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Why does sleep apnea cause nightsweats or hypertension

This area is for Sleep Apnea questions and general Sleep Apnea Discussions.

Why does sleep apnea cause nightsweats or hypertension

Postby Guest » Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:23 pm

I just started getting treated for apnea last week. I have had hypertension for years and am on medications for it. I don't know yet if getting treated for the apnea will help my hypertension or not.

However for years I would always wake up covered in sweat. Now that I am being treated for apnea I am not sweating in my sleep anymore.

Why do people with apnea get night sweats or get hypertension? I thought it had to do with strain on the heart, but I am not sure. I'd like ot know the physiology behind these things, why they happen, etc.

Postby Vicki » Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:28 am

Hi Guest and Welcome!!

Apnea wreaks the whole cardiovascular system, not only increasing blood pressure, but increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke and causing arrhythmias. Each apneic event is a true suffocation to which your body responds with the “Fright or Flight” response. Adrenalin is dumped into your system which increases the heart rate and blood pressure. As the suffocation continues, oxygen levels drop and carbon dioxide levels rise. Your polysomnography shows that your body is exerting a great effort to breath, your chest muscles try futilely to pull air in and your limbs may move in futile attempts to get air, just as they would if you were consciously being suffocated. This effort and movement to try to breath causes the sweating you experienced. This scenario occurs many, many times throughout the night. The stress and decreased oxygen levels deteriorates the vessels, heart and the rest of the body.

Here are many links to the cardiovascular effects of apnea:

Apnea also causes an increase in night time urination “nocturia”. Here is a strong theory as to why and once again, it leads to the heart:

Untreated apnea causes weight gain because sleep disruption decreases the level of the hormone leptin (responsible for making you feel full) and it increases the level of the hormone ghrelin (responsible for increasing your appetite). Here is one research article on the subject:

Untreated apnea is also linked to diabetes. Here is one study:

I bet you feel pretty sorry for your poor body now!! Post with any more questions!

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Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
Marilyn Vos Savant

That which does not kill you makes you stronger-Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich must of had apnea.
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Vicki's Explaination

Postby Ted G » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:18 pm

EXCELLENT! That is a super response. Thank you. :-D =D> :-D
Ted G

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