Do you know what sleep apnea is?
If so, do you how to recognize the four tell-tale signs that you have the disorder?
First, you may want to ask yourself how well you have been sleeping lately? Are you able to get the recommended number of hours of sleep a night? Adults should get 7-8 hours of sleep each day, but we are clearly not.
Most adults would say that they are getting enough hours or sleep every night. But still, a vast majority of these adults would admit that they still feel quite tired during the day. They may complain of having moments of memory lapses and having the inability to concentrate.
They may awake in the morning with a nagging headache. There is also a noticeable feeling of irritability with depression, mood swings, and personality changes. There are others that can remember having to get up many times during the night to urinate.
Also, even though they think they may have slept well through the evening, they still tend to wake up a dry mouth. For many that are experiencing these and other symptoms, it has become enough for them to endure. A decision will be made to seek out professional help.
When their days become more than can be tolerated, desperation will lead them to their primary care physician for answers.
Are You Sure You Don’t Snore?
You may not think that there is anything wrong with the way that you are sleeping every night. For some, the first and greatest sign that there are sleep issues is snoring. It’s not until someone else living in the household starts to complain about loud snoring.
You are probably not even aware that you are snoring through the night. Snoring can be disruptive not only to your sleeping pattern. It can also become a thorn in the side of the person you may share a bedroom with, such as a spouse.
There are tales of family members being able to hear another family member snoring past closed doors and even through the wall of an accompanying bedroom. They are being kept awake by the incessant snoring to the point where they can even give a play by play of the night.
The family members can lend witness to every moment through the night when the snoring may have stopped. Many reports that there are numerous times through the night when the snoring may stop, but it is then replaced with a moment of coughing or the person gasping for air.
They may then find a new sleeping position as the snoring returns just as loudly as before. In the morning, the person doing the snoring is unaware of how disruptive they had been during the night.
Although embarrassing, snoring can be a critical clue that something is very wrong and a physician’s attention is needed.
Chronic Daytime Sleepiness
Another sign that your sleep patterns are being disrupted during the night is daytime sleepiness. There could be the inability to concentrate during the day. You may think that if only you could get in a nap if only for a few minutes you would feel much better.
Without the proper amount of sleep each night, you are putting yourself at risk of other issues during the day. It can be dangerous, especially if you drive during these sleepy daytime moments.
Per the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, it is said that the diagnosis of sleep apnea is essential to reducing avoidable and life-threatening car accidents that are caused by drowsy driving.
Not only is being sleepy during the day intolerable but it can make others around you uncomfortable as well. Another sign that can be apparent by the people you interact with is irritability. This can hinder your ability to tolerate many normal daytime situations.
In time, you may find yourself avoiding social interactions with family and friends. As one unfortunate situation leads to another, depression and mood swings can develop. When depression gets added into the equation, the problem with the lack of sleep can be compounded.
Others around you can see the changes in you, and this may lead to their avoidance of your personality change. This can also affect your family life and slowly bring an end to social interaction opportunities.
When to Get Professional Help
If all this sounds familiar and the situation has become debilitating for you or a family member, then it is time to seek professional help. You may be surprised to find out that you could be predisposed to sleep apnea.
Your physician may look back through your family history for clues to your current condition. Your journey to a diagnosis may begin with your doctor ordering a sleep study for further determination of the severity of the problem.
Whatever the treatment your doctor determines to help your situation, within time and treatment, you will return to a normal life again.