That’s a common complaint of people who suffer from sleep apnea. They sleep for eight hours, but somehow, they’re still tired when they wake up. This makes it very difficult to get through a busy day, and it can have a dramatic effect on your quality of life.
What happens with sleep apnea is that your brain rouses you from sleep several times per night. It senses a drop in your blood oxygen levels and causes you to wake up so you can breathe normally and correct the problem. You might not even realize this is happening.
There are two kinds of sleep apnea, and they are caused by different things. Central sleep apnea is caused when the brain fails to signal your respiratory muscles to breathe. This is a failure in the normal function of the central nervous system, and it is something a medical doctor needs to treat.
The other type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and it is the more common of the two types of sleep apnea. With this type of sleep apnea, the tissues in the back of your throat relax and partially block your airway.
This causes your diaphragm and chest muscles to have to work harder to keep your airway open, and it signals your brain to wake you up. Typically, you awaken with a gasp and a jerk, but you may not be fully aware of it.
As you might know, these episodes of apnea can cause big problems for your sleep patterns and your relationship. They can also cause heart rhythm irregularities, high blood pressure, and other significant health problems.
People who suffer from OSA are more likely to have a number of other health problems. These include the following:
Aside from feeling tired, sleep apnea causes loud snoring, restlessness, a dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening, and headaches. It can also cause mood disturbances such as depression and anxiety, night sweats, and sexual dysfunction. As it goes on, it can result in cognitive impairment by interfering with your ability to concentrate, causing forgetfulness, and resulting in irritability.
If you’re experiencing these or any other symptoms of sleep apnea, the Wheaton Dental Sleep Center and Dr. Koehne can help. We’re dedicated to helping you get a restful night’s sleep. Call our office today for a consultation!