One of the more controversial issues in sleep medicine is whether or not you need to treat mild obstructive sleep apnea. Some people recommend treatment no matter how mild the condition, whereas others have a watch and see attitude. Here’s a study that suggests maybe you should treat people with mild sleep apnea: Researchers looked at two groups of people were initially given a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea for two years. The first group were given CPAP, and the other group had no treatment. At the two year mark, people who were on CPAP had a mean blood pressure that was almost two points lower than baseline, whereas the untreated group’s mean blood pressure went up by 9.6 points. Both of these numbers were statistically significant.
If you have mild sleep apnea, this one study doesn’t show that everyone with mild sleep apnea should be placed on CPAP, but what it does suggest is that you should do something about it, whether it’s weight loss, changing your diet or lifestyle, consider using an oral appliance, address your nasal congestion, or anything that will help you to breathe better so that you can sleep better. Remember that poor sleep quality promotes weight gain in the long term, so it’s important to get started now.
If you have mild sleep apnea, what have you done to address your condition?