The Signs That Show You May Have Sleep Apnea
One of the most common sleep disorders that affect nearly 20 million adults in the United States is sleep apnea. More than 80% of all sleep apnea cases are undiagnosed, and most people don’t know that they could have an underlying health problem if they’re suffering from a sleep disorder. Some people know they have a sleep disorder, but they don’t understand the consequences of sleep apnea that is left untreated.
Frequent pauses or breaks in breathing during sleep characterizes sleep apnea, which has three different forms, including:
- Central sleep apnea – where the pauses are caused by the respiratory system not giving signals to breathe from the brain.
- Obstructive sleep apnea – where the breathing is interrupted by physical blockages in upper airways, which are caused by the tongue collapsing in the airway, or soft tissues of the throat.
- Complex/mixed sleep apnea – this is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which counts for around 85% of all sleep apnea cases. The least common one is central apnea, which only has 1% of cases. To give you a better idea about sleep apnea, you should read this guide. Here are some of the signs and symptoms you should know:
1. You Experience Extreme Mood Swings
Your mood can be affected by a lack of quality sleep. If you’re not sleeping every night, you’ll start feeling short-tempered, anxious, and irritable. You are also more likely to suffer from depression. If you think that your depression or mood swings are caused by a lack of sleep, you should get in touch with your doctor to find out if it’s a sleep disorder.
2. You’re Obese or Overweight
In most cases, the body weight of a person is linked with obstructive sleep apnea. Individuals who are suffering from sleep apnea are more likely to be obese or overweight in comparison with those that are in good shape. Sleep apnea is generally caused by excessive fatty tissues building up in the throat and neck. These excess tissues can obstruct the airways and cause sleep apnea.
3. You’ve Got High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is also connected with sleep apnea, and you can suffer from high blood pressure with if your sleep gets interrupted frequently. When your brain wakes from sleep, it finds that it’s not getting proper oxygen levels in the blood. This increases blood pressure as the blood vessels are restricted to kickstart the system to work again. If this happens regularly during the night to counter sleep apnea, the body will get used to the blood vessels being restricted, and you’ll have persistent high blood pressure during the day, even when you’re breathing normally.
4. You Wake Up with Headaches Frequently
People suffering from sleep apnea report waking up with headaches. This is mainly because when you’re not breathing frequently while sleeping, your brain is receiving less oxygen. When you have low oxygen levels, the blood vessels will start widening and that will lead to vascular headaches. Headaches, along with excessive drowsiness during the day are major symptoms of sleep apnea, and if you wake up with a headache every time you go to sleep, you should visit a doctor.