How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Sleep

Aug 14th, 2017 | By | Category: Sleep Apnea

If you’ve ever stayed up late watching a movie or burning the candle at both ends to meet a deadline, then you probably know the groggy and exhausted feelings that result from losing sleep. However, if you feel these symptoms (or others that indicate a lack of sleep) and you’ve slept most of the night, then you may be suffering from lack of sleep without realizing it. One of the most discrete causes of sleep loss is sleep apnea. Although the condition is marked by loud and exaggerated snoring, patients with the sleep disorder usually are not aware of it and only seek treatment when their sleeping partners complain.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea describes a condition where the tissues in your throat in your mouth relax too much during sleep. The tissues block your airway, inhibiting your ability to breathe easy. Snoring marks your air’s struggle as it squeezes past this tissue. The louder the snore, the greater the obstruction. Sleep apnea refers to episodes during which these tissues obstruct enough to stop your airflow for several seconds, forcing your body to wake slightly and restart the breathing process. The wakefulness is slight and often unnoticed, but these episodes occur hundreds of times a night and prevent you from entering the deep sleep that you need to properly rest.

How to Know if It’s Sleep Apnea

If you sleep with a partner, or in a house with other human beings, then it may not be long before someone points out your thunderous nighttime snoring. If you sleep alone, though, then there may not be anyone to hear your loud snoring. Since apnea episodes do not typically wake you to consciousness, you may not ever realize that you’re waking up hundreds of times a night to breathe. Your body and mind, however, will give you clues, often in the form of sleep deprivation, including irritability, daytime fatigue, and trouble focusing.

Learn More About Sleep Apnea

If you snore loudly and constantly, or if you feel sleep deprived despite sticking to a regular sleep schedule, then ask your dentist if you have sleep apnea. To learn more, or schedule a consultation, contact Hilltop Family Dental today by calling (510) 758-7222. Located in Richmond, CA, we also proudly serve patients from Berkeley, San Pablo, Pinole, Benicia, Vallejo, and all surrounding communities.

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