Three Sleep Apnea Signs You Need to Be Aware Of

A medical professional holds a clipboard and stethoscope and writes "Sleep Apnea" on the paper

Only a small percentage of the population is aware of the most common sleep apnea signs. This is often because sleep apnea is not seen as a large enough problem to worry about. The truth is, sleep apnea is a problematic condition to have. If not treated properly, it can lead to a wide variety of problems with your health. Sleep apnea is often very easy to treat, if you do have it, so make sure you do what you can to get it diagnosed. That way, you do not put your overall health at risk.

One of the Biggest Sleep Apnea Signs is Constant Exhaustion

One of the most common signs that you may struggle with sleep apnea is a constant feeling of exhaustion. When you are always tired, even after being in bed for the right number of hours, this is your body telling you something is off. Those who suffer from sleep apnea struggle to breathe all night long. This leaves them feeling tired since they were never able to fully relax all night.

Your body is constantly battling flight or fight mode all night long. Any time you stop breathing, either by choice or by ailment, your body struggles. Your blood pressure and heart rate rise, and your body releases a bunch of adrenaline. This wakes you up and prevents you from getting the deepest level of sleep. While having the adrenaline in your body allows you to keep your airway more open, it also keeps you from sleeping very soundly. That is why you feel exhausted all the time.

Pay Attention if Someone Says You Gasp or Snore While Sleeping

You are not as likely to notice the signs of sleep apnea on your own. However, others are much more likely to notice them. Listen to your loved ones if they mention that they hear you gasping in your sleep. Also, pay attention if they playfully pick on you for snoring. There is always someone who thinks that comparing a snorer to a bear is humorous. Instead of arguing what animal you sound like, take note of the fact that you snore. This is a signal that your body is struggling to maintain your breathing while you sleep. You need to go in and get tested for sleep apnea right away if this issue comes up. The sooner you get checked out, the fewer long-term problems you are likely to face.

One of the More Unusual Sleep Apnea Signs is Increased Nighttime Urination

Most people attribute increased nighttime urination with pregnancy or having had children, or just simply getting older. However, that is not always the case. If you have gone through and cut down on how much you drink before you go to bed, and still wake up to use the washroom regularly, you should take notice. When your body has issues breathing, it releases a bunch of different hormones. One of those hormones increases how often you need to go to the washroom. Contact your doctor or your dentist to find out what steps come next. Depending on how many symptoms you have, there are different tests that can help determine if you have sleep apnea or not.

Effects of Untreated Sleep Apnea

There are a lot of problems that can come along with untreated, or improperly treated sleep apnea. Since your body struggles to breathe all night long, your body has less chances to heal. Your body does its best healing during sleep. That is when all of the rest is put to good use, repairing parts of the body that need it.

During episodes of sleep apnea, your blood pressure spikes up much higher than normal. This can leave you facing increased blood pressure during the day as well. By allowing your blood pressure to rise, it can leave you with heart problems. Plus, it can also leave you with a higher chance of suffering from afflictions like a heart attack or a stroke.

Your heart works harder when you struggle with sleep apnea. During episodes where you are not sleeping, your heart rate rises significantly. This means that your heart is not getting down to your resting heart rate like it should during sleep. Your heart does not get the chance to rest or heal, since it is not able to relax. This leaves you at higher risk for heart disease and other cardiac ailments.

Also, when your body is unable to rest properly, it puts you at higher risk for other whole-body problems. Your immune system decreases in how effectively you can combat even small illnesses, like the cold or the flu. It also makes your body work harder to keep things normalized, such as your glucose levels. This can put you at higher risk for problems like diabetes.

There Is Help Out There if You Have Sleep Apnea

If you notice any of these sleep apnea signs, it is important you get help to treat it. You can opt for a natural way of trying to treat sleep apnea. This includes sleeping in different positions or sleeping on an incline, or it can include losing weight. There are also alternative treatments for sleep apnea that are very effective. This includes an oral appliance that holds your mouth in a better position for an open airway. If you want to find out more about this sleep apnea solution, we can help. You want to make sure that you get help for sleep apnea sooner, rather than later. It will help you feel more rested, give you an increased ability to focus, and keep your health up. Reach out for help today, instead of living with the signs of sleep apnea.

Contact us here at the office of Jeffrey W. Cross, D.D.S., F.A.G.D. We can help you with any aspect of sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment. Our number is (301) 662-0300, and we should be the first call you make when you notice any of these sleep apnea signs!

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