Why do you need to monitor your heart if you experience sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea (SlA) is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.
Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.
Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep.
Abnormal cardiac rhtyhms are common problems in indviduals with SlA. Although the exact mechanisms underlying the link between SlA and cardiac arrhythmias are not well established, they could be some of the same proposed mechanisms relating SlA to different cardiovascular diseases, such as repetitive pharyngeal collapse during sleep, which leads to markedly reduced or absent airflow, followed by oxyhemoglobin desaturation, persistent inspiratory efforts against an occluded airway and termination by arousal from sleep.
These mechanisms elicit a variety of autonomic, hemodynamic, humoral and neuroendocrine responses that evoke acute and chronic changes in cardiovascular function.