9 Common symptoms you might suffer from sleep apnea
Snoring is and has been one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea. Most of us don’t like to actually accept that they snore to an extent that we even get defensive about it but this is a condition that should be taken seriously.
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder which makes you breathe repeatedly all through the night and doctors say that it is caused by an obstruction in airflow at the back of the throat and blocks the air from getting into the lungs when you sleep. It could be due to some factors such as congested sinuses, tonsils etc but in other rare cases, it can be due to your brain not sending messages for you to breathe correctly. Also being overweight can be another factor.
It is commonly seen in men but this doesn’t mean that women can’t be at risk. The experts say its commonly in men since the stereotype sleep apnea patients are always overweight, aged males. Below is a list of the top symptoms to watch out for;
Below is a list of the top symptoms to watch out for;
1. Waking up with headaches – every patient in the sleep clinic is normally asked if they experience headaches in the morning since its a common symptom with people with sleep apnea. Apnea can actually lead to difficulty in blood flow which then causes your oxygen levels to change in the brain which then leads to headaches.
2. Your partner says you snore, choke and gasp when you sleep – you may choke and snore at night but you won’t wake up and so the only way for you to know what is going on is if there is someone sleeping beside so that he or she can testify that you did so. If you choke or snore, there is a high chance you will wake up in the morning feeling exhausted. Snoring doesn’t really mean that you have sleep apnea; not always, its just a sign.
3. Insomnia – the national sleep foundation has reported that many of the people with sleep apnea have insomnia but its still not clear which causes which. Even though sometimes sleep apnea doesn’t turn out to be the cause, this still doesn’t mean that insomnia shouldn’t be treated.
4. Mood swings – if you are always tired, chances are you will also be moody and irritated. Being irritated, quick tempered and also depressed can be signs that you are sleep deprived. So, if you are not getting enough sleep, sleep apnea may be the underlying cause of your bad attitude.
5. You are always exhausted even if you slept well during the night – when you stop breathing during the night, it will definitely disturb your sleep. People with sleep apnea even though not conscious that they are waking up tend to wake up frequently during the night thus preventing them from sleeping soundly and later lead to complete exhaustion later in the day. Also gasping and choking throughout the night will cause an elevation in your stress hormones which will lead to high heart rate and high blood pressure thus preventing your body from getting the rest it needs.
6. You wake up choking or gasping for air – this is very common in sleep apnea patients. Doctors say that its not dangerous but just disruptive to anyone who is sleeping beside you or sleeping in the same room as you.
7. High blood pressure – blood pressure is not easy to control so, if your physician has been trying to treat your hypertension with no success, then you need to be treated for sleep apnea. The stress that sleep apnea puts on you and your body and also your heart during the night will lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular health issues. It is estimated that 50 percent of sleep apnea patients have high blood pressure.
8. Your heart keeps pounding for no reason – the abrupt change in your oxygen levels when you stop breathing abruptly in the night will lead to atrial fibrillation, irregular heart rhythm which will lead to stroke, heart failure and blood clots. For some of the people, the abnormal heartbeats usually happen at night but immediately it is thrown off, it will persist during the day also.
9. High blood sugar – sleep apnea has been linked to high blood sugar which is very hard to control despite having treatment. It has also been reported that being sleep deprived which is a product of sleep apnea will mess with your body’s ability to process blood sugar and later lead to insulin resistance. This will then lead to type 2 diabetes over the years.