Insufficient sleep has been linked to a number of troubling medical problems that can kill. Studies have already found that long-term sleep deprivation can increase anyone’s risk of cancer, dementia, diabetes and heart disease. Now, new research suggests that sleep difficulties could be especially dangerous for women.

Increased Biomarkers

A study appearing in the Journal of Psychiatric Research suggests that sleep problems can increase inflammation in women. Conducted at the University of California, the research involved 700 female participants who already suffered from some form of heart disease. After assessing each subject’s sleeping patterns, the researchers noticed a strong correlation between sleep disturbances and inflammatory biomarkers, such as Interleukin-6, C-reactive protein and Fibrinogen.

While they don’t know for sure, researchers think that estrogen could be the reason women appear more vulnerable to heart problems associated with sleep deprivation. They also suspect that testosterone could play some type of protective role against sleep-related inflammation in the heart.

How it Applies to Sleep Apnea

Since sleep apnea causes breathing problems that result in frequent waking, it keeps sufferers from enjoying adequate sleep. In the end, this increases a person’s risk of numerous health problems, whether that person is female, male, old or young. When sleep apneics go without treatment, their risk increases over time. They also endure the increasing impact of sleep apnea side-effects, such as fatigue, headaches, drowsiness and low mood.

Seeking Help

If you’ve been living with obstructive sleep apnea, it’s time to reach out for help. Dr. Berry provides his patients with oral sleep appliances which adjust the jaw to promote clear, unobstructed breathing during sleep. With proper treatment, patients enjoy happier lives marked by better moods and increased energy levels. To learn more, please call (303) 691-0267 at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado in Denver today.