Being awakened multiple times in the middle of the night shouldn’t be your idea of a good night’s sleep. If you find that you don’t feel well-rested after a full 8 hours of slumber, you could be affected by sleep apnea.
Some people might not even wake up during their bouts of sleep apnea, but they find that they are always tired, foggy, and need more sleep to compensate for their lack of quality sleep.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder in which a person stops breathing sporadically during slumber. The condition can be serious if not properly treated, potentially causing:
- High blood pressure
- Liver problems
- Heart disease
If you stop breathing, your brain is being deprived of necessary oxygen. This is why a person suffering from sleep apnea can often feel tired and foggy – but a doctor who specializes in sleep medicine can help you.
How Can My Weight Affect Sleep Apnea?
Being overweight, though, can be one of the major causes of the condition, specifically obstructive sleep apnea. This happens due to fatty deposits surrounding your upper airway, which can put pressure or lean against the windpipe when lying down.
Obstructive sleep apnea also occurs when the muscles in the throat relax. As you sleep and your body relaxes, the excess soft tissue around your throat, and within your mouth, can block your airways.
That is why maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent sleep apnea, because the soft tissue will be normal and not excessive.
Other Causes of the Condition
There are several other factors that may play into your sleep apnea as well, including:
- Thyroid issues
- Small throat size
- Large tongue size
- Large neck circumference
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Other than feeling overly fatigued during the day, or even still sleepy, you may experience unusual headaches in the mornings. The headaches due to sleep apnea are due to the fact that your brain is being deprived of oxygen periodically while you sleep.
Many people with this condition don’t notice it themselves – they only know about it because their loved ones tell them that they have a fitful and restless sleep at night, and that they sometimes stop breathing. However, some people do wake up in a flinch or gasping for air.
What Should I Do to Treat It?
If any of the above sounds like symptoms plaguing you, then it’s important to get help right away. Ignoring the issue could lead to more severe health effects.
Your doctor will likely suggest that you arrange for a sleep study. A sleep study is a study of one person as they sleep, evaluating how well they sleep and any unhealthy or unusual behaviors.
During a sleep study, you will be monitored while sleeping for any signs of sleep apnea. Afterward, the physician will discuss with you the possible next steps to take and possible treatment options.
The doctor may simply recommend that you make a lifestyle change to help you sleep well again. Losing a few pounds may be the least-invasive method to begin reversing your condition.
Who Can Help with My Sleep Apnea in Midlands?
It’s time to take charge of your life and start enjoying a more healthy you! At SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation, we offer a vast array of procedures and beneficial treatments to help you get back to a good night’s sleep again – including our own Sleep Lab of Columbia to help us figure out exactly how to help you.
Call us today to schedule a consultation at (803) 749-1111 or complete our online appointment request form here. Let us help you get back to sleep again so you can enjoy more refreshing days!