Sleep apnea is sleep disorder that may have serious consequences to your life. People who suffer from sleep apnea don’t sleep well and that impacts their health.
As per the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, sleep apnea is sleep disorder that is common in the United States. However there are different types of sleep apnea with a variety of symptoms, complications, and treatment plans.
- Obstructive sleep apnea ( occurs when the airways are blocked even as the muscles in the throat are relaxed)
- Central sleep apnea ( occurs when the brain fails to send signals that control your breathing)
Sleep apnea syndrome can be caused by many factors such as: weight, age, habits, other health conditions, and the medications you take for these conditions.
Sleep apnea can appear in children, women and man. However, men are the one who are most prone to have sleep apnea.
Here are some signs that may show if you suffer from sleep apnea:
1. You are still exhausted even you have slept a lot
It seems that no matter how many hours of sleep you have, you still end up feeling exhausted. You will probably have sleep apnea if you have slept for seven to nine hours but you still feel sleepy.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is one of the most overlooked symptom of sleep apnea.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness is a condition characterized as having a chronic feeling of tiredness during the day.
- You might not know that you’ve been waking up frequently at night because of an obstruction in your breathing.
- When you wake up you remain tired. That’s because you haven’t got good sleep.
You may also have lack of energy or difficulty in focusing and concentrating on your tasks.
2. You are always depressed and irritable
Are you always feeling down and depressed? Do you often get irritable? Well, if these symptoms describe you, you may have lack of sleep. The lack of sleep can lead to anxiety and depression, and undiagnosed sleep apnea can be the cause.
According to a study in Journal of Research in Medical Science, 42 percent of patients with obstructive sleep apnea also suffer from depression. The experts learned that the chemicals in the brain of people with sleep apnea become imbalanced. Lack of sleep can contribute to the mood disorder.
Patients suffering from sleep apnea have high levels of glutamate and low levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The imbalance of these chemicals alters how the brain work.
Luckily, feeling of depression and irritable mood can be eliminated if you manage and treat sleep apnea. You should ask for professional help and follow the course of treatment.
3. You may gain weight
Sleep apnea can make you more tired and for this reason you may not be motivated to exercise. If you don’t do physical exercise you will easily gain weight.
Women whose neck size is wider than 16 inches and men who have neck circumference wider 17 inches are at higher risks of having sleep apnea.
International Journal of Obesity ‘s study showed that middle-aged women who have sleep disorders are more likely to gain weight than their pposites who do not have any problems with sleeping.
- When you are sleep deprived your body produces more ghrelin hormones than letin hormones.
- Leptin tells your body when to stop eating, while ghrelin tells your body to eat.
- Get a good sleeping routine in order to correct this.
- You need to get proper treatment to manage this sleep disorder while having sleep apnea.
4. When you wake up you have headaches
Headaches appear when your brain takes in smaller amount of oxygen while frequent breathing pauses.
- Your blood vessels expand due to low oxygen level
- This leads to headaches.
- If you have a sleep disorder, you will cope with migraine problems.
- These headaches will occur at least eight times more than a person without sleep apnea who simply does not sleep well on occasion.
- 4 a.m. to 9 a.m . is the time when migraines due to sleep apnea occur.
You may also experience nausea and vomiting, as well as teeth grinding and deep snoring.
5. You get up at night to pee
Sleep apnea can cause that you get up at night to pee. When your sleep is disrupted, your body’s production of anti-diuretic hormones (ADH) may also be affected.
- In normal situation, this hormone prevents your body from urging you to pee in the middle of the night.
- If it is interrupted, your body gets some mixed signals.
Try not to drink glass of water at least two hours before sleeping. If you observe that you need to pee at night despite curbing your water intake, you may have sleep apnea.
6. Lower intimacy desire
While experiencing sleep apnea you may also have lower intimacy desire. Even 70% of men who experience sleep apnea cope with this issue.
As per study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine men who experience sleep apnea may gain erectile dysfunction. As per experts, men who didn’t get enough shut-eye, their level of testosterone drops so their drive for intimacy also drops.
Improve the quality of sleep to obtain positive results for your romantic and physical relationship.
7. High blood pressure
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine high blood pressure and apnea often go together. These two conditions can easily lead to serious complications like a stroke or heart attack if you don’t treat them immediately.
- People who experience sleep apnea may also have high blood pressure because of weight gain.
- Heart of these people is forced to work double time.
- If you are hypertensive but your blood pressure is still high, get tested for sleep apnea.
- Studies have shown that if you get treatment against sleep apnea your blood pressure will drop or will level off.
Sleep apnea: Diagnosis & Treating
A doctor may suggest you to go to a sleep specialist for tests and evaluations. You may be asked to stay overnight in a sleep disorder centre because specialists will monitor your sleep and breathing patterns, as well as other body functions.
- In case of obstructive sleep apnea, you may need additional consultations with an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor.
- You might need to undergo surgery in order to eliminate excess tissues that are causing the blockage.
- If the test showed that you have central sleep apnea, you will need to see a cardiologist or a neurologist. They will give you further health advice.
- In some cases, sleep apnea can be reduced if you change your lifestyle. In other words, if you quit smoking or drinking.
If the symptoms of sleep apnea won’t improve, you may need to use a medical apparatus called the CPAP, also known as the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure apparatus. You’ll need to get used to wearing this CPAP whenever you sleep.
You may gain serious health problems if you don’t treat sleep apnea. Sleep apnea may cause: accidents, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and even sudden death.
Consult a doctor when experiencing sleep apnea. With consistent and adequate treatment you can successfully manage and control sleep apnea.