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Sleep Apnea Symptoms – TheTop 6 Ones and Their Consequences

“Sleep is the BEST medication”. – Dalai Lama

Sleep Apnea symptoms- most of us must have heard about this term these days. It is one of the most common sleep disorders. Did you know? Every year, almost 20 million adults in the world get affected by Sleep apnea, but they are not aware of it.

A good night’s sleep is one of the best things that anyone can experience in their daily life. Not only it is crucial to our body, but it is also important for the body to function. Most of us think that if we have spent 7-8 hours every day in bed and slept well, it is enough.

However, you might not be aware of the unknown disorder that your body is going through. Apnea is a Greek word, which means “without breath”. Sleep apnea is an involuntary stoppage of breathing. This happens when someone is asleep.

Most of us are not aware that sleep apnea symptoms are the main reason for a lot of health disorders. If it is left untreated for a long time, it can lead to serious consequences.

sleep apnea solutions

Source – Clearvue Health

1. What is Sleep Apnea in Layman’s Terms?

This is a condition when we stop breathing in our sleep. It causes loud snores or sometimes it creates choking noises because the body is trying to breathe. Now, when the body becomes deprived of oxygen, it makes you wake up all of a sudden. Sleep apnea symptoms are common amongst a lot of us yet it is a serious disorder. This might cause you to stop breathing once or multiple times during your sleep. The air passage gets blocked repeatedly and reduces the amount of air that reaches your lungs.

2. What are the Different Types of Sleep Apnea?

There are mainly three types of sleep apnea.

  1. Central Sleep Apnea – This happens when the brain fails to signal the respiratory system to breathe causing a temporary pause in breathing.

  2. Obstructive Sleep Apnea – This is when the breathing is paused due to the physical blockage in the upper airways. This happens when the soft tissues of the throat and the tongue collapse in the airways.

  3. Complex/Mixed Sleep Apnea – This is a combination of both the above-mentioned sleep apnea.

3. The 6 Severe Sleep Apnea Symptoms

In the following section of the blog, we are going to present to you the top 6 severe sleep apnea symptoms. You have to make sure whether you are having any of the following symptoms or not.

3.1 Loud Snoring

Loud and chronic snoring is one of the very common sleep apnea symptoms. This happens due to the partial blockage of the air. When the air is getting restricted from passing easily through the airways, it causes us to snore in our sleep.

3.2 Multiple Breaks during Breathing

During sleep apnea side effects, the fatty tissues of the tongue or throat become relaxed in your sleep. It falls across the airways that prevent the flow of oxygen. This, in turn, restricts the process of respiration for quite a long time.

3.3 Fatigue Throughout the Day

This is another major sleep apnea symptom. We all assume that if we are in bed for 7-8 hours, we had a good quality of sleep. But this is far from the truth. All of the pauses and interruptions during sleep cause us to lose a lot of the quality and quantity of our sleep. Did you know? Daytime fatigue/tiredness is one of the most common sleep apnea symptoms. This sleep apnea side effect is also called excessive daytime sleepiness. This is a condition when a person experiences high fatigue during the day.

3.4 Headache

When you wake up with a headache or have frequent headaches throughout the day, it is a sleep apnea symptom. This sleep apnea side effect shows that you didn’t have a good quality of sleep. When you breathe less during the night, it causes less or almost no oxygen to make its way into the brain. Thus, the reduced level of oxygen causes widening of the blood vessels that causes vascular headaches.

3.5 Obesity

Did you know? In most cases, our body weight is directly linked to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It’s a clear sleep apnea symptom. Obese people will likely have more effects of sleep apnea than people who maintain a healthy weight. This might be because of too much fat deposition in the circumference of the throat. The excess tissues fall back into the airways during our sleep and obstruct the airways, leading to sleep apnea cause.

3.6 Mood Swings, Anxiety & Depression

We all know that lack of quality sleep affects everyone’s mood. Thus, if the sleep cycle is affected every night, it makes you more irritable, prone to anxiety, and triggers depression. All of these are sleep apnea symptoms.

sleep apnea treatments

Source – Di Martino Laboratory

What are the Effects of Sleep Apnea?

Low oxygen levels in the body, it has negative long-term on our health. These include:

  1. Heart disease

  2. High blood pressure

  3. Stroke

  4. Depression

  5. Pre-diabetes and diabetes

4. Can Kids Develop Sleep Apnea Symptoms?

A kid must get a good night’s sleep. If they don’t get that, it affects their moods as well. Improper sleep in a child leads to crankiness. Thus it makes it difficult for the parent to deal with the kids. If your kid is waking up with a dry mouth, a headache, and makes a lot of tosses and turns in the bed while sleeping, it is a matter of concern. The following symptoms suggest that your kid is suffering from sleep apnea.

4.1 What are the Sleep Apnea Symptoms in Kids?

  1. Gasping

  2. Loud snoring

  3. Waking up with a dry mouth

  4. Choking

  5. Uneven breathing during sleep

  6. Sleeping in odd positions

  7. Snorting

  8. Breathing through mouth

  9. Sleeping in odd positions

  10. Coughing while sleeping

Apart from these, there are certain other effects of sleep apnea as well. These include frequent bedwetting and nightmare incidents that can also cause troubled sleep. If you see that your kid is tired a lot during the day, it is a clue to his/her condition. The other possible sleep apnea symptoms include behavioural issues like learning difficulties and hyperactivity. Children or adolescents that don’t sleep well at night also behave poorly and are less interested. When your kid displays such signs, you need to take him to a doctor and determine if he/she is suffering from signs of sleep apnea.

