What is Sleep Apnea
While there are HEAPS of things that can cause issues with people’s sleep, one of the most common is called Sleep Apnea.
What IS Sleep Apnea?
There are different types of apnea, but the most common is Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA. OSA is a relaxing or closure of the upper airway, which restricts or stops air from entering the lungs.
These pauses in breathing need to last for a minimum of 10 seconds to be included in the criteria for being diagnosed with OSA. Some pauses can last over 2 minutes in some people. That’s breathing out and then not breathing in again, for over 2 minutes! You might be thinking: “I can hold my breath for that long” - but remember that in these events the person doesn’t get to fill their lungs first.
Let’s try it - start to breathe out and then hold your breath - now check the clock and see how you start feeling after 10 seconds, 20 seconds, etc. Now do it a few times in a row, and you will start to feel what it’s like to be in the body of someone with OSA.
Who Gets It?
Sleep Apnoea effects about 20% of women and 35% of men – that’s about 100 million people worldwide!
What are the Symptoms?
Tiredness and snoring are the symptom that everyone associates with OSA, but not everyone gets them. It can present in different people in different ways.
Some other symptoms are:
- Poor Concentration and brain fog
- Insomnia or regular awakenings throughout the night,
- Poor Memory
- Morning headaches
- Low Energy
- Finding it hard to get up in the morning
- Low or depressed mood
- Anxiety during the night
- Muscle pain
- Impaired Immune System
- Waking with elevated blood pressure or a racing heart
- Needing to urinate during the night
Every time the airway closes, the body goes into stress and has to work harder to function. The organs struggle for oxygen, and the heart works overtime. In severe apnea this is happening over 30 times PER HOUR! That 30 times in 60 minutes. These episodes start to take their toll on the body. If left untreated, OSA has been linked to increased risk of Hypertension, Obesity, heart problems, Type II diabetes, Stroke, Depression, Dementia, Alzheimer's and motor vehicle accidents.
What should I do if this sounds like me?
The first step is to complete our questionnaire. This will filter through the symptoms you are experiencing and create a report. Then take the report to your GP. You need to tell your GP how you are feeling. Your GP can then refer you to a Sleep and Respiratory Physician for medical review. This step is important! Although your symptoms may feel simple it can be quite surprising what our body does when we are asleep. Having a qualified Sleep Physician review you will prevent you being "sold" incorrect treatment.
Click here to complete the questionnaire
Once you have had the review with the Sleep Physician you can come to our Dream Team and Place of Dreams and we will help you get back to sleeping your best.
If you need a CPAP trial, find out what happens here.