Have you been having trouble sleeping, having your slumber interrupted by frequent breaks or pauses in breathing during sleep? There is a good chance you are suffering from sleep apnea. Don’t worry, you are not alone, over 20 million people in the US alone are suffering from this disorder and around 80% go undiagnosed.
In this article, we will cover possible signs of sleep apnea, and if you recognize some of them make sure to contact you doctor and get the help you require in order to sleep peacefully through the night. You should also check out the snoring information guides from our friends at snorer.com.
Experiencing frequent breaks or pauses during sleep
If you haven’t noticed these symptoms, your partner definitely has, hearing you gasping for air during night time. The scientific explanation for this occurrence is that the fatty tissues that make up your throat or tongue become relaxed during sleep which makes them fall back into your airways thus restricting your airflow and causing you to stop breathing for a few seconds. These episodes can occur from 5 to 30 seconds during one night and can last anywhere between 10 to 20 seconds. When your airway is obstructed, your brain is not receiving enough oxygen, this leads it to wake up partially and reactivate your respiratory system. So even if you are not fully awake, this partial awakeness might lead to you having constant interruptions which can have a negative impact on the amount and quality of sleep you are getting each night.
Loud and chronic snoring
Most of us snore when we sleep, so sometimes is hard to distinguish snoring caused by sleep apnea from our regular one. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that not all people who have sleep apnea snore. However there are a few things to look for, and to ask your partner about. Loud, disruptive snoring that occurs on a nightly basis might be a cause for concern. And if this is something that really disrupts not just your sleeping patterns but also your bed partner’s you should check with your physician. If sleep apnea is indeed the cause of your chronic snoring they will probably recommend getting a CPAP mask which can help eliminate snoring along with your breathing obstructions thus improving the quality of your nightly sleep.
So you are able to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. One would think you should be the best rested person in the world with high energy levels and always in a great mood. Well if you are suffering from sleep apnea, the amount of hours of sleep you get is irrelevant, since you have poor sleep quality. One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is excessive daytime sleepiness or EDS, it is characterized by chronic feeling of overwhelming daytime fatigue. You might experience difficulty waking up and getting out of bed along with the need to take frequent daily naps. This leads to lack of concentration and drowsiness which can present a serious danger especially for drivers.
Other possible symptoms
The lack of rest during sleep that is directly caused by sleep apnea can have different other effects on our body. For example, frequent headaches caused by the fact that your brain is not getting enough oxygen during the night. Low oxygen levels might initiate the widening of blood vessels which can in return lead to vascular headaches. Another possible symptom of sleep apnea are mood swings caused by lack of sleep. If a person does not get enough sleep over a longer period of time they might become irritable, experience anxiety and even depression.
These are all possible signs that you are suffering from sleep apnea. The best course of action is contacting your physician and giving them the detail report about the things you have noticed and are experiencing. It is a good idea to include your bed partner in this, since they might have some additional information they can share with the doctor regarding your nightly behavior. Most importantly avoid self-medicating for any of the above symptoms, before opting for sleep apnea treatment consult your physician.
Mia Taylor is a fashion and beauty enthusiast from Sydney and writer for www.highstylife.com. She loves writing about her life experiences. Travelling and enjoying other cultures and their food with her husband is a big part of her life. She is always on the lookout for new trends in fashion and beauty, and considers herself an expert when it comes to lifestyle tips. Twitter | Facebook