More than 18 million American adults have sleep apnea, which is characterized by airways closing as you sleep. Most patients recognize they have issues sleeping, but struggle to self-diagnose this disorder because it only flares up when they are unconscious. If you’ve ever wondered whether your symptoms could be related to this, here are some signs that may indicate that you have sleep apnea.
Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea
1. You Make Noises as You Sleep
The most common symptom of sleep apnea is loud, frequent snoring. However, some people simply have moments where they stop breathing, while others make choking or gasping noises. If you have a partner, ask them about your sleep habits. For those who sleep alone, download an app that can record you as you sleep so you can check whether you make sounds during the night.
2. You Feel Exhausted Constantly
Busy lifestyles can leave you feeling tired throughout the day, but for some people, the exhaustion kicks in immediately and daily. This sleepiness can be accompanied by morning headaches and often leads to lack of energy. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, also called hypersomnia. At this point, you can also experience irritability, anxiety, restlessness, and loss of appetite.
3. You Wake Up Frequently
Another common symptom of this condition is frequently waking up. This happens because you may stop breathing as your airways close, causing your body to wake up. If you often abruptly wake up gasping, choking, or feeling short of breath, you might have sleep apnea.
4. You’re Overweight
People who have a higher body mass index (BMI) have a higher risk of developing sleep apnea. This happens because overweight individuals have thicker soft tissue in the mouth and throat, and as they sleep, their muscles relax, causing the tissue to block the airways. Excess fat in the chin and neck area can also obstruct your breathing. According to the Sleep Foundation, losing 10% of your body weight can help improve sleep apnea symptoms.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, consult the team at Nayaug Family Dental in South Glastonbury, CT. They can help you with an oral device to help you fight symptoms and achieve restful sleep. They also offer a range of traditional and cosmetic dentistry services, including oral exams and whitening treatments. Call (860) 633-6167 to schedule an appointment or visit their website to learn more about their sleep appliances.