Do you or someone you know suffer from sleep apnea? What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a chronic disorder that causes pauses in your breathing while you sleep, your brain is trying to make the decision between breathing or sleeping. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you’re probably having a difficult time falling asleep or achieving to reach a deep sleep because you’re waking up multiple times in a night. Your breathing can stop as many as a hundred times per night. Sleep apnea is a serious condition, and over time it can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and more. But the good news is that there are treatments available. Here are five things that every person should know about sleep apnea.
There are more than one type of sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type and will occur when the muscles in your throat become blocked while you sleep. The second type is central sleep apnea, this happens when there is a disconnect between your brain sending signals to your muscles. As a result, your brain isn’t sending the correct signals to the muscles that control your breathing.
Obesity is a major risk factor.
Obstructive sleep apnea often affects those that are overweight and suffer from obesity. Experts have concluded that overweight people have extra tissue in the mouth and throat area, which can block the airway as they sleep. Although, not all people with sleep apnea are overweight, losing weight might help ease some of the symptoms.
Sleep apnea can be detrimental to your health.
Sleep apnea left untreated can result in many different heart complications such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, etc. Sleep apnea can also put you at risk for developing depression.
There are treatment options.
Ask your dentist about sleep apnea appliances. They’re used to move your tongue or jaw forward and away from your airway to help open your breathing passages.
Try to make some lifestyle changes.
If you think you may suffer from sleep apnea try not to sleep on your back to keep your tongue away from your breathing passages. Cut out items that can raise your heart rate, such as caffeine late, soft drinks and smoking. Make sure the your room is at a comfortable temperature and turn off all the lights, refrain from screen time before bed, meaning turning off your phone, tv and/or computer.