Are you suffering from sleep apnea? If you are dealing with loud and chronic snoring, gasping for breath, restlessness and night awakenings you could be dealing with sleep apnea like I am. After one to many nights of waking up moody and irritable, I decided something had to be done. Mom!!! Get up you are going to see…somebody.
Oh, you see, I’m not the one who has sleep apnea. It’s my dear old Mom who has taken up residence in my guest room so frequently I think she has started getting mail at my house. Untreated sleep apnea prevents you and likely anyone you’re in the house with from getting a good night’s sleep.
Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or shallow breathing while sleep. Breathing pauses can occur up to hundreds of times a night in those who suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is actually a serious disorder. When left untreated it can lead to serious complications such as high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, diabetes and depression.
The good news is that there is treatment for sleep apnea that can sometimes be cured without medical intervention. Determining if you have sleep apnea is important. For some it’s hard to know if you just have a snoring problem or if you have sleep apnea. In addition to chronic snoring sleep apnea symptoms include long pauses in breathing during sleep, gasping for breath, morning headaches, sore throats, depression, and daytime sleepiness.
Although I was 100% sure of my Mom’s sleep apnea an official diagnosis of sleep apnea was in order which required seeing a sleep specialist and an overnight stay at a sleep clinic. While she was gone that was one good night sleep for me! Often time’s people are afraid of the diagnosis of sleep apnea as some may have heard of the need to wear a CPAP. A Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure device, or CPAP for short, is the most common treatment for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.
The CPAP device is a mask-like machine that provides a constant stream of air which keeps your breathing passages open while you sleep. While wearing the mask can seem uncomfortable in many cases, people experience immediate symptom relief and a boost in mental and physical energy. You get a good night’s sleep and your loved ones.
The good news is that even if you start out wearing a CPAP device you don’t have to end there. There is treatment for sleep apnea that doesn’t require a CPAP device. Sleep apnea can be treated with weight loss, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, caffeine and heavy meals close to bedtime, maintaining regular sleep hours and sleeping on your side or propping your head up with a pillow during sleep.