Do you feel tired all the time regardless how much “sleep” you got the night before?
Do you feel worn out ALL day long dragging yourself around all day?
Do you snore so loud that you disturb everyone in the household?
A “Yes” to any of these questions could mean that you have a serious condition called sleep apnea.
A person with sleep apnea stops breathing in the middle of the night for up to a minute. You will wake up and begin breathing again and promptly fall back asleep. Often times you don’t remember waking up at all.
What makes sleep apnea so dangerous?
The most obvious reason is that sometimes people don’t wake up. If you are in a very deep sleep, your body may not realize what’s going on and you’ll suffocate to death. This occurrence is similar to SIDs in babies.
A person that suffers from sleep apnea is sleep deprived. There are various stages of sleep which rests, rebuilds and revitalizes different parts of your brain or body. Not getting the required amount of sleep in each stage can create serious problems.
Each time you wake up and fall back to sleep it’s resetting yours sleep cycle. This means that you will get less of the later stages of sleep.
Sleep deprivation can decrease your reasoning skills, speech and other brain functions. This increases your chance of having accidents which could be dangerous.
The best way to diagnose sleep apnea is by visiting your doctor. If they believe that you may have sleep apnea they will have you participate in a sleep study.
You will stay at the sleep study site overnight. You’ll be attached to various types of equipment while your sleep and breathing patterns are closely monitored by medical professionals. This could be annoying or uncomfortable but they are important for a proper diagnosis. Sleep apnea symptoms can be mimicked by other disorders so the correct diagnosis is important so that you get the right treatment for you.
Once properly diagnosed, your doctor will recommend treatment depending on the type and severity of your condition. Mild apnea can often be treated by modifying your diet and sleeping habits. You may also be required to sleep with equipment like a specialized pillow or a device for your mouth. In more severe cases, you may require medicine or even surgery. Your doctor may also recommend you try more than one of these treatments to get the best results.
All this information about sleep apnea is probably making you a little worried, but you shouldn’t panic. Most cases of apnea are easily and effectively treated. Once your apnea is under control you’ll likely feel more energized, have improved mental capabilities, get sick less, and even lose weight. With proper treatment, you too can enjoy the benefits of a good night’s sleep.