Living with Sleep Apnea

Sleep. We all need it, but sometimes it can be elusive. Have you considered that your sleeping problems might be caused by sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition where one breathes abnormally during sleep. Extended pauses in breath during sleep cause lower-quality sleep and affect oxygen supply, which can lead to serious health consequences. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), where the airway at the back of the throat becomes blocked.

2-9% of adults have OSA, according to the MSD Manual.

What are the symptoms?

  • Disrupted breathing (labored respiration or breath fully stopping for up to a minute)
  • Excessive daytime fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Brain fogginess
  • Snoring

Sleep apnea can be caused by anatomy, being overweight, family history and hormone conditions. You may not be aware of symptoms as they happen when you’re asleep. Your partner, a family member or roommate may notice. If this happens, or you experience extreme daytime fatigue, talk to your doctor to see if you have might sleep apnea. Luckily, it can be treated through nightly use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine and lifestyle changes like losing weight or sleeping on your side.

Content by Lockton Dunning Benefits with info from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-apnea