What Are The Early Warning Signs of Sleep Apnoea?

Do you suspect you have sleep apnoea? You could be right, especially if you snore loudly at night and wake up tired. Here are the top warning signs to look out for.

While there are several types of this disorder, obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is the most common. Central sleep apnoea, characterized by the body’s inability to breathe, is also common among patients.

Obstructive sleep apnea affects up to 5% of the Australian population, with at least one in four men aged 30 and above struggling with the condition. It happens when your throat muscles relax, which causes blockage in your airways during sleep.

While it largely goes undiagnosed, untreated sleep apnoea can be very dangerous if you don’t address it in time. According to reports, the state loses up to $26 billion yearly to sleep apnoea and other related disorders.

Sleep disorders can take time to detect. But knowing the warning signs of sleep apnoea and addressing them before it aggravates can ease the dangers. However, remember to consult your specialist to help you diagnose sleep apnoea and recommend the proper treatment. Here are the top symptoms to look out for.

Loud, Excessive Snoring

Snoring doesn’t always mean you have the condition or you’re developing sleep apnoea. Allergies, colds, and sinus infections like tonsils can block your nasal passage and cause snoring. Also, drinking a few minutes (or hours) towards bedtime can relax your throat muscles, tongue, and palate, leading to a snore.

But obnoxious snoring, punctuated with continuous positive airway pressure, could be a warning sign that you have sleep apnoea. In most cases, sleep apnoea snores can be heard from the next room and come with gasping and short episodes of waking and falling back to sleep.

Restless Sleep

People with sleep apnoea find themselves tossing, jerking, kicking, and turning throughout the night. You may not notice the restlessness. But waking up with a twisted pile of sheets, sometimes at your feet, indicates that your night wasn’t that peaceful.

Fatigue and Daytime Sleepiness

Do you wake up tired and experience abnormal fatigue all through the day? You may be secretly fighting sleep apnoea at night.

Typically, this sleep disorder will block your airways for 10 to 90 seconds, and your brain will signal you to wake up to breathe. You can experience waking and sleeping multiple times every hour with severe conditions.

It, therefore, denies you the chance to have a deep, restorative sleep. Thus, your brain and body don’t receive sufficient rest and refreshing relaxation to prepare you for a new day. As a result, you find yourself tired and with excessive daytime sleepiness.

Morning Headaches or Migraines

Morning headaches and migraines are signs of sleep apnoea. The causes vary, from sleep disturbances due to breaks in your breathing to low oxygen flow into the brain.

Talk to your sleep specialist if you repeatedly wake up with throbbing pain behind your eye or on a single side of your head (or both sides). Since this sleep apnoea affects even children, watch out if your kid wakes up with some muscles in their neck or complains of a throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, or sensitivity.

Frequent Urination

There’s a heightened urination urge in patients struggling with sleep apnoea. The condition causes oxygen depletion during episodes of breathing lapses. As a result, more blood flows into your kidneys, increasing your urge to use the bathroom.

Similarly, waking up several times in the night notifies you of the need to use a bathroom, making it more frequent than those who sleep peacefully.

Weight Gain

Having too much weight is a risk factor for obstructive sleep apnoea. On the flip side, this condition can also make you gain a lot of weight.

Sleep apnoea occurs when your breathing repeatedly stops, causing you to wake up during the night. That leaves you tired and lazy to work on a healthy weight daily. Similarly, sleep apnoea encourages the production of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for making you feel hungry. It lowers leptin, the hormone causing you to have the full feeling. As a result, it changes your appetite and motivation to stick to a healthy diet, making you eat more and gain extra weight.

High Blood Pressure

The sympathetic nervous system triggers every time you stop breathing, raising your blood pressure. Also, these breathing lapses increase the release of catecholamine (stress hormones), which gradually increases your blood pressure.

Difficulty Concentrating

Fatigue and lassitude resulting from disrupted sleep at night may make it hard for you to concentrate on anything during the day. Be cautious if you find it challenging to stay awake at work, sleep while watching TV or doze while driving.

Also, getting easily irritable, moody, or depressed may be signs you have either obstructive or central sleep apnoea.

Detect and Treat Sleep Apnoea

A peaceful night’s sleep is an essential part of your health. It gives your brain and body ample time to heal, refresh, and prepare for the next day. However, it’s common for most patients with obstructive sleep apnoea to lack these benefits and wake up tired and sleepy. The condition also causes several serious health consequences, including heart disease and high blood pressure.

Now you have the top warning signs of sleep apnoea. Do you possess any or all of the sleep apnoea symptoms and are anxious that you or someone you know may have sleep apnoea? Talk to the specialists at Lexington Dental. We have the experience and skills to help you address untreated sleep apnoea and live a healthy, happy life again. Contact us here.

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