“Most people who snore don't have obstructive sleep apnea, but most people who have apnea snore,” says Dr Robert Owens, of the Sleep Disorders Research Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where the upper passages of your airway closes off, interrupting your breathing and depriving you of oxygen until you wake up and start breathing again. You could be waking up hundreds of times in the night for just a few seconds at a time to catch your breath without knowing it.
Sleep apnea affects millions of people, and it could be the reason you wake up tired in the mornings. Keep Reading...
Three clues you may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea...
Besides waking up tired, look out for a very dry mouth in the mornings. People who suffer from Obstructive Sleep
Apnea (OSA) tend to sleep
with their mouths open.
If you wake up at night and desperately need to urinate, this could be a sure sign of OSA. This is because when a person’s breathing is disrupted, it puts pressure on the heart, which in turn affects a hormone that normally controls urine production in the kidneys.
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What sleep deprivation does to you
So what do you do if you suspect you may suffer from OSA?
You feel tired and sleepy during the day
You find it difficult to focus on tasks or concentrate for extended periods of time
You forget things and feel clumsy
Sleep deprivation can lead to depression
You may have a lower pain threshold
You crave sugary or fatty foods because of the heightened cortisol levels
You're putting on weight, or have done so
There are a number of devices you can get to keep your airways open, ranging from a nose and mouth mask, to a dental piece and a nose strip.
You could get rid of your OSA by losing weight
if you are overweight
, avoiding alcohol, stop smoking and sleeping on your sides rather than your back.
Surgery may also be an option to clear the airways.
Visit a sleep clinic if you suspect you may suffer from OSA and treat it as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your health.
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