Do you wake up mid-snore? If you do, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. What is sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is when the upper airway of your respiratory system becomes blocked repeatedly during your sleep. This blocked passageway reduces or completely blocks off the air from passing through and allowing for breathing. As a result, you can sometimes stop breathing, snore, or choke. This is considered obstructive sleep apnea. There is also an apnea called central sleep apnea. Central Sleep apnea is when the brain forgets to signal the body to breathe. This apnea is not as common.
Signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
What are the signs of sleep apnea? The signs of sleep apnea include apnea episodes. An apnea episode is periods of reduced or absent breathing. You or your partner may notice these episodes. The absence of breathing is the strongest sign that you have sleep apnea. Other signs of sleep apnea include frequent loud snoring and gasping for breath during your sleep. If your partner complains about your snoring, gasping, or stopped breathing, you need to be checked by a physician.
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
There are several common symptoms of sleep apnea as well. In the case where you don’t have a partner to observe the signs of sleep apnea, you may have to rely on the symptoms of sleep apnea. The symptoms are the results of not getting restful sleep. What are the symptoms? The symptoms include waking up after a full night’s sleep feeling exhausted. If you have this symptom, you will have excess daytime fatigue and tend to fall asleep waiting TV or reading a book or newspaper. Other symptoms include decreased attention and concentration, dry mouth, headaches, and waking up in the night to go to the bathroom.
Again, if you are concerned, you should contact your doctor’s office for an appointment. Your doctor can set you up for a sleep study to monitor the number of apnea episodes that you experience each night. The more frequent your episodes are the stronger your sleep apnea is.
If you are getting a good night’s sleep and still waking up exhausted, you may have sleep apnea. Have your partner listen for sounds of snoring, gasping, or stopped breath throughout the night.