Sleep is undoubtably one of the most important aspects of your life.
Sleep is important for your body to recover, consolidate and rest.
So when something is not right with your sleep, it can have dramatic consequences for you, your health and others.
One of the most the most common sleep disorders is Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Its hard to put a figure on it, because obesity is increasing every day, but studies show it affects 10-38% of the population.
How does OSA occur?
When your body goes into a deep sleep the muscles around the airway relax and the airway can be blocked. The body responds by disturbing your sleep in an effort to restore the ariflow. Even though you may not perceive waking up, the disturbance to your sleep occurs and has consequences.
People often dont know they have Sleep apnea
Many patients I saw never realise they have a Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Because sleep apnea can progress slowly from snoring to mild forms of OSA and then gradually to more severe forms it can be hard to identify for patients that they have the disorder. When changes occur to you over time, they are hard for us to recognise. You just percive them as a new normal and move on.
Our bodies have a strong survival features and will adapt to changes, until it cant any more. Unfortunately this process may cause damage to your body, your performance and your mental well being and also put you and others in danger.
Sleep apnea has been linked to
increased risk of high blood pressure,
Signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:
Excessive daytime sleepiness
Observed episodes of stopped breathing during sleep
Abrupt awakenings accompanied by gasping or choking
Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
Difficulty concentrating during the day
Mood changes, such as depression or irritability
High blood pressure
Thinking is less clear, mood is down, and productivity at work and home suffer. Of course your alertness drops from lack of sleep causing increased risk of mistakes and can result in car and machinery accidents. These has been proven in many studies.
In addition to decreased alertness, people can have microsleeps whilst operating equipment or driving a car , resulting in severe injury or death.
If you have the slightest inclination that you have sleep apnea, please consider getting a consult from a Sleep Physician and having a sleep study for your own sake and for the sake of others.