To others who aren’t well informed, sleep apnea may be mistaken as a simple snoring problem.
However, there are many other issues that can go alongside sleep apnea, as it’s considered as a respiratory problem.
Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that could also be potentially life-threatening.
This happens when, while sleeping, your breathing stops and then suddenly starts back again.
It’s normal to have sleep apnea mistaken for ordinary snoring, given that the latter is, in fact, one of its telltale signs.
But, this isn’t something that’s merely a matter of discomfort.
If you know of someone who has sleep apnea, then it’s very important to seek medical attention for it as soon as possible.
That said, here’s an informative piece to give you the basics you need to know about sleep apnea:
The Types of Food That Can Help
There are certain types of food that you can take to sleep better at night – and have a better potential of dealing with your sleep apnea. Some of these are:
- Any food that’s rich in melatonin. By now you may have heard of melatonin as a natural sleep enhancer. Apart from melatonin pills, there are certain types of food that are natural sources of melatonin. These are asparagus, cherries, and broccoli.
- Tryptophan-infused food. Tryptophan is a kind of amino acid that breaks down into melatonin when taken in. This is famously found in turkey, but fish, nuts, and beans are also good sources.
Food That Can Worsen
There are also certain types of food that you have to avoid, as these can only worsen your sleep apnea.
Examples of these kinds of food are:
- Fatty meat. These are the kinds of meat that are high in saturated fat. Some of the most common examples include burgers, steak, lamb, and sausage.
- Bananas. This is generally a healthy fruit because of its high potassium content. However, if you suffer from sleep apnea, too much intake of bananas can only worsen your condition. Bananas increase the mucus production in your mouth and throat, which can worsen breathing problems commonly experienced alongside sleep apnea.
- High-fat dairy products. Like bananas, these can also increase mucus production.
The Different Types
There are three common types of sleep apnea, and these are:
- Obstructive sleep apnea. This is the most common form of sleep apnea, which occurs when the throat muscles relax.
- Central sleep apnea. This happens when your brain fails to send the right signals to the muscles that are responsible for controlling breathing.
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome. This is also known as central sleep apnea, accompanied by obstructive sleep apnea.
Because of the presence of these three types, all the more that you’ve got to see a doctor if you feel you suffer from this condition.
That way, a doctor can determine properly the kind of sleep apnea that you have and provide the specific treatment tailored to your need.
Learn more about these different types and all other information about sleep by visiting sites like Sleeplay.
The symptoms of sleep apnea are often related to ordinary snoring. making it all the more difficult to determine which one it is that you have.
Again, it’s only through proper diagnosis of a doctor that a determination can be made.
The most common signs of sleep apnea include:
- Difficulty sleeping;
- Loud snoring;
- Episodes of breathing disruption when you sleep;
- Difficulty paying attention when awake;
- Gasping for air while asleep.
The most common distinction between sleep apnea and loud snoring is that not everyone with sleep apnea will snore.
When you still feel tired or fatigued even after a long sleep, then you may have some kind of sleep problem that you’ll have to discuss with your doctor.
The Lifestyle Remedies
Apart from whatever treatment form will be prescribed by your doctor, there are also simple lifestyle changes you can apply, to help you remedy your sleep apnea. These are:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can risk the possibility of airway obstruction and having narrow nasal passages. Because of these obstructions, you may stop breathing suddenly.
- Change your sleeping position. Sleeping on your back can often make it harder to breathe, worsening sleep apnea. Hence, if you’ve got this condition, it’s best to sleep on your side.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol. Alcