You can be one among millions of people who don't get a good night's sleep because of a common sleep disorder known as 'sleep apnea'. Sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder where the person repeatedly stops and starts his breath. It is a treatable disease but usually goes unrecognized.
SLEEP APNEA interrupts your breath while you are sleeping for about 10 to 20 seconds and this repeats about hundred times during your sleep. This sleep disorder prevents you from getting a good night sleep. As your breathing is paused, you get disturbed from your natural sleep rhythm and this leads to a short duration of deep restorative sleep and increases the time span of light sleep. Whereas a good night sleep should have a long deep restorative sleep to be mentally sharp, energetic and productive for the next day.
Sleep apnea can affect anyone, even children. The major cause for sleep apnea is the blockage of airway during your sleep, as your muscles tend to relax more than the normal while sleeping. The other causes of sleep apnea can be the medical conditions which lead to nasal congestion and blockage. The risk factors that trigger sleep apnea are age, being overweight, sex, smoking and heredity, according to helpguide.org.
The symptoms of sleep apnea cannot be identified on your own, as they are prominent while you are sleeping. You can take the help of your bed partner to know the symptoms. The major symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring, feeling sleepy during day time, a long pause in breathing during the sleep, and gasping during sleep. The other common symptoms of sleep apnea can be headache, frequently going to washroom during night, difficulty in concentration, irritability and depression.
The treatment of sleep apnea mainly depends on the conservative therapies like weight loss, avoiding sleeping pills and alcohol, changing sleep positions, avoiding smoking and sleeping on your back. You can also use a dental device that will help to open the airways during night. If you are exhausted with all other options for the treatment of sleep apnea then a surgery can help you to decrease the episodes of sleep apnea.