Better Sleep 101
Sleep Apnea: What Is It and How To Cure It?
What is Sleep Apnea?
It usually affects men aged between 40 and 70 years old.
It also commonly occurs in elderly individuals and those suffering from obesity.
In general, this sleep disorder can be divided into three categories:
• Obstructive apnea: This involves real airway obstruction.
• Central apnea: In this case, the malfunctioning of the respiratory activity is due to a temporary loss of the nervous stimulus on the way to the respiratory muscles.
• Mixed apnea: This last type is simply a mix of the two previous types of apnea.
Symptoms and effects of sleep apnea
The causes of sleep apnea can vary, but aggravating factors include the following:
• use of sedatives,
• nasal obstruction,
• or the supine position during sleep.
The effects of sleep include difficulty falling asleep at night, excessive tiredness during the day, frequent headaches and concentration problems.
Medical treatment and advice
Usually, polysomnography is prescribed, where your sleep is monitored and a sleep expert will give you their diagnosis.
However, there are a number of lifestyle changes one could undertake to reduce the risk and/or severity of sleep apnea:
• In the case of overweight people, it is advisable to lose weight
• Avoid prolonged stops in the supine position
• Stop smoking or reduce as much as possible
• Avoid alcohol and sedatives before going to bed
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder that can have some adverse effects on your health. It is important to seek medical attention from your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
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