Best Sleep Position

Breathing Easy: How Sleep Affects Your Oxygen Levels?

Sleep is a crucial aspect and impacts almost every part of human life. It is well-known that getting good sleep is highly important for every vital organ to work in the body, be it the brain or heart.

However, it is also a fact that adequate sleep is imperative for people suffering from cognitive diseases. A certain oxygen level should be maintained in your blood to keep you healthy.

How do you measure the level of oxygen in your body? It is through oxygen saturation or SpO2, which is a measure of oxygen-carrying hemoglobin level in your blood as compared to not carrying oxygen hemoglobin.

The SpO2 should be between 94% and 100% for a healthy person. However, lack of sleep can affect your oxygen levels and put your brain at risk. Thus, doctors often advise treating your sleep apnea well or seeking help from sleep postures to enhance oxygen levels.

Already curious? has plenty of information and ideas to help you understand about the sleep phenomenon in detail.

Connection Established Between Sleep and Oxygen Levels

Here is a guide to understanding the strong relationship between sleep and maintaining oxygen levels in the human body.

Many studies have revealed how sleep deprivation can have a hazardous effect on the human respiratory system.

Furthermore, the enigmatic nature of our nocturnal visions, often a blend of reality and fantasy, can also play a subtle yet significant role in our sleep quality and, consequently, our oxygen saturation levels.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is among the most common sleep-related diseases. As per this disorder, your throat muscles relax and disrupt the airflow into your lungs while you sleep. A significant symptom of OSA is a fall in your oxygen levels, thus causing you to gasp for air while you sleep.

Medical practitioners use a diagnostic test called overnight sleep study to measure the symptoms of OSA. The patient’s oxygen levels are an important measuring statistic for testing OSA.

Oxygen desaturation denotes low oxygen levels below the required amount for a human body to function correctly. This level informs about the severity of OSA and any probable future health issues.

How are Sleep Apnea and Oxygen Levels Connected?

Sleep apnea, or OSA, is a sleep disorder that causes difficulties in breathing while sleeping. People suffering from these disorders experience disruptions in breathing while they sleep, and during these breathing gaps, less oxygen reaches the patient’s brain, affecting their blood oxygen levels.

OSA causes blood oxygen levels to fall by 3 percent, eventually leading to oxygen desaturation. Though the oxygen levels return to normal after some time, a higher frequency of these breathing lapses can lead to serious health issues.

Symptoms of OSA

Recognizing your partner’s sleeping pattern can help you judge whether they have OSA or sleep apnea. However, some symptoms help you identify whether you have OSA. These are

  • Night sweats;
  • Snoring;
  • Gasping for air;
  • Nighttime acid reflux;
  • Insomnia;
  • High irritation levels;
  • Depression;
  • Weight gain;
  • Low sexual drive;
  • Fast breathing;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Lightheadedness;
  • Visual disturbance;
  • Unusual breathing patterns.

You should visit a doctor when you suffer from loud snoring and are often left tired and irritable due to lack of sleep.

Treatment for OSA

A medical practitioner treating OSA would initially gauge the severity of sleep apnea. One of the common treatments used for OSA is CPAP therapy or continuous positive air pressure therapy.

This CPAP therapy revolves around wearing a particular device during nighttime. This device is used for delivering pressurized air through a mask. Also, people with OSA or sleep apnea face difficulty breathing when they lie on their backs. Thus, doctors advise them to use positioning devices to help them be on their sides when sleeping.

Nasal steroids can be used if you have breathing problems due to allergies. The common surgeries prescribed for OSA or sleep apnea include Tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy. Both these surgeries are helpful in relieving tonsils or adenoids among humans.

Another surgery involves the removal of the soft palate’s fleshy part, which is termed Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. These surgeries would help treat OSA effectively while increasing your oxygen levels while sleeping.

Untreated OSA can lead to severe issues such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and many other problems.

Sleeping Tips For OSA

Here are specific tips for people suffering from OSA to help them sleep better.

1. Make Adjustments to Your Sleeping Positions

When you sleep in an upright position, it takes off the pressure from your lungs and assists in relieving the blockage of the airway. In addition, when you elevate your head, it helps prevent acid reflux which again can help reduce the symptoms of OSA.

2. Yoga Helps

Yoga is also an effective solution for treating OSA without causing any kind of side effects. Yoga not only helps in reducing stress levels but also helps in having control over your breathing.

Many experts have revealed that yoga can help in reducing fatigue caused due to sleeplessness and also help with shortness of breath. However, it is always advisable to consult a certified yoga teacher who can tell you what poses to follow for treating OSA.

3. Follow a Sleep Routine

They say that your body requires three successive days to get used to a particular habit. Thus, following a strict sleeping pattern is advisable to help you get sleepy at a particular time every day.

Final Words

Sleep strongly connects with many vital aspects of health, such as oxygen levels. Thus, lack of sleep or sleep disruption can lead to a shortage of oxygen levels causing further health problems. Therefore, it is imperative to follow specific rules and get treated for OSa or other related sleep disorders that can directly impact your blood oxygen levels. Happy sleeping!

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