Do you snore? Do you often wake up tired even after 7 hours of sleep? You might just be suffering from sleep apnoea, a potentially serious and definitely disruptive sleep disorder.
In this post, we discuss sleep apnoea symptoms and what you can do about it.
- Snore loudly?
- Feel unrefreshed, irritable and unfocused after a good night’s sleep?
- Toss and turn at night?
- Wake up with a dry mouth or a headache?
If those common sleep apnoea symptoms sound like you, don’t dismiss it for a second longer – and read on. Why should you?
Because while you may already think that snoring – something we’ve all joked about from time to time – is basically synonymous with sleep apnoea. But that’s not right at all. Some people snore because of the anatomy of their mouth and soft palate or have nasal issues. Other snorers are overweight; some drink too much; some don’t get enough sleep; perhaps you’re sensitive to your sleeping position.
So what is sleep apnoea?
It’s sometimes referred to as obstructive sleep apnoea, because what’s happening is that, when asleep, your throat can become partially or completely blocked – and the result of that is that you actually stop breathing for anything from a moment or two, a few seconds, to up to a minute and a half.
Detecting the drop of oxygen in your blood, your brain – thankfully – will wake you up at least enough to tense up those airway muscles so you can breathe again. These ‘apnoeas’ can happen all the way through the night – and you will never actually consciously know it happened, even if it happened dozens or even hundreds of times.
- Middle-aged or older?
- Above a healthy weight?
- Related to someone with sleep apnoea?
If so, while you’re in the higher-risk categories, you may actually answer “no” to all of them and still have sleep apnoea. The symptoms of sleep apnoea may be so mild that you dismiss them – but it’s actually very important that you get it checked out.
Why? Because sleep apnoea:
Is bad for you: You’re not just occasionally starving your blood of oxygen and disturbing your sleep, those with untreated sleep apnoea are more likely to also suffer from high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and stroke.
Is dangerous: Chronic sleep disturbances are linked with a higher prevalence of car and workplace injuries.
Isn’t fun: You may not just be sleepy, sleep apnoea can affect your concentration, productivity and memory. You may also get headaches, be moody, become depressed, lose interest in sex or have erectile dysfunction.
Affect children too: Sleep is so important for kids that it can lead to serious behavioural and developmental problems.
So you have sleep apnoea – What’s next?
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnoea or show sleep apnoea symptoms, the good news is that there are things you can do about it:
Lifestyle: As being overweight, smoking, caffeine, and drinking alcohol commonly aggravate sleep apnoea, simple lifestyle changes can make your sleep apnoea milder.
CPAP: Standing for ‘Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, CPAP involves wearing a mask while sleeping. It minimises sleep apnoea by preventing the throat from collapsing by adding air pressure to the throat.
Surgery: In some cases, removing enlarged tonsils can help, while surgeries to the palate and the base of the tongue have also proved helpful in serious cases.
Oral appliance therapy: The most comfortable sleep apnoea treatment is a custom-fitted oral appliance, with the latest state of the art 3D digital technology and materials helping to prevent the throat from collapsing while still allowing you to speak, drink and swallow.
Learn more about effective treatments for sleep apnoea.
Do you have symptoms of sleep apnoea? If you’re serious about putting your sleep apnoea behind you, here’s what to do:
- Take a sleep apnoea test
- Make an appointment
- Have a sleep study analysed
- Attend a consultation
- Explore oral appliance options
- Have teeth 3D scanned
- Wait 2-3 weeks for your custom-fit appliance!
At SleepWise Clinic, we offer a three-month trial which is part of our Satisfaction Guarantee. Are you ready to start tackling your sleep apnoea today? Get in touch with our team today – you don’t need a referral.