The Journal of American College of Cardiology has just published an article on recent research into a possible linkage between Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) and Atrial Fibrillation (AF). Full details at:
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64(19):2013-2023. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2014.05.077
This is very close to home for me, as I have been on CPAP therapy for severe OSA for 20 years, but (despite 100% compliance with CPAP), I have been having very broken sleep. Then last year, I discovered that the reason for my broken sleep has been Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation, triggered by complete relaxation when I go into "deep sleep".
These results suggest that UNTREATED OSA is strongly associated with AFib. The conventional wisdom has been that, with 100% CPAP compliance, the association with other diseases should be no different for an OSA sufferer, from a person who had no OSA at all. Maybe the relationship between the two diseases is more complex than we thought. I hope more research will be done in this area.
Don't be put off by the "academic-speak". This is serious research, that could have huge implications for sufferers from both diseases. If you are always tired, or you snore, or people tell you that you stop breathing in your sleep - TELL YOUR DOCTOR. And get a test for OSA. If the test shows nothing - that's fine. But if you DO have both OSA and AF, that is a bad combination, folks!