Could This Sleep Condition Be Causing Your Snoring?
But just because you snore or wake up a little tired doesn’t mean you have sleep apnea. So how do you tell if it’s just being restless or possibly sleep apnea? An indicator of sleep apnea is if you have a spouse sleeping next to you who notices loud snoring, gasping for breath or even if you stop breathing while sleeping. If this happens, it’s worth a visit to your doctor to either get some treatment for sleep apnea — or rule it out altogether.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
If you don’t have someone with you to notice irregular sleep patterns, it’s important to pay attention to the common symptoms of sleep apnea, which include:
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty focusing while awake
Sleep Apnea Testing
If you notice any of these symptoms, it might be worth mentioning to your primary care physician. They may recommend a sleep study, which can help reveal any irregularities with your sleep. Many sleep studies are done at a certified sleep center, but there are also emerging technologies allowing sleep study data to be recorded from a portable device used in your home.
In a sleep study, you will be connected via wires to equipment that will monitor your body’s activity while asleep, but generally all you have to do is sleep. Many sleep study participants say the hardest part of a sleep study is sleeping in a different bed away from home, which helped drive the creation of the at-home test.
The study results will typically include information about how often you woke up during the night, how long you spent in each sleep stage, whether you stopped breathing or not and whether you snored during the night.
It’s important to talk with a doctor if you think there may be a chance you might have sleep apnea. Long-term effects for apnea left untreated can include high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and others.
Sleep Apnea Treatments
The good news is sleep apnea can be treated with devices ranging from a simple mouthpiece that helps hold the jaw forward during sleep helping to keep the airway open to a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine that uses slight pressure to keep your airways open while you sleep.
Often, simple lifestyle changes can help make a difference in treating mild sleep apnea, such as losing weight, limiting or eliminating alcohol consumption, stopping smoking, treating nasal allergies or even changing positions while sleeping.
Plus, sleep apnea in many cases can be treated or even eliminated with a little guidance from a medical professional and some lifestyle modifications. So the next time you wake up feeling like you didn’t have a good night’s sleep, maybe it’s because you didn’t. Seek some input from your spouse, and if you are concerned, see your doctor.
The above content is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you have a medical condition. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site.
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