Think you might have sleep apnea? This is a sleep disorder where you have frequent starts and stops in your breathing as you sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea in particular is when this cessation in breathing is caused by muscles in your throat collapsing, blocking proper air flow. It’s a serious condition that can have a slew of negative effects on your health, so early diagnosis is important so you can get the proper treatment. Here are five common signs of sleep apnea to look out for:
While you can’t just assume that if someone snores then they have sleep apnea, snoring is commonly associated with the condition, particularly when it’s loud and happens regularly. This is because snoring is caused when there’s a blockage in your airway, which is characteristic of obstructive sleep apnea. Of course it may be difficult to tell if you snore since you’re unconscious at the time, but you can ask a friend or family member if they frequently hear you. Don’t be embarrassed! It’s best to be aware of it.
Frequent Breaks in Breathing
Like snoring, it can be a little tricky to figure out if you have frequent breaks in your breathing as you sleep. One way to see is if you find yourself waking up gasping for air, which often happens after one of these episodes. You can ask a friend or family member to see if they notice anything while you’re sleeping.
Feeling fatigued or excessively sleepy throughout the day is another common indicator of sleep apnea. Maybe you find that you’re always wanting to take naps. Or maybe you just don’t feel particularly energized throughout the day. Even if you are in bed for a sufficient number of hours at night, those many cessations in your breathing that occur with sleep apnea mean you’re not getting the quality rest your required by your brain and body.
Irritability or Moodiness
There could be plenty of reasons why you aren’t in the best mood on any given day, but if it seems to be happening to you quite often, it could be because you’re not getting enough good quality sleep. You may think you are if you’re hitting that seven to nine hour range of sleep, but remember, the pauses in breathing with sleep apnea mean that your sleep is always being interrupted.
Since sleep apnea leaves you with not as much oxygen making it to your brain throughout the night, it can also cause morning headaches. If you frequently wake up with a headache and wonder why, it’s possible that sleep apnea is the reason.
If you think you have sleep apnea, contact Hillstream Dental today. We provide custom oral appliances that you can wear at night to improve your sleep. We’re here to help!Contact Us