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What Are the Most Common Signs of Sleep Apnea?

One of the most common signs of sleep apnea is snoring loudly but it is important to note that this does not apply to everyone. It is more than likely that a person who is suffering from this problem will be unaware of it, as they are sleeping when it is happening, and a member of the same household will notice it first.


If you live alone this can be harder to detect. Many people wake themselves up by snoring loudly but don't realize this is the case as they are still in a sleepy state. If you live on your own then the easiest way to tell whether or not you have been snoring is to record audio of yourself when you are asleep

Snoring occurs if the airway is blocked by your tongue and throat muscles relaxing when falling asleep. The level and volume of snoring increases when laying on our backs due to the relaxed muscles slumping backwards in to the top of the airway. This then causes the tissue of the nose and throat to vibrate.

Being overly sleepy or tired during the day is also one of the main signs of sleep apnea. It can take its toll on the body and the mind and leave a person feeling irritable and tired during the day. Depending on age and general health, people usually require between six and nine hours of interrupted sleep a night to feel well and refreshed. If this sleep is disturbed for any reason it can lead to tiredness and fatigue.

A lack of sleep can eventually lead to feelings of being depressed and moody. This is generally linked with being tired but can also be separate. As a result of caffeine, alcohol, medication, different food types and various supplements, fatigue can be masked if a person is receiving enough energy from what they are consuming. 

However, this cannot control lack of sleep and the body will try to show it in other ways such as mood swings. If you are suffering from unusual and unexplained mood swings then you should consider that this may be due to a lack of sleep.

signs of sleep apneaAnother one of the signs of sleep apnea is having memory problems or finding it difficult to concentrate. This symptom also ties in with tiredness and mood swings. Sleep is nature's way of giving the brain time to process information and thoughts. 

While your body may be resting, your brain is working hard and relies on the continuous, uninterrupted sleep you are getting to recharge itself. Having the odd night without sleep will not have a massive impact on your memory but long term lack of sleep can not only be damaging to your physical well-being but also your mental health.

How Your Body Gives off Signs of Sleep Apnea

Needing to urinate
during the night can be a sign of having too much fluid to drink before you sleep. If this problem occurs frequently it is known as nocturia: a cause of sleep deprivation that happens mostly to older adults. Most research in this area has led experts to believe that this problem is caused by a full bladder but more recently it has been linked to sleep apnea. As we get older, our bodies are less able to retain fluid and this leads to us producing more fluid at night. The bladder also loses its holding capacity as we age which results in needing to urinate more often.

With frequent urinating in relation to sleep apnea, the airway becomes blocked which causes the lungs to work harder to pull oxygen into the lungs. The heart perceives this change of blood flow in the body as having too much fluid in the system, leading to the body to think it needs to expel this fluid. If you have always experienced this issue then there is a chance you have had sleep apnea for a long time (or alternatively you may have a separate urinary problem).

signs of sleep apneaSeveral sleeping disorders can be caused by or made worse by pregnancy, including sleep apnea. The main reason for disturbed sleep patterns and snoring in pregnant women is a result of changing hormone levels, which can have many different effects on the body, as well as nausea and anxiety which can also play a part in sleep disruption.

In a similar way to adults, children can also suffer from this sleep condition. 

It is most common between the ages of three and six when their tonsils and adenoids are at their largest. The symptoms for children can be similar to adults but unlike adults, they can be quite hyperactive during the day following a poor night's sleep.

Having a dry mouth or sore throat is also one of the signs of sleep apnea. This can potentially be more dangerous than it sounds as it may be a result of disrupted breathing while sleeping. This could then result in the lungs not getting the full amount of oxygen they require to function properly and, in more extreme cases, the cardiovascular system slowly wearing down. 

As you can imagine, this problem would lead to the mouth and throat being dry and sore. Many people choose to ignore these signs as they believe it is a very common problem and the pain tends to ease during the day.

signs of sleep apneaSweating profusely and frequently in bed has been linked to sleep apnea. It can happen excessively to the point of waking up completely drenched. Night sweats can occur when a person is temporarily but consistently awoken from their sleep.

Having headaches can be a vicious cycle when it comes to trying to get a good night's rest. A severely sore head, or migraine, can actually wake a person up and also prevent them from being able to sleep entirely. 

On the other hand, a bad sleep pattern can cause headaches so it is extremely important to avoid getting into this cycle if your headaches are becoming more frequent.

 

Remember that if you are concerned in any way about your general health you should speak to a pharmacist or better yet, consult a doctor.

 


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