We hope you’ll have a wonderfully spooky and fun Halloween. However, one fright we hope you’ll avoid is the nightmare of sleep apnea. Trust us, you’re better off watching a scary movie.
What is sleep apnea?
Essentially, sleep apnea is the inability to breathe well when you sleep. This disorder, which has multiple levels of severity and multiple causes, interrupts a person’s breathing. In more serious cases, a person with sleep apnea stops breathing dozens or hundreds of times at night. And obviously, if your brain and your body aren’t getting enough oxygen, this can bring about critical health problems and should be treated immediately. The three main types of sleep apnea are:
- Obstructive sleep apnea. This type of apnea is characterized by mechanical issues in the throat and mouth that make it difficult to breathe. It is the most common form, and generally has to do with the soft tissue in the back of the throat.
- Central sleep apnea. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, this version of the disorder does not occur with physical conditions, or physical impairments on the airway. It occurs when the brain reduces the body’s oxygen intake by not properly signal to the muscles that the body needs air.
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome. This more rare type of sleep apnea, also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, is the combination of both of the other types of the disorder.
How do I know if I have it?
Though it can be difficult for a person to detect what type of sleep apnea they have without the help of a professional, the main symptoms of the general issue include:
- Periods where you’re asleep and you stop breathing. Understably, you probably won’t know for yourself if you do this, though your partner will likely know. Consider asking.
- Waking up in the night with a dry mouth.
- Severe snoring. Remember that a lot of people snore it’s nothing to be worried about – it’s the really loud snoring that you should pay attention to.
- Gasping for air when you sleep. This may or may not wake you up.
- Waking up with a morning headache. This may be an indicator that you were not getting enough oxygen in the night.
- Difficulty staying asleep. Often times when we awake in the night we don’t even realize what woke us up. You may have been gasping for air and not noticed.
- Choking. Because sleep apnea deals with not breathing when asleep, different kinds of choking may also characterize sleep apnea.
Other negative side effects
Beyond the more obvious indicators of sleep apnea, other less direct effects may also occur. These negative symptoms result from not sleeping well, and not getting enough oxygen when you’re asleep. They are what make sleep apnea a serious medical condition. Complications include:
- Depression. Sleeping well has a lot to do with your psychological health and wellbeing. That’s why people with sleep apnea are twice as likely to develop depression. You may also feel irritable and moody, overwhelmed and lacking motivation. This is especially noticeable in teenagers and children who experience episodes of poor behavior, or poor performance in school.
- Daytime fatigue. Do you ever feel extremely tired during the day, even after getting a full night’s sleep? This symptom often manifests itself in people who struggle with sleep apnea, because consciously or unconsciously, they spend the whole night waking up and going back to sleep. The mind can’t ever settle into a restorative, deep sleep, since it’s constantly jerking awake. This causes terrible daytime drowsiness, fatigue, and exhaustion.
- Increased risk for strokes, high blood pressure and heart attacks. Remember, the purpose of your blood is to carry oxygen to different parts of the body. When the blood has no oxygen to carry, serious complications arise.
We want to help you!
If you found yourself saying “That sounds like me,” to some of these symptoms we’ve described here, we hope that you’ll consult with a sleep doctor and get this taken care of! Sleep apnea can be a very threatening illness. If you or someone you know struggles with it, medical assistance should be sought as soon as possible. Luckily, sleep apnea is also fairly common, and so if you do have it you can know that you’re not alone. Many successful means for dealing with it are available to you.
And of course, the right mattress can help! Particularly with obstructive sleep apnea, the type of bed you have can influence the position of your neck, your head, and your mouth greatly, which in turn influences your ability to breathe while asleep. And that’s why, as one of the best mattress stores in Las Vegas, we know we can help you! We know the science behind our different beds, and we can direct you to exactly which one will give you the best chances of getting that much-needed, rejuvenating sleep. The best mattresses encourage healthy airflow, and promote good posture in the neck and spine. Come in today!