Sleep Apnea is shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. It is a severe problem that could cause a person to stop breathing.
There are three types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common where the tongue and soft palate block the airways when the muscles are relaxed. Central sleep apnea is where the brain doesn't send the signals necessary to continue breathing normally. Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of both types of sleep apnea. What is common among them is the breathing pauses for about 20 to 30 seconds several times throughout the night. People with severe sleep apnea pause breathing long enough to wake them several times at night.
If you wake up every time feeling drowsy, it could be a sign of sleep apnea. Since sleep apnea interrupts sleep many times in the night, people are unable to get the type of sleep their bodies need. As the body struggles to get oxygen, it remains active and doesn’t allow you to go into REM sleep cycle. The inability to go into REM sleep cycle prevents you from getting a night of good sleep, making you feel tired throughout the day.
Depression is a more significant sign of sleep apnea. Because sleep apnea often comes with extreme fatigue, it can greatly affect your ability to get stuff done throughout the day. This sluggish feeling over an extended period of time can result in feelings of depression. It's best to speak to a physician if you are struggling with your mental health.
Snoring is yet another symptom of sleep apnea. Almost half of the population in the US snores occasionally. However, if the snoring is loud and accompanied by daytime fatigue there is a large chance you have sleep apnea.
While neither high blood pressure or sleep apnea cause the other, they often go hand in hand. About 30-50% of people who have high blood pressure suffer from sleep apnea. If you suffer from high blood pressure, treating your sleep apnea may help lower your blood pressure.
Waking up every morning to severe headaches and dry mouth are signs of sleep apnea. Dry mouth is common with people who have sleep apnea because they are likely to sleep with their mouth open, while the headaches are typically caused from the lack of oxygen getting to the brain. If you regularly suffer from these symptoms, especially first thing in the morning, you should let your dentist know!
Sleep apnea is a widely undiagnosed disease that could shorten your life. If you have any of these symptoms, reach out to a specialist for its treatment. Hallmark Dental Group, Saint George, UT offers advanced treatments for sleep apnea. For more details, call us at (435) 634-8338 or book an appointment online.