Do you wake up exhausted? Does your partner complain about your snoring? You may be one of up to 6% of people who suffer from sleep apnea – in obese people that number is 77% – and you may not know you have it.
Obstructive Sleep apnea occurs when the pharyngeal muscles in your throat relax so much during sleep that your breathing gets blocked momentarily. When this happens, your brain notices the lack of oxygen in your blood, wakes you just enough for your conscious mind to tense the muscles and take a breath. You fall back into a deeper sleep and the cycle continues – usually without you even noticing.
Sleep apnea results in feeling as though you are lacking in oxygen. You are sleepy most of the time, yet awaken with a sense of exhaustion. Some sleep apnea sufferers may fall asleep at work or while driving. Your partner may complain about your snoring.
The earlier the detection of your sleep apnea, the better the treatment will work instead of damaging your health, relationship, or work performance.
For more information please visit the All About Sleep Apnea website.
Everyone does it occasionally, however when it happens more than five times per hour, you have sleep apnea. In severe cases, it can happen more than 30 times per hour.
Obstructive Sleep apnea occurs in all age groups – including newborn babies – but is most common in people over 50 years old and people who are overweight. It is also more common in men than women5. Other physical characteristics that may predispose you to sleep apnea are large tonsils, large and short neck, some thyroid conditions, and obesity. Also, drinking alcohol or taking sedatives or sleeping pills before sleep can relax your throat and make your sleep apnea worse.
You may have sleep apnea if you have more than two or three of these symptoms: