Snoring And Sleep Apnea

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It can be very difficult to get a good night’s sleep especially when you suffer from sleep disorders such as heavy snoring and sleep apnea.  It can be even worse when your partner is the one suffering from these disorders and you both are unable to get a decent night’s sleep.  While snoring may seem to be nothing more than a nuisance, the truth of the matter is that it can be a sign of more serious problems.  Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea which can have very serious consequences.

Snoring often causes sleep deprivation, a problem that can result in daytime drowsiness, lack of focus, irritability and a decrease of libido.  Researches have also found that chronic snoring may also result in psychological damage.  Other studies have found a correlation between heavy snoring and heart attack and stroke.

Sleep apnea refers to a condition in which results pauses in the breath occur during sleep.  Unfortunately, the person affected with this often does not know that this is occurring.  However, they will wake up tired and feeling like they haven’t gotten enough sleep though they might have been in bed for a significant period of time.    

Each apnea episode consists of missing one or more breaths.  An apnea episode is understood as failure to breath for about ten seconds.  Five or more episodes per hour is clinically significant.  Sleep apnea is best diagnosed by an overnight test usually at a sleep clinic, called a polysomnogram. 

Sleep apnea can be very dangerous, because anytime the brain fails to receive oxygen complications can ensue.  It is estimated that approximately twenty million Americans are affected by this disorder.  It is also estimated that approximately 85% of these people are left untreated.  Nevertheless, there are some solutions.

First things first, if you suspect that you or your partner is suffering from sleep apnea, then you should visit your health care provider. From here, you should be able to get into an overnight sleep clinic in which your sleep and breathing will be monitored.  If you are found to have any kind of sleep disorder, then you will be directed towards the next step.

Allergy testing should also be performed in order to rule out any potential allergens which might be causing sleep problems.  Many times sleep apnea is regulated through the use of devises including one which forces air through the lungs during sleep.  Other devises might include one which can be fitted to your mouth in order to push your lower jaw forward during the night, a position which helps keep the airways open. 

Aside from these devises there are also some important lifestyle changes that can help.  Keeping fit can be very beneficial because being obese has been linked to a higher chance of snoring and sleep apnea.  Quitting smoking likewise will reduce you snoring by keeping sinuses clean.  Alcohol consumption has also been correlated with sleep disturbances so limiting your intake will also help.  Making these changes can certainly go a long way, but remember that medical advice should be sought in order to protect you from any more serious consequences.