Sleep apnea is a common, but serious, sleep disorder that cuts off the air supply to the lungs when your body is asleep. Also known as obstructed sleep apnea, this condition causes you to snore or choke as you gasp for air during slumber. In just one night, sleep apnea can wake you several times during each hour of your sleep cycle.
Why it happens: As you sleep, the muscles of the upper airway relax. In the case of sleep apnea, the muscles in the back of the throat collapse instead, which causes an air blockage to the lungs. When this happens, sleep is disrupted due to lack of air and oxygen flow to the brain and the rest of the body. With interrupted sleep, one will experience fatigue and a sluggish feeling on waking and throughout the day.
Are you at risk? If you wake during the night from snoring or choking, this may be a sign of sleep apnea. Ask your sleep partner if they notice excessive snoring or long pauses between breaths; if the answer is yes, this sign could indicate a more serious case. When you wake up, if you still feel lethargic with a slight headache, this too may be evidence of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can affect people of all ages and the lack of oxygen to the brain is a very serious concern leading to other negative health outcomes like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. With diagnosis, many benefit from treatment and live happier and healthier lives.
Thanks to new affordable devices to use at home, thousands of previously undiagnosed sufferers have been able to take steps to improve their quality of sleep. The ability to begin identifying and addressing potential sleep issues is now in your hands and can be carried out in the comfort of your home.
Do you have symptoms of sleep apnea? With a new device you can now track your sleep patterns, pulse, and even oxygen levels while you sleep. At Somnology, we offer the tools and technology to get you back to sleep. Learn more about the Plex Sleep Scanner and sleep well tonight!
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