5. How Do I Get Rid of the Effects of Sleep Apnea?

Let us present you with simple yet effective sleep apnea solutions.

  1. Maintain a healthy weight because obesity can lead to the blockage of airway obstruction and reduces the nasal passages. This is one of the best sleep apnea solutions.

  2. Continue yoga because regular exercise can enhance energy levels, strengthen the heart and improve sleep apnea.

  3. Change the sleep position because it can reduce sleep apnea symptoms and enhance the night’s rest. For adults, sleeping on the side helps the breathing return to normal and for children, sleeping on the back is better to reduce sleep apnea symptoms. It is the most popular sleep apnea treatment.

  4. Use humidifiers to add moisture to the air.

  5. Stop smoking and reduce consuming alcohol.

severe sleep apnea symptoms

Source – Cureus

6. Can Sleep Apnea Symptoms Cause Belly Fat?

Signs of sleep apnea can cause belly fat and it can increase weight. There are two hormones in our body, one is ghrelin and the other is leptin. Leptin is supposed to reduce appetite while ghrelin increases appetite. Patients with signs of sleep apnea have increased levels of ghrelin and it makes them hungry, causing them to gain weight. Thus, sleep apnea side effects are directly related to weight gain leading to an increase in belly fat.

6.1 Can Sleep Apnea Symptoms in Men Caused by Stress?

Sleep apnea complications are not directly caused by stress but stress can increase the sleep apnea risk factor. The blocked airways resulting from obstructive sleep apnea happen due to the abnormal relaxation of the throat muscles during sleep. Stress is strongly linked with poor quality of sleep. People with obstructive sleep apnea already sleep poorly and stress leads to increased sleep deprivation.

6.2 Does Heart Stop Beating during Sleep Apnea?

Yes, it is true. The reason is a moderate obstructive sleep apnea can increase a person’s chances of cardiac death. This can be fatal because the heart stops beating all of a sudden. This is when the person needs to be treated with immediate CPR or you can also use an automated external defibrillator. This is yet another crucial sleep apnea solution.

6.3 Which Food is Good to Get Rid of Sleep Apnea?

There are a lot of foods that can help with sleep apnea symptoms. For instance, foods that are rich in melatonin can help with sleep apnea complications. You can opt for asparagus, cherries, corn, broccoli, grapes, and cucumbers. All of these contain the sleepy hormone. It is recommended that tart cherry juice is also great as a source of melatonin.

6.4 Do You Dream If You Have Sleep Apnea Symptoms?

Sleep apnea risk factors don’t affect the capability to dream because dreams are a part of our subconscious mind. However, sleep apnea complications do affect the dreams themselves. Because, if you have obstructive sleep apnea symptoms, chances are, you shall have more nightmarish dreams. Sleep apnea risks cause a lack of oxygen in our sleep, which causes stress/anxiety in our body like choking. This in turn leads us to dream in symbolic and disturbing ways.

6.5 What is the Most Common Sleep Apnea Treatment?

The most common sleep apnea treatment is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). When you give CPAP, the air pressure becomes greater than the surrounding air pressure. This is just enough to keep the upper airways open and prevents snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. Even though CPAP is the most reliable and common sleep apnea treatment a lot of people find it difficult and uncomfortable.

how do you know if you have sleep apnea

Source – Statista

6.6 Can Skinny People have Sleep Apnea?

The simple answer to this question is, YES! Since being overweight is related to disturbed or improper sleep, we tend to believe that skinny people can’t have sleep apnea symptoms. However, this is not the case at all. Obesity is not the only reason for sleep disorders. Even a slender and healthy person can have sleep apnea risks because it is associated with a lack of oxygen in the air passage.

6.7 Can a Pillow Help with Sleep Apnea?

Yes, a good pillow helps to improve the comfort of sleep apnea symptoms in patients. Also, it reduces the risk of face mask air leaks. There are some pillow design feature indents for CPAP masks and hoses. Some others are crafted to make sure that the sleepers feel optimal comfort on their backs.

6.8 Can Sleep Apnea Symptoms Go Away by Itself?

This is something that a lot of us ask ourselves. The simple answer to this is NO! Sleep apnea risks don’t go away. This is especially true if you are an adult because the anatomy of an adult individual remains fixed right from adolescence. For instance, if you sleep on your back, the tongue might fall into the throat and block the airway. Sometimes, big tonsils and a large tongue disrupt the airflow when you sleep. If these anatomical factors contribute to effects of sleep apnea and the symptoms are unlikely to go away.

7. Conclusion

When it comes to sleep apnea symptoms and treatments, these are every detail that you ought to know. Whether you have sleep apnea risks or not can be determined by the symptoms. Coming to sleep apnea solutions, can be obtained easily with the help of professional doctors. Remember that it is not difficult to prevent yourself from the effects of sleep apnea. However, you should never leave it untreated, especially if you know about the symptoms.

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