Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. You may have sleep apnea if you snore loudly, and you feel tired even after a full night’s sleep. These breathing pauses typically last between 10 to 20 seconds and can occur up to hundreds of times a night, jolting you out of your natural sleep rhythm. As a consequence, you spend more time in light sleep and less time in the deep restorative sleep which you need to get to be energetic, mentally sharp, and productive the next day.
This chronic sleep deprivation results in daytime sleepiness, slow reflexes, poor concentration, and an increased risk of accidents. Sleep apnea can also lead to serious health problems over time, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and weight gain. But with treatment you can control the symptoms, get your sleep back on track, be refreshed and alert every day.
Types of sleep apnea are:
- Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway, often causing you to snore loudly.
- Central sleep apnea is a much less common type of sleep apnea that involves the central nervous system, occurring when the brain fails to signal the muscles that control breathing. People with central sleep apnea seldom snore.
- Complex sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Common sleep apnea symptoms:
While snoring is still the strongest predictor of sleep apnea in men and women but not everyone who snores has it. Also, not everyone who has sleep apnea snores.
Below are other common sleep apnea symptoms:
- Constant tiredness
- Poor concentration
- Night sweats
- Weight gain
- Lack of energy
- Frequent urination at night