Snoring may be a dark secret for some of us, for fear of becoming laughed at, or putting off someone you just started dating. But it could be something more than just making embarrassing sounds in your sleep.
Loud snoring, paired with fatigue during the day, may indicate that you have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common but serious sleep disorder where your breathing is briefly interrupted when you’re asleep. The tell-tale signs of sleep apnea are waking up feeling less energetic, your thoughts foggy and not as productive throughout the day as you should.
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway, which causes the loud snoring sounds.
It is important to note though that not all snorers have sleep apnea, and not all who suffer from sleep apnea snores. You can tell the difference by how you feel during the day. Normal snoring doesn’t affect your sleep quality as much as sleep apnea so you shouldn’t be waking up feeling like you never slept or extremely drowsy throughout the day.
Here are some of the major warning signs you should look out for:
- Loud snoring almost every night
- Pauses in breathing
- Choking, snorting, or gasping in your sleep
- Daytime fatigue and sleepiness
- Waking up at night with shortness of breath
If you suspect that you may have sleep apnea, go see your doctor immediately to prevent any long term health issues. Once diagnosed, you can help speed up your recovery by adapting the following lifestyle changes:
- Quit smoking
- Lose weight
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid sedatives, sleeping pills, and alcohol
- Maintain regular sleep hours
- Avoid caffeine and heavy meals within two hours from bedtime
Read the full article by Help Guide here to find more information that can help you in understanding sleep apnea and how to resolve it.
Do you or anyone you know suffer from sleep apnea? How are you coping with it? Let us know in the comments below!