Untreated Sleep Apnoea Reduces Your Life Span

Life longevity specialist Dr Dick Richards blogs on Breathing Relief about the dangers of lack of sleep to health, and side effects of sleep apnoea:

“The bad news is that this [sleep deprivation] causes a rapid fall in the ability of the metabolism to conduct its requisite routines of anti-oxidation and other tissue repairing processes. If repeated several times , as is usually the case, there can be significant falls in oxygenation levels in the blood leading to a recognisable state of what is called oxygen desaturation. The serious consequences over this were such that over thirty years ago there was a careful medical study [*] into the relationship between sleep loss and these unwelcome side effects. It was clearly shown that symptoms of the obstructive sleep apneoa [OSA] syndrome include excessive daytime sleepiness, nocturnal awakenings, reduced sexual inclination and performance, and morning headaches. A number of other mortality studies have suggested decreased survival statistics in persons with the OSA syndrome, possibly due to this causing vascular-related disease.”

We know sleep apnoea leads to greater incidence of hypertension and atherosclerosis related diseases such as stroke, angina, and acute myocardial infarct. In addition to shortened longevity in patients with untreated or inadequately treated OSA there are also other factors which could account for this early mortality, for example sudden death during sleep (arrhythmia) or even fatalities from sleep related automobile or other accidents.


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  1. Joan Kincey’s avatar

    you say untreated sleep apnpea can shorten your life span,idont understand this ,my son was using cpap for four yrs maybe a little longer, without fail ,but he died in his sleep suddenly,still using the mask,what could of gone wrong?



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