How Does Sleep Apnea Negatively Affect Blood Oxygen Levels?

Among the most crucial elements to sustain life on Earth is oxygen. It’s essential for our survival since it fuels our bodies, facilitates the replacement of dead cells, and keeps our immune systems strong. 

Most people don’t consider how much oxygen they require because they take in enough through normal breathing. However, sleep apnea and other medical disorders can drastically lower the amount of oxygen your body receives. 

Remember that if oxygen levels drop below 90%, it might be life-threatening, so take steps to avoid that from happening. Also, your brain only has a 4-minute survival window if oxygen is suddenly cut off. Scary.

Let’s discuss how sleep apnea can lower our oxygen levels in the body.

What Causes a Decrease in Oxygen Levels During Apnea Sleep?

People with sleep apnea have narrowed airways and a tendency for the larynx to collapse for brief periods while sleeping. Because of the momentary collapse, oxygen levels drop, and the body stops breathing, waking up from its sleep state.

Low oxygen levels compound shortness of breath and make you drowsy and irritable during the day.

In addition, a lack of oxygen causes an increase in carbon dioxide levels in the blood, which induces drowsiness and results in a groggy morning and a throbbing headache.

When Oxygen Levels in the Body Drop Because Of Sleep Apnea, What Happens?

Abnormal oxygen levels are defined as those in the blood below 90%. However, remember how long you were desaturated or had low blood oxygen levels.

If you’ve only experienced desaturation once or twice while sleeping, it simply means it lasted for a few seconds, so you have nothing to worry about.

You are more likely to feel the effects of desaturation if it has been going on for a while. This is because long-term hypoxia increases the risk of serious health problems like stroke, heart failure, and irregular heartbeat.

You must see a doctor if you’re having chest pain or persistent shortness of breath.

How to Check Your Oxygen Saturation Levels?

A daytime oxygen saturation reading is the initial step in this direction. Your oxygen desaturation happens at night if it’s less than 90% during the day. This is a symptom of sleep apnea or another breathing problem.

In order to keep an eye on your oxygen levels while you sleep, experts advise using an oximeter. The finger is used as a probe for the oximeter during the diagnostic process.

Oxygen levels during sleep apnea can also be monitored with a portable oxygen level monitor. During sleep, the heart rate is also monitored. The oximeter can also track a patient’s CPAP effectiveness.

Seek medical attention right away if your oximeter reads dangerously low oxygen levels.

Reduced oxygen levels during sleep have been linked to serious health problems like stroke, heart failure, and brain damage if allowed to persist.

When it Comes to Sleep Apnea, How Can You Raise Your Oxygen Levels?

CPAP therapy (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is utilized in the treatment of people with sleep apnea. CPAP machines are helpful in this regard.

The absence of apnea attacks indicates rising oxygen saturation levels in the blood. You can try different sleep positions to increase your oxygen levels by Sarah Wagner at

If your doctor has ordered CPAP therapy, you must always bring it with you. The CPAP machine is essential, and you should not go to bed without it.

The oximeter is essential for continuous monitoring of oxygen levels and heart rate.

Safeguarding Your Health

You may have Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) if you often wake up in the morning with a headache or if you wake up unable to breathe. 

The volume of one’s snoring can be an important indicator. Checking your blood oxygen level may be beneficial if you’re experiencing these signs. 

A pulse oximeter is inexpensive. Blood oxygen levels can also be measured with many fitness watches. However, keep in mind that these gadgets are 100% reliable only sometimes.

The most effective option if you think OSA may be hurting your oxygen levels is to see a specialist who treats sleep disorders. They may suggest overnight monitoring of your oxygen levels and other vitals as part of a sleep study they can arrange for you to take.

Treatment for sleep apnea can begin once the condition has been identified. One common and successful strategy for treating OSA is the use of a bespoke oral device to realign the jaw and improve airflow while sleeping.

Is OSA preventing you from getting enough air to function properly? An early detection and initiating treatment as soon as possible could save your life.


In obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the airway is blocked because the muscles in the back of the neck have relaxed too much during sleep. As a result, blood oxygen levels can drop during frequent and extended pauses.

Hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes are only a few of the potential problems that arise from untreated OSA. Therefore, you should definitely get a diagnosis if you have OSA risk factors and symptoms.

An overnight sleep study is used to diagnose OSA by monitoring oxygen levels in the blood with a pulse oximeter. These and other diagnostic measures allow your doctor to decide the best course of action.

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