Home Sleep Apnea What is Sleep Apnea?

What is Sleep Apnea?


You happen to be fast asleep but suddenly you wake up, gasping for breath. This is because you stopped breathing, when you were asleep, at least for around 10 seconds. This disorder is known as sleep apnea and it can be because of a variety of reasons.

Sleep apnea happens to be in a milder form, when are not disturbed for more than three or four times a night, during your sleep. But in some drastic cases, it can also be a severe sleep apnea, when you keep waking, at least between 200 to 300 times a nights. In this case, the very moment you fall asleep, you’re breathing stopped. If, your lungs don’t get oxygen 50 times an hour, you are in a serious trouble. It is completely impossible for you to sleep under such circumstances, and that is the reason why sleep apnea needs to be cured as immediately as possible.

Obstructive sleep apnea

The most common kind of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea. If, the air passage to your nose, throat and mouth, gets blocked suddenly, or is narrowed because of some reason, you are going to suffer from sleep apnea. This normally happens when the tongue muscles in the throat, relax when you are fast asleep, and block the air passages. You can also suffer from sleep apnea, if, you have adenoids or large tonsils. The moment you go off to sleep, by resting flat on your back, these adenoids or large tonsils, press against the back of the airway and block the air passage, by narrowing it. That is the reason why it is necessary to get your tonsils surgically removed, so that you do not suffer from sleep apnea. If, you happen to have a jawbone, which is misaligned, probably something similar like the Hapsburg jaw, which prevents its owners from eating and breathing properly, you are going to suffer from a lack of oxygen.


You might also suffer from sleep apnea, if you drink a lot of alcohol and eat quite heavy meals before dozing off. The people who suffer from sleep apnea also do not exercise much and are overweight. That is the reason why it is necessary for you to lose weight before you find that the symptoms of sleep apnea are far above from the scope of being alleviated and reduced. If, you have a very heavy meal and are in an inebriated condition due to which you are sleeping on your back, you’re not only going to suffer from a hangover of the morrow, but you’re also going to suffer from waking up at regular intervals, gasping for breath.

Due to sleep apnea, and irregular sleep during the night, you find yourself drowsy during the day or often even sleeping at odd hours. This is why there are so many accidents, because the driver falls asleep on the steering wheel while driving as he had not had a good night’s rest. Sleep apnea is also going to make sure that you wake up feeling tired, grumpy, and with a splitting headache, which doesn’t quite go away throughout the day and makes you feel even more grumpier and without energy.

Uninterrupted Sleep

It is necessary for you to have a good night’s sleep, to ensure that you feel fresh in the next morning. If, your sleep gets interrupted very often, you are not going to feel refreshed the next morning. And that is because, you gasp when you are snoring which wakes yourself up. You may also stop breathing for 10 seconds or so and then suddenly wake up, and your rest disturbed sleep consists of tossing and turning throughout the night. This is why sleep apnea has to be treated, as soon as anyone recognizes the very symptoms.

Children, who are suffering from sleep apnea, find it pretty difficult to breathe, when they are asleep and snore loudly, when they are lying upon their backs. But turning them to their sides, make them sleep more comfortably. Children don’t seem to suffer much from sleep deprivation caused due to sleep apnea.

However, a child who does not get a good night’s rest would not grow, as quickly as the other children of his age. He is going to be restless at night, and would find it difficult to go to sleep after he wakes up.

Some of the more current side effects of sleep apnea happened to be –

• chances of heart problems
• High blood pressure
• Depression
• chances of stroke
• Excess fatigue.

Doctors usually look at the behavior of the sleep patterns before the diagnosis of sleep apnea is done. He may recommend you to note down your sleep patterns in a sleep study, which is done during one night’s rest at the sleep center. Here, your sleeping patterns are noted carefully and the numbers of times you wake up, as well as the amount of oxygen, which is flowing to your lungs are also noted down. Some doctors may ask you to undergo x-rays and tests to see if, there are any obstructions in any passage as, well as any problems, which might be causing sleep apnea.


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