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Sleep Apnea is bad and feediving is ok?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jul 16, 2002
Sleep Apnea causes stress and damage to the heart, so are freedivers not subject to the same dangers? I have searched this site, but have not found any direct reference.

Not so sure

The so called 'bad' effects of sleep apnea are actually quite positive in my opinion -- except for the long term neurological effects. But then, sleep apnea sufferers desaturate their blood far more than freedivers and far more frequently, and they don't take the appropriate nutrition to handle the stress they are putting their bodies through. Put the average Joe through Haile Gebrsellassie's (sp?) 10,000m training routine and he would suffer bad effects as well.

'Right ventricular hypertrophy' and pulmonary hypertension, often cited in sleep apnea papers, are actually positive adaptations which improve your ability to remain conscious in low oxygen. The same goes for the polycythemia.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
I know one of the problems with Sleep Apnea sufferers was they don't get as much deep or REM sleep. When they stop breathing for a certain amount of time, a defense mechanism partially wakes the person up, and then resumes breathing. It doesn't wake them up completely, but certainly kicks them out of REM or deep sleep. Now repeat this several times a night, and you get a similar effect to sleep deprivation. The sufferers have very little energy, feel tired all the time, increased stress etc.

I've met somoene that had it, and he just said that you can sleep 8 hours + and still wake up tired, like you hardly slept at all.

I don't know much about the other stresses on the body.

I think with sleep apnea the duration of the apnea can be as much as 30 seconds to a minute at a time.

Almost all sufferers of Sleep Apnea are also Snorers, makes sense as people who snore have problems with their airway.

Again I don't know exact figures but I remember reading that a large percentage of Sleep Apnea sufferers are overweight, and generally not very fit/ poor health.

Now with Eric's description, if a person like this goes through an Apnea workout every night, no wonder they feel so tired ?

I get tired from Apnea training and I'm pretty fit :D

Just like to add that I've been told that I sometimes have sleep apnea for about two minutes. though I have never been to a doctor about it as I've not considered it as a problem, untill now, for lack of deep sleep may be why I'm so tired a lot of the time!!!


Also I'm not overweight, nor unfit, but do snore!
I don't have any scientific papers or evidence to back me up, but logic tells me that there is a difference between consciously making the decision to hold your breath and unconsciously stopping breathing. Think of all the breathing preparations as well as other mental and physical preparations we each go through before dropping into the blue....... or the pool ........or even laying on the couch. When you're asleep you don't get to breathe up, or focus on slowing down your heart rate, or any of that. To me there's a clear difference between simply preparing for entering a state of apnea and unconsciously entering a state of apnea. It isn't surprising, then, that an entire night of going in and out of sleep apnea is stressful on the body.

Just my 2 cents.........

Interesting reading.
Any more links or papers on the subject?

Just go on to medline and search for 'sleep apnea' and you'll find a billion papers.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

Can you tell me more about what you mean by "they don't take the appropriate nutrition to handle the stress they are putting their bodies through"?

What is the appropriate nutrition for freediving? I'm relatively new to actual freediving, have done a lot of other water sports, scuba and snorkeling though. Any info would be appreciated!

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