Sleep apnea is a hot topic these days. As soon as someone snores just a little, everyone around them gives them anxiety that they might be suffering from the potentially very harmful disorder.
Although the American Academy of Sleep Medicine has noted that the rising prevalence of sleep apnea was posing a public health threat to the United States, fewer people have it than you might think. As awareness continues to grow, it’s important for people to really understand and be able to identify the signs and symptoms.
For serious sufferers, a CPAP machine can be a literal lifesaver, but for those who have anxiety and might think they have it, it will have little to no effect because they are actually struggling with sleep because of a number of many reasons. Understanding the complexities of sleep apnea is important to dispel the false notions of what sleep apnea is.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are three primary types of sleep apnea:
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea, and it most often happens when the throat muscles relax during the night, narrowing or closing your airway as you breathe in. Because of this, your breath can be choked away entirely.
This is where sleep apnea really plays with your body because as soon as your brain recognizes that you aren’t breathing well, it then wakes you up briefly so that you can reopen your airway. Because this awakening is so short, you will usually have no memory of it in the morning, but throughout the night you’ll be choking and waking, choking and waking, and so on.
The other two types of sleep apnea are Central Sleep apnea and Complex Sleep apnea, both are less common but still dangerous. With Central Sleep apnea, the brain isn’t sending the proper signals to your breathing muscles during the night resulting in similar symptoms to the Obstructive Sleep apnea. With Complex Sleep apnea you suffer from elements of both obstructive and central sleep apnea and is the least prevalent type of the disorder.
The causes of these sleep apnea symptoms are numerous and varied, read below to find out which ones maybe, or maybe not, affecting you.
- Excess weight
- Thicker neck circumference
- A narrowed airway
- Alcohol or sedatives
- Consistent nasal congestion
On top of this, heart disorders, stroke, and the use of narcotic pain medications can all increase your risk.
Is my Problem Sleep Apnea?
Although tough to diagnose, your partner or friends may be the best people to help you understand why you’re constantly waking up tired. The closest people to you will be able to tell you if you’re waking up gasping, or if you’re just getting crappy nights of sleep for another reason.
There are some other symptoms that may be easier to pinpoint on your own, including waking up with a dry mouth or a morning headache, difficulty staying asleep, excessive daytime sleepiness and difficulty paying attention while awake.
It’s important to remember: even if you know you’re a big-time scorer, there’s no need to immediately jump to the conclusion that you have sleep apnea. While it’s true that almost everyone with the disorder does snore, that doesn’t mean that everyone who snores has sleep apnea.
How to Treat this Problem?
A lot of people think that the only solution to sleep apnea is an ugly mask. This isn’t correct, even though most sufferers wear a CPAP mask at night. For some suffering with obstructive sleep apnea, lifestyle changes help the most. For some that could mean losing weight or avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bed, while for others, the solution is to sleep on an adjustable bed base. Another idea is to try a set of allergen-free sheets or perhaps a new body pillow as that will train yourself to sleep on your side rather than your back, which improves your breathing.
While the reality of having sleep apnea may seem extremely frustrating, finding the correct solution to it could be the key to finally getting the sleep you need to live your best life.
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Founded in 1990, Restwell sells its product line through National Retail & Independent Dealers in North America. Restwell also has a Hospitality Sales Division which services corporate accounts across Canada. Restwell manufactures all bedding, at its state-of-the-art facility in Surrey B.C., to order through “just in time” production techniques which serves its dealers and customers more efficiently. Most bedding orders are scheduled, produced and shipped within 3 days of receipt with fast, friendly and reliable service on our dedicated trucking fleet.