Sleep Apnea is basically a sleep disorder, characterized by breathing pauses while a person is asleep. Go through this article and check out the signs & symptoms of sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Sleep apnea, as the name suggests, is basically a sleep disorder, in which a person experiences breathing pauses while sleeping. In other words, his breathing stops and starts repeatedly, when he is asleep. A person with sleep apnea experiences a disruption in sleep, due to the sudden pauses in breathing and will eventually move from deep state of sleep to a lighter one. The problem with this disorder is that majority of the people do not become aware of it till it develops into an acute problem. Such a condition will go undiagnosed and even blood test will not detect this disorder. There are basically two types of sleep apnea - obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. The former is more common of the two and occurs when throat muscles relax, while the latter takes place when the brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control the breathing process. A combination of the two is called complex sleep apnea. Let us explore the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea.
Signs & Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness, at abnormal times, such as while eating, talking, or driving.
  • Not feeling refreshed after sleep.
  • Memory and concentration problems.
  • Feeling tired.
  • Personality changes.
  • Morning or night headaches.
  • Heartburn or a sour taste in the mouth at night.
  • Swelling of the legs, in case of obese people.
  • Getting up during the night to urinate (nocturia).
  • Sweating and chest pain while sleeping.
  • Episodes of not breathing (apnea), ranging from 5 times an hour (mild apnea) to more than 50 times an hour (severe apnea), while sleeping.
  • Loud snoring
  • Restlessness, like tossing and turning, during sleep
  • Choking or gasping spells at night
  • Waking up with a very sore and/or dry throat
  • Forgetfulness
  • Mood changes
  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Recurrent awakenings or insomnia
Symptoms in Children

Younger than 5

  • Snoring
  • Mouth breathing
  • Sweating
  • Restlessness
  • Waking up a lot at night
  • Problems in sleeping
5 Years and Older
  • Snoring
  • Bed wetting
  • Doing poorly in school
  • Not growing as quickly as other children
  • Behavior problems
  • Short attention span
  • Unexplained weight loss or poor weight gain
  • Mouth breathing
  • Enlarged tonsils and adenoids
  • Daytime sleepiness
Complications Due To Untreated Sleep Apnea
  • Sleep apnea can lead to several major diseases that could be fatal.
  • A sudden decrease in oxygen levels in the blood is one of the many complications of sleep apnea.
  • A person with sleep apnea can develop high blood pressure if this sleeping disorder is not treated in time.
  • Sleep apnea can have a negative effect on mental activity. Heavy headaches, memory loss and mental depression are some of the serious issues that can arise if this disorder is left untreated.
  • Sleep apnea can also lead to the development of diabetes.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea can lead to many cardiovascular conditions such as coronary artery disease, cardiac arrhythmias, stroke, congestive heart failure and myocardial infarction.
  • Sleep apnea can also lead to nocturia, which is the need to urinate frequently in the night.
Natural Remedies To Treat Sleep Apnea
  • A change in the lifestyle of the person will definitely make a radical change. By improving the lifestyle of the person, this sleeping disorder can be easily cured.
  • Avoid the intake of alcohol, as sleep apnea can then be easily treated.
  • Smoking kills and this is a known fact. To treat sleep apnea faster, you need to quit smoking.
  • If you are sleeping on your back, then change the sleeping position by sleeping on your side.
  • Medications such as sleeping pills need to be avoided.
  • Regular exercise and healthy diet promotes good sleep and is highly effective to treat this condition.
  • Control and maintain your weight, as weight is an important factor in curing sleep apnea.
  • Acupuncture is also an effective remedy in curing this sleeping disorder. Studies have shown that some people who were given acupuncture sessions had improved significantly. Regarding acupuncture, consult your health care provider first.
  • Certain herbs such as valerian, passionflower and so on, have therapeutic properties that may help in promoting good sleep. However, there are no evidences to prove that these will treat sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a very serious sleep disorder, which can affect anyone at any age. People suffering from this sleeping disorder, never get restful sleep due to interuuppted breathing during sleep. The most common type of this chronic medical condition is obstructive sleep apnea. Other serious diseases will develop over time if this condition is not treated sooner. A change in lifestyle, breathing devices, mouthpieces and even surgery may be required to cure this condition successfully.

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