Is Snoring a Bigger Problem than you Think?
- Posted on: Jun 15 2018
Snoring is something that we do when we sleep. Therefore, it is only natural that we are relatively unaware of this habit. Sure, we may be awakened from time to time by our own noise. We may even hear from others who sleep in close proximity to us that our snoring is disruptive to their quality of sleep. If this is you, take note. Snoring may be more than a frustrating habit; it may be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. Here, we discuss a few of the clues that snoring could actually be a potentially harmful sleep disorder.
Your Need for Sleep is Extreme
Waking up groggy now and then is one thing; feeling exhausted every morning is something else. If you cannot seem to reach that state of alertness that is needed to get through the day, you are living in one of the most significant clues that your sleep is disrupted. The extreme need for rest that results from frequent apneic episodes at night is concerning. For some people, the need for sleep becomes so severe that they fall asleep anytime they sit for a few minutes. This could be while watching television after dinner or it could be at a stoplight.
The reason that obstructive sleep apnea can lead to chronic daytime sleepiness is that the brain and body may never reach the full depth of rest needed to restore. This can happen because, whenever the body fully relaxes, the weight of muscles around the windpipe cause air to stop flowing. Without oxygen, the brain quickly goes into survival mode, which involves an adrenaline release to stimulate respiration. Even one event like this can be disruptive. People with obstructive sleep apnea may experience hundreds of these events each night.
Your Mornings are Uncomfortable
Mornings are uncomfortable when you haven’t slept well. When the problem is obstructive sleep apnea, the type of discomfort that commonly occurs in the mornings is head pain. Chronic morning headaches may result from the ongoing lack of oxygen during apnea episodes and the extra work the brain does throughout the night to periodically restore breathing with adrenaline.
One Trigger, Multiple Problems
Obstructive sleep apnea has been associated with increased blood pressure and elevated risks of cardiac events. This sleep disorder can lead to behavior problems and an increased in accidents that are observed as clumsiness.
It is important to obtain treatment for obstructive sleep apnea to protect long-term health. In our Grand Rapids office, that treatment may involve the use of a custom oral appliance. To learn more about oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnea, call 616-458-0631.
Posted in: Snoring & Sleep Apnea