension.

Can Blood Pressure Be Reduced With CPAP Alternatives?

When it comes to lowering blood pressure, CPAP is the therapy of choice for sleep apnea. When CPAP was compared to oxygen therapy for treating sleep apnea, it was found to significantly improve blood pressure. This makes it logical, as we attribute the blood pressure/sleep apnea connection to the “fight or flight” reaction activating repeatedly throughout sleep, rather than the oxygen dips that are also induced by sleep apnea. Because of CPAP, the throat doesn’t have to close, thus there’s no need to go into “fight or flight” mode. Even while there isn’t a tonne of data on the effectiveness of non-CPAP treatments for sleep apnea, such as oral appliances, the findings of the studies that have been conducted show that they may be just as effective.

The Impact of Sleep Apnea Therapy on Blood Pressure

The continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, or its close relative the BiPAP machine, is the gold standard therapy for sleep apnea. Using CPAP consistently has been linked to a modest but noticeable drop of roughly 3 mm Hg in blood pressure. Reducing blood pressure by just 3 mm Hg may not seem like much, but it has been shown to significantly lower the risk of future cardiovascular events including heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. In addition, it is generally agreed that those with resistant hypertension and sleep apnea will have a hard time maintaining normal blood pressure until their sleep apnea is treated. It would be fantastic if high blood pressure could be lowered without the need of drugs, which come with their own set of downsides. It is possible that a CPAP machine is the sole treatment necessary to return blood pressure to normal in those with secondary hypertension caused by sleep apnea.

Take Away

  • Sleep apnea is strongly linked to hypertension.
  • Sleep apnea may be the primary cause or a key contributing factor to hypertension in some people.
  • Over time, sleep apnea causes daytime hypertension by preventing the natural lowering of blood pressure that occurs during sleep.
  • Sleep apnea testing is recommended if your high blood pressure is resistant to treatment.
  • In the long run, untreated sleep apnea can lead to hypertension.
  • Those with hypertension should be given a CPAP or BiPAP equipment to help with their sleep apnea.
  • Lowering blood pressure and improving heart health, as shown in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases including heart attack, stroke, and heart failure, are two of the many benefits of treating sleep apnea with a CPAP machine.
Adapting to CPAP Therapy for Your Sleep Apnea

Adapting to CPAP Therapy for Your Sleep Apnea

If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, your physician will most likely advise you to undergo treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). This treatment approach may cause some discomfort, particularly in the beginning, but it does have the potential to improve a person’s quality of sleep by reducing the likelihood that they may wake up throughout the night due to breathing problems.

However, if you don’t use your CPAP machine because it’s too uncomfortable, you might be putting your health in danger. If not attend sleep apnea treatment, can lead to a number of serious health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and others. At Air Liquide Healthcare, our goal is to make the breathing equipment that is used to treat sleep apnea as user-friendly and pleasant as possible. In order to be of assistance, we have compiled a list of suggestions that will help you become accustomed to the use of a CPAP machine.

What Exactly Is a CPAP? 

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, which belong to the PAP therapy category, are the form of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea that is used the most frequently. The continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine applies a consistent and constant air pressure to the user throughout the night in order to maintain the individual’s airway open. This helps prevent the soft tissues from collapsing. However, in the initial phases of use, when the user is still getting used to wearing it each night, this constant air pressure might cause a little bit of pain due to the fact that it is so unfamiliar.

Guide on How to Adapt to the Use of a CPAP Machine 

You may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night if you aren’t used to using a CPAP machine, which is a major inconvenience given that your sleep apnea is always causing you to feel tired and unrested. If you aren’t used to using a CPAP machine, you may have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night. If you want to avoid putting your health at risk by not treating your sleep apnea, the following guide will provide you with some tips on how to become accustomed to using a CPAP machine while you sleep.

Make the Necessary Modifications to Your CPAP Mask. 

When attempting to use a CPAP machine, one of the most prevalent causes of pain is a face mask that does not fit properly. Investigate the possible causes of the issue you’re having with your mask. When you move about in your sleep, do you find that it falls out or slides around? When you remove it in the morning, does it leave your face with red stains or indentations?

Determine the kinds of modifications that need to be done in order to increase the level of comfort, and make the modifications when you are lying down in a sleeping position in order to see how it will fit while you are sleeping. If you make a few modifications to the face mask, but you still feel that it doesn’t fit perfectly, your sleep physician will be able to assist you in ensuring that the mask fits appropriately.

Take in Lots of water. 

It is not unusual to have dry mouth as a side effect of using a CPAP machine due to the consistent and continuous air pressure that is forced into your airways by the device. This dry mouth can irritate your throat, which not only makes it hard to use a CPAP machine but also keeps you awake at night. If you suffer from dry mouth as a result of using CPAP, increasing the amount of liquids you consume throughout the day may be able to assist stimulate saliva production and provide some relief.

Try to Relax When Tired: Don’t Overstretch Yourself. 

When you first start using a CPAP mask, you might discover that it’s difficult to get to sleep with it on your face. If you go to bed before your mind and body are ready to go to sleep, the only thing you may be able to focus your attention on is the pain caused by the CPAP machine. If you go to bed before your mind and body are ready to fall asleep, you may have trouble falling asleep. Instead, we suggest going to bed just when you are completely ready to nod off within a short period of time. Because of this, using the CPAP machine, which you aren’t as comfortable with yet, will make it simpler for you to go asleep. Additionally, this will help your body become acclimated to falling asleep with the mask on.

If Necessary, Change the Kind of CPAP Mask You’re Using 

It is possible that you may need to switch to a different kind of mask if making modifications to the one you are now wearing does not make it more comfortable for you to wear throughout the night. Examine the patterns of your nightly slumber. Do you sleep on your side? Do you lay on your back while you sleep? Do you move about in your sleep? Your sleep doctor may be able to decide the type of CPAP mask that will be most comfortable for you based on how you normally arrange yourself when you are sleeping.

Find a Professional to Help You with Your CPAP Therapy. 

Patients who use one of these breathing machine choices may experience a relief of their symptoms, enabling them to enjoy a more restful night’s sleep and improved functionality during the day. The treatment with CPAP should be adjusted such that it provides you with the maximum benefit possible. Your doctor should be able to provide you with advice in the event that you require assistance in order to increase the degree of comfort you experience while using the CPAP machine.
Air Liquide Healthcare is able to provide the breathing machine that you require once you have selected the method of treating sleep apnea that you will be pursuing moving ahead. Get in touch with us if you have any questions regarding the breathing equipment that we offer to people who suffer from sleep apnea.