Stop Snoring, Lower Blood Pressure

Stop Snoring, Lower Blood Pressure

Julian Whitaker, MD

A simple, yet overlooked way to lower your blood pressure is to make sure you’re getting adequate sleep. And if you’re a snorer, that’s next to impossible.

Heavy snoring is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, and it can destroy your health. When people with this condition sleep, the soft tissues in the back of their throats relax and close off the airway—they simply stop breathing. As oxygen levels plummet, they awake just enough to take a breath. If this cycle repeats throughout the night, normal sleep patterns are disrupted, and the deepest and most regenerative stages of sleep are never reached.

Over time, people with this condition end up with much more than daytime sleepiness. That’s because sleep apnea drives risk of hypertension, stroke, arrhythmia, obesity, and diabetes through the roof. We screen all of our patients who have these disorders with an inexpensive, overnight test, and you’d be surprised by how many have sleep apnea. However, once treatment begins, things start looking up—and blood pressure starts going down.

One of our patients, R.H., had extremely high blood pressure, along with heart failure and other cardiovascular problems. After we discovered he had severe sleep apnea, he borrowed a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure, the gold standard in sleep apnea treatment) and used it while he was at the clinic. The very first night, R.H. slept more soundly than he had in 20 years. After three weeks of treatment with CPAP and other therapies, R.H.’s energy rebounded, his exercise tolerance improved, and his blood pressure fell into the normal range.

Recommendations

  • If you snore, get tested for sleep apnea right away.
  • If you’re having troubling lowering your blood pressure, consider coming to the Whitaker Wellness Institute for a thorough evaluation and treatment course. For details, contact a Patient Services Representative at (866) 944-8253 or click here.

Reference

  • Peppard, PE et al. Prospective study of the association between sleep-disordered breathing and hypertension. N Engl J Med. 2000;342:1378-84.

Modified from Health & Healing with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC. Copyright 2008. Photocopying, reproduction, or quotation strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. To subscribe to Health & Healingclick here.

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