Why do I have trouble sleeping? What is this Sleep Apnea?

CPAP Sleep Apnea

Better Understanding Sleep Apnea Types & Symptoms 

The quickest and easiest way to explain sleep apnea is that a person stops breathing while they sleep. To get more detailed, it is a series repeated stoppages and starts of breathing.  Now, it is normal for a person to quickly stop breathing while they sleep.  To be considered an apnea, this series of events has to exceed 5 times per hour for over 10 seconds per event.  

The good news is that your body stays aware of your breathing and usually won't let a stoppage continue for long.  The bad news is that your body's defense mechanism is to wake you up.  So, if you are not sleeping well and suspect it might be the result of sleep apnea here is a quick article to give you some of the details of sleep apneas.

There are two main kinds of sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is the most common form of the condition. It’s caused when there’s a blockage in the airway. This can happen when the tissue that’s found towards the back of the throat collapses while a person is sleeping.

Want to know more about CPAP equipment care and use?  Click here to check out this article: Getting Rid of CPAP Baddies; Caring for your CPAP equipment.

Central sleep apnea is different than OSA because there’s not necessarily a blockage. However, in this case, the brain forgets to communicate effectively with the body, so the body doesn’t get the message that it should be breathing. The muscles don’t trigger the breathing reflex and the person will begin losing oxygen.


Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:

One of the most common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea is the loud snoring that most partners complain about.  Due to the snoring, the person may wake up with a very sore or dry throat.  A person may, occasionally wake up with a choking or gasping sensation.  If this happens often throughout the night, this could eventually affect the person with having lack of energy or tiredness during the day and/or morning headaches.  As a result, forgetfulness, mood changes and decrease interest in sex may develop.

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If you suspect that your tiredness may be due to sleep apnea, it's best to start by contacting your doctor.  They will order a series of tests to better determine the style, severity and treatments for your poor nights sleep.  



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