December 23, 2018
When you wake up every morning, you feel tired, even though you got a full night’s rest. Your partner complains about your loud, frequent snoring, but that’s not a big deal, right? Well, it could be. You could have a sleep disorder called sleep apnea, which is commonly characterized by constant pauses in breathing while you’re asleep. As you might imagine, it’s important to be able to breathe regularly and consistently during sleep, even though your muscles are relaxed. When your breathing stops, the brain wakes you up just long enough to kick start your system again. This can happen between 5 and 30 times an hour!
So how do you know if you have sleep apnea? The best way is to contact a center for sleep apnea in Las Vegas for a free consultation. But for now, here are six common signs.
Many patients with sleep apnea don’t get restful sleep because of all those little interruptions in their breathing and quality rest. They can add up to a lot of time lost over the course of a night. Many sleep apnea patients have what is called excessive daytime sleepiness, which means that they do the following:
- Struggle to wake up in the morning
- Feel excessively tired throughout the day
- Generally lack energy
- Need or take naps that only somewhat help
- Doze off at inappropriate times
- Have difficulty focusing
The most reported symptom of sleep apnea is loud, chronic snoring. The snoring sound is produced by vibrations in the upper respiratory airways. These vibrations originate from partial obstruction, blocking air from moving easily through. When we sleep, our muscles relax and can cause the blockage in the first place. Although you can snore without having sleep apnea, snoring is one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea and shouldn’t be ignored.
As you stop breathing during the night, less oxygen makes its way to the brain. Your body has to work harder to make up for that, frequently causing a headache when you wake up.
High Blood Pressure
When your breathing is irregular, your brain signals that it isn’t receiving adequate oxygen, which causes a spike in blood pressure to start your system again. If you experience this situation frequently throughout every night, your blood pressure can remain high even during the day when you breathe normally.
If you are overweight, you’re more likely to have sleep apnea than someone who maintains a healthy weight. Excessive fatty tissues, particularly around the neck and throat can obstruct the airways and cause apnea episodes.
Irritability, Depression, Moodiness
It makes sense that if you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll be grumpy, but consistent lack of quality sleep can lead to problems with anxiety, depression, irritability, and mood swings.
You may be tempted to shrug these symptoms off and simply drink yet another cup of coffee or try to take power naps during the day. However, you may be able to improve your and your partner’s sleep and quality of life if you do something about it! Start by talking to a medical professional about your symptoms and possible treatment options.
About the Author
Dr. Pamela West has been involved in the treatment of sleep apnea for more than five years. She is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and she works with a team of leading medical experts across Nevada. You can contact her by calling (702) 602-2000 or clicking here.
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