Lying in your bed, restless and sleepless, straight into the wee hours of the night is an impending sign of an underlying disorder. However, insomnia or restlessness is just the tip of the iceberg for some unfortunate patients. Often these sleepless nights can turn into real nightmares with patients experiencing breathlessness alongside their insomnia. While most patients would often dismiss these symptoms on grounds of stress and tension, the real impact of inadequate sleep on the human body and health is actually harrowing.
Now before we dive right into the complex relationship between sleep and health, here’s something you ought to know- sleep disorders can affect anyone, anytime, regardless of their age, demography, or medical history. While some sleep disorders are stirred up by ballooning stress and tension, persistent insomnia accompanied by breathlessness or other detrimental symptoms could be a sign of sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Have you ever woken up from a snug night’s sleep and still felt dead tired right after waking up? Have you ever heard your close and loved ones complain about your thunderous snoring? If you’ve nodded yes to both, chances are that you could be a victim of sleep apnea. Regarded as a serious medical condition, Sleep Apnea causes a repetitive shortage of breath while sleeping, making it an exponentially dangerous disorder to harbour.
The Three Main Types
Sleep Apnea can primarily be of three types, namely,
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA which is by far the most common out of all three
- Central Sleep Apnea which occurs when the brain fails to coordinate with the breathing muscles during sleep
- Complex Sleep Apnea which is a grave condition that affects patients who exhibit both OSA and Central Sleep Apnea symptoms.
Hidden Dangers of Living with Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea exhibits itself in the form of physical exertion, sleeplessness, and breathing difficulty. However, these symptoms are just the icing on the cake. Sleep Apnea brings a wide array of subsidiary disorders with itself and even if we take the mental taxation of living with Sleep Apnea out of the way, some of the hidden health impacts stirred up by Sleep Apnea may be quite harrowing. For instance, here is a list of the most common health problems that associates itself with this medical condition.
- Diabetes- Topping the chronic disorder chart is your deadly diabetes, a condition that keeps messing with your blood sugar levels. In fact, diabetes is known to nullify medications, one of the many reasons why sleep apnea alongside diabetes might be nothing short of a lethal combination.
- Blood Pressure- Experiencing soaring blood pressure due to sleep apnea is not unheard of. However, even if we take blood pressure medicines to keep the pressure stabilized, the constant fluctuation due to Sleep Apnea may take a direct toll on your heart. This literally means, the more intense your condition gets, the more you risk suffering a sudden attack.
- Obesity- if you’ve been trying to shake off the extra pounds for quite some time now, try considering sleep apnea into account. Sleep Apnea patients often tend to gain weight rapidly and the weight loss process for them could be a little harder than normal since Sleep Apnea is a chronic condition that keeps intensifying with time.
- COPD- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD as we call it is also a possibility if you have untreated sleep apnea brewing inside you. In fact, COPD may lead to more serious conditions like adult asthma in the patient, if not treated at the right time.
- Nervous Disorders- Fluctuation in breathing pattern, especially during the night, takes a toll on your delicate nervous systems too. With lowered oxygen level in the body, you can expect a few of your nerve impulses to malfunction, either temporarily or permanently, based on the intensity of the symptoms experienced. Often neurological disorders like frequent numbness or a weird tingling sensation could be one of the signs that your body has started exhibiting neurological imbalance.
- Infertility- This condition typically affects men more than women. Symptoms caused by Sleep Apnea may directly interfere with the reproductive system leading to erectile dysfunction in men.
- Mental Trauma- When we said mental trauma, we were not talking about the exertion alone. Sleep is an integral part and parcel of human life, often used to recharge our fatigued organs. However, with sleeplessness constantly interfering with the everyday routine, mental trauma in terms of depression, confusion, lack of focus, anxiety and more could be brought to the limelight.
There are multiple other disorders that plague you when you choose to live with Sleep Apnea. However, even the deadliest sleep disorder comes with a silver lining. Thanks to modern day medication, a lot of world-class treatment techniques have been devised to keep your sleeping troubles in check. If you’re considering Sleep Apnea treatment options, we have 5 basic solutions for you-
How to Combat Sleep Apnea The Right Way
- Sleep Machine – Healthcare providers may ask you to work out with late night breathlessness using a Sleep Apnea Machine, or CPAP as its commonly called. These machines help the patients regulate their breathing pattern allowing a constant flow of oxygen to the system even if your natural breathing habits falter during your sleep.
- Weight Check – Keeping your weight in control is extremely crucial if you’re looking at Sleep Apnea cure. In fact, the leaner and slimmer you are, the better chances you have of relieving yourself of Sleep Apnea.
- Nerve Stimulators – Often doctors may prescribe medicinal assistance such as nerve stimulators for you so that your air passages have ample space for airflow even when your sleeping.
- Diet Regimes – If you’re suffering from insomnia and obesity at the same time, keeping your airways open and breathable during the night may be quite a difficult task for you. Keeping this in mind, healthcare providers always suggest Sleep Apnea patients keep their dietary options regulated and limited to natural, green-based consumption.
- Surgery – Sleep Apnea is a condition that grows with you. While some patients struggle for a prolonged period of time, for a handful of unfortunate patients, Sleep Apnea could be a life-long enemy. In cases where matters are beyond medicinal repair, doctors may suggest a surgical approach to cure.
A Holistic Approach to Sleep Apnea Cure
Sleeping disorders paving path to subsidiary health problems often affect patients on a wholesome level. You have to deal with heart and liver precaution, obesity, depression and lack of sleep- all at the same time. However, you are not alone in this. Therapeutic institutes monitoring Sleep Apnea and it’s effects on patients have come to the forefront with customized healthcare plans that allow sleep apnea patients a comprehensive guideline and guidance to complete cure. From diagnostic tests and tailoring situation-specific treatment modules to providing humidifiers, masks, CPAP machines, and more- these institutes are well-equipped to handle all your sleep disorder woes under one single roof.