sleep apnea is hard for a person to detect themselves as they are
sleepy and groggy when woken up. They may believe they have been
terrors or that a loud, sudden noise disturbed
them. It probably would not occur to most people that they may have
woken up as a result of an apnea.
about it yourself. Have you ever woken up during the night and had to
take a big deep breath, and then assumed something had startled or
frightened you? The answer is probably yes but when you think about it
logically you may have needed to breathe deeply to compensate for
shortage of oxygen.
‘normal’ sleep is considered to be if a person wakes up less than five
times during one hour. Having your breathing interrupted
between 5 and
15 times in one hour is mild. To give you a comparison: a person
suffering from severe or chronic sleep apnea can be disturbed over 30
times in one hour.
you get older, the risk of experiencing these apneas increases.
Unfortunately, with age can come many other illnesses and ailments so
sleep disruption is considered normal and is often ignored. This
disorder is also more
common in men than women. Both are at risk but
men are diagnosed in greater numbers.
to tell if you have sleep apnea:
can begin by carefully monitoring your sleep pattern and recording any
unusual activity or disturbances. The following list shows the signs
that are associated with mild apnea:
- Fatigue or excessive
Reduced sex drive
best course of action you can take if you think you may have this
disorder, is to visit
your doctor or
physician. It is likely they would suggest a sleep
study first. This is
a test carried out to measure how well you sleep generally and why you
are experiencing problems. These tests can help diagnose breathing
disorders, seizure disorders, movement disorders and other sleep
related issues that cause extreme fatigue during the day e.g.
you undergo a sleep study and it shows you have sleep apnea in some
form, your doctor or physician will give you advice as to which is the
for sleep apnea to follow for your particular disorder.
and Mild Sleep Apnea
won't be necessary: a mild form of apnea can usually be
going under the knife. Surgical procedures are only suggested to people
with extreme symptoms when their health is severely at risk, and after
all other options have been exhausted. However, if you have an illness
or health problem that is severe, and could be causing your sleep
disruption, you may need to have surgery for the separate issue.
you have managed to control or eradicate your apneas, there is still a
chance they might come back, although it depends on which type of the
disorder you have, how severe it is and how it has been controlled. For
example, if you were obese and managed
to lose a great deal of weight,
this could stop your sleep disruption.
this healthy weight should prevent the apneas from returning. However,
this does not mean you will not experience sleep apnea at another stage
in your life that could be caused by a different factor.
some cases, mild sleep apnea can be treated with minor lifestyle
changes and adjustments to daily activities. Being overweight or obese
is detrimental to your overall health and wellbeing. By losing weight,
even if it's a small amount, you can help reduce the symptoms
associated with apnea.
smoking will improve your lung capacity and breathing in
able to breathe with more ease should result in better sleep and could
reduce the risk of being susceptible to sleep apnea. Avoid drinking
alcohol or taking medicine that makes you drowsy before you go to bed.
Although these products may aid your ability to sleep, they can also
relax your throat, making it harder to open when sleeping.
you have allergies that are having a negative effect on your breathing,
ensure you are taking the correct medication. Additionally, you can use
snoring nasal spray to keep your nasal passages from closing
unnecessarily during the night
Consider adjusting the position you sleep
so that it is more comfortable but your throat is kept open. Sleeping
on your back forces the tongue and throat to relax more so it is advisable to lie on your side.
If you find this too difficult, there are snoring
pillows available to help support you in this
appliances like snoring
mouthpieces can be beneficial to sufferers of
mild sleep apnea. These can be bought as over the counter DIY devices
or they can be custom
made by a dentist or orthodontist. The DIY
mouthpieces are made out of a plastic that melts in hot water.
the plastic has softened to the correct form, the device is inserted
into the mouth and pressed against the teeth to form a mould. The piece
will then keep the impression of your teeth once the plastic has
cooled. A dentist or orthodontist will make impressions of your whole
mouth and teeth.
will make an exact replica for your mouth piece and works by moving the
lower jaw and tongue so the airways are kept clear during
practices and procedures continue to advance every year so there is no
need to suffer in silence. Find out what your symptoms are, do solid
research and speak to a medical expert. You could be suffering
unnecessarily and may be able to dramatically improve your life. Do not
ignore the signs of mild sleep apnea as the mild form
could worsen if