Ahh, sleep. For most of us, sleep is a time to rest and feel refreshed. But what if you wake up in the morning feeling worse than when you went to sleep? Chances are, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder in the United States, affecting more than 20 million adults on a daily basis. This scary condition is made even more so because most people don’t know they are suffering from it, which can lead to a host of health problems down the road. Here’s what anyone should know about sleep apnea and some warning symptoms to keep your eye out for.
The two types of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is defined by frequent breaks in breathing while sleeping. There are two types of sleep apnea, and understanding which one you suffer from is pivotal to understanding how to treat it.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is when your upper airway is partially or completely blocked during sleep. When this obstruction happens, it causes your diaphragm and chest muscles to work harder to open the blocked airway.
Central Sleep Apnea
On the other hand, Central Sleep Apnea causes pauses in your airway because of how your brain functions. When this happens, your brain doesn’t tell your muscles to breathe, so your body doesn’t try at all. This is a more severe type of sleep apnea.
Symptoms of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea can be incredibly dangerous if it goes untreated, and may require hospitalization or visiting urgent care services in some cases. Here are some common symptoms that show you may be suffering from this sleep disorder.
Snoring is one of the most telltale signs that someone is suffering from sleep apnea. The sound of snoring is caused when there is a blockage in a person’s upper airway, and the air cannot escape. However, it is important to know that snoring isn’t always a sign a person is suffering from sleep apnea. So in order to be properly diagnosed, a patient will need to undergo a sleep study by professionals like sleep specialists in Somerset, NJ.
Feeling tired all the time
All the breaks in your breathing can cause for a very stressful night’s sleep. If you constantly feel tired, even if you were in bed for a full eight to nine hours each night, then it can signal you suffer from sleep apnea. Known as excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), some signs you have this include having problems waking up, a lack of energy all day, a frequent urge to nap, difficulty concentrating.
You are overweight
Being overweight can put excess stress on your upper airways, causing blockages when you sleep. This is because excess fatty tissues become built up in the back of the throat, causing obstructions when a person lies down on their back. While not all overweight patients have sleep apnea, they are at a higher risk than patients with healthy body weight.
Frequent headaches when you wake up
Again, having a fretful night’s sleep can cause you to feel unwell in the morning, and in particular, suffer from severe headaches right when you wake up. This is because interruptions in your breathing decrease the amount of oxygen flowing to your brain, and low oxygen levels cause the blood vessels in the brain to widen and add extra pressure.
While sleep apnea can be dangerous if it goes untreated, it is easily treatable and easy to get under control. So if you are experiencing some of these symptoms, make sure to see a doctor right away to ensure a happy and healthy night’s sleep.