Do you (or your partner) sometimes wake up with a feeling of suffocation? Very good chance that this is caused by an apnea. An apnea is a short breathing stop and this happens to everyone during sleep. However, this occurs in some people more than normal and this can have harmful effects on health.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where someone repeatedly stops breathing during sleep.These short breath breaks are also called apnea. These breaks last at least 10 seconds and can last for more than 30 seconds. Everyone has apnea while sleeping, but when this occurs more than 5 times an hour, we speak of Sleep Disease Syndrome (SAS). During the respiratory breaks your brain does not get enough oxygen. As a result, they give a kind of distress signal, because you almost stitch and breathe again with a shock.
Some people who suffer from sleep apnea syndrome thus wake up with a feeling of choking. But more often this is not, or not consciously, the case and just sleeping people.Therefore, it is often difficult to find sleep apnea, which is why many people never find out too late.
Causes sleep apnea
Sleep apnea can have different causes (or a combination of different causes). Thus it can come from the brain. In this case, the brain gives too little stimulus to the respiratory muscles to breathe – so you will not breathe. This is also referred to as the central sleep apnea syndrome.
In the other case, the cause is in your airway. The trachea is then too weak or the mouth and throat muscles are not strong enough. As a result, the airway can collapse or the tongue and cheeks close the airway. The breathing is blocked in this way. This is also called the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.
In addition, there is a relationship between sleep apnea and overweight , overweight can cause sleep problems. Excessive fat can close the airway, blocking respiration.
Consequential sleep apnea
The brain gets too little oxygen during an apnea, thus giving an alarm signal that you have to breathe again. This results in your deep sleep or waking up. You can imagine that if you have more sleep apnea in a night, you never get well deep sleep. This can lead to great fatigue during the day. As a result, you have less concentration, are you forgetful and you are more likely to have mood swings. In addition, sleep apnea increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, overweight, cardiac arrhythmia and another common sleep problem, restless legs .
Sleep apnea is often accompanied by hard snoring , worsening headache, no sense of sex (is even at risk of impotence), anxiety (feeling of stiffness) and a dry mouth when standing up .
Solve sleep apnea
How do you solve your sleep apnea? In case of severe sleep apnea – which may even lead to heart problems – it is wise to talk to the GP about possible solutions. He can then recommend a special treatment.
Furthermore, you also have an influence on your sleep and apnea. Your way of life, such as alcohol drinking and smoking , may worsen sleep apnea. Therefore it is wise to:
– do not drink alcohol before bedtime
– non smoking,
Not to sleep on your back
– and do not take any sleepers (which relax your muscles).
Overweight is also a major cause of sleep apnea. Losing weight gives you a high chance that sleep problems and complaints will also be reduced. If you want to lose weight, sufficient physical exercise and healthy nutrition is essential. Do not you know where to start? Or can you help with this? Currently, the FitChef Method is extremely popular. FitChef focuses on weight loss, fitness, diet and health.