Signs of Sleep Apnea
One of the loudest signs of of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is snoring while you are asleep. It may be difficult to notice snoring since it happens while you are sleeping. It is very important to be able to identify sleep apnea, so that you can treat it. When sleep apnea is left untreated, it can leave you at an increased risk for many health issues including: stroke, heart disease, arrhythmias, gastroesophageal reflux disease, diabetes, and heart attacks. Sleep apnea can also lead to drowsiness, mood swings, and weight gain in you and anybody with sleep that your snoring is disrupting. What are the signs and telling characteristics of obstructive sleep apnea?
Snoring With Gasps
Most patients who suffer from sleep apnea do snore, but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when the soft tissues of your mouth and throat collapse into your airway causing a blockage that causes you to stop breathing. Your body then believes it is suffocating. Your brain will wake your body to make sure you take a breath to get oxygen. This unconscious waking up may not be enough for you to notice, but it will be enough to interrupt your sleep cycle.
Headaches when waking up are commonly reported by patients with OSA. Low oxygen levels caused by sleep apnea can widen the blood vessels and cause vascular headaches.
High Blood Pressure
When your brain detects that it’s not receiving adequate oxygen levels in the blood, it will cause an elevation in blood pressure as it restricts your blood vessels in an effort to wake up your body. When this happens multiple times over multiple nights, your body can get used to having to restrict its blood vessels making it the new norm for your body.
Drowsiness and Mood Swings
Subconsciously waking up frequently throughout the night will impact your sleep cycle. If you are not getting enough restful sleep, you may find yourself drowsy or moody even with what you believed was eight hours of sleep.