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Last Updated on May 27, 2024

Ever felt tired during the day even after a full night’s sleep? You might be surprised to know that this could be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition that disrupts your breathing while you slumber. But sleep apnea doesn’t just leave you feeling sluggish, it can also significantly impact your heart health by contributing to high blood pressure.

If you’re concerned about sleep apnea, Revive Research Institute is conducting clinical trials for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), offering an opportunity to explore new treatments for this condition and helping doctors better understand its impact on health.

Continue reading to explore can sleep apnea cause high blood pressure, how this relationship can affect your well-being and what steps can be taken to reduce these risks.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious condition that involves frequent interruptions in breathing while asleep. If you snore loudly and still feel tired after a full night’s rest, you might be experiencing sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most prevalent type of sleep apnea, is known to affect approximately 30% of adults in the United States. OSA happens when the muscles at the back of the throat relax and collapse inward during sleep, obstructing the airway and temporarily halting breathing.

This lack of oxygen triggers a panic response in the brain, activating the part of the nervous system responsible for involuntary reflexes, causing you to wake up just enough to resume breathing. People with OSA may snore loudly, be very restless during sleep, and take deep, gasping breaths.

Also Read: Impact of Untreated Sleep Apnea on Life Expectancy

Can Sleep Apnea Cause High Blood Pressure?

The answer to the question, “Can Sleep Apnea Cause High Blood Pressure?” is, yes.

It is estimated that approximately 50 % of people with sleep apnea have high blood pressure. There are various ways that sleep apnea can raise blood pressure:

  • Sleep Apnea Forces the Heart to Work Harder:

Obstructive sleep apnea causes airway obstructions. This causes the blood pressure to rise because your heart works harder to circulate oxygenated blood throughout the body.

Sleep apnea causes the brain to pump extra blood to vital organs such as the brain and heart as you sleep. This increases the pressure on your arterial walls and raises your blood pressure higher than if you were breathing normally while sleeping.

  • Sleep Apnea Causes Norepinephrine Spikes in the Body:

When your airway becomes clogged or restricted while you are sleeping at night, your body must find a method to open it so you can breathe. It does this by releasing norepinephrine, also known as adrenaline. Norepinephrine is the primary neurotransmitter in the brain, and it stimulates the brain to instruct the throat to open and allow air in.

Although most people do not wake up, the arousal is sufficient to raise muscular tone in the throat and restore it to its regular state during the day. Unfortunately, norepinephrine release also triggers a “fight or flight” reaction in your body, increasing your heart rate and blood pressure.

Health Implications: Can Sleep Apnea Cause High Blood Pressure?

The combination of sleep apnea and high blood pressure poses significant health risks, including:

  • Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Both conditions are major risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
  • Metabolic Syndrome: Hypertension stresses the arterial walls and can affect the heart and kidneys. When it goes unaddressed it increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
  • Daytime Fatigue and Cognitive Impairment: Poor sleep quality can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, affecting concentration, memory, and overall cognitive function.

Also Read: Sleep Apnea and AFib: Understanding the Connection

Treatment Approach: Can Sleep Apnea Cause High Blood Pressure?

Treating sleep apnea can result in remarkable improvements in hypertension. Some of the most prevalent and successful treatment approaches for OSA patients include:

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy: Using a CPAP machine allows for a continuous stream of air delivered by a bedside machine through a mask you wear while you sleep. This helps keep your airways open and improve oxygen flow, reducing the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Other Sleep Apnea Treatments: This includes using dental appliances at night that gently move your lower jaw forward. This keeps the soft tissue structures, including the muscles in the back of your throat from collapsing.
  • Surgery: For moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea that doesn’t improve with previous treatments surgery is advised. This is done to remove extra tissue or to realign your lower jaw depending on the underlying cause of your apnea.

Lifestyle Changes To Address: Can Sleep Apnea Cause High Blood Pressure?

  • Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help alleviate symptoms of sleep apnea and lower the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Reducing Alcohol and Tobacco Use: Alcohol and tobacco can worsen symptoms of sleep apnea and contribute to high blood pressure, so reducing or eliminating their use can be beneficial.
  • Healthy Sleep Habits: Practicing good sleep hygiene, such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine, can help improve the quality of your sleep and reduce the impact of sleep apnea on your blood pressure.


In conclusion, the question “Can sleep apnea cause high blood pressure?” is indeed valid. It is essential for individuals with sleep apnea to understand the potential risks and adopt a healthy lifestyle to reduce these dangers. Prioritizing quality sleep is crucial for overall health. Identifying and treating sleep apnea can enhance sleep quality and reduce the risk of hypertension and related complications.

Wahiba Shakeel

A skilled professional with a strong foundation in Biosciences and a keen interest in research. Leveraging her marketing expertise, Wahiba is making a meaningful impact in the healthcare industry, bringing a fresh and unique perspective to the field.

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Revive Research Institute, Inc.

28270 Franklin Road
Southfield, MI

T: 248-564-1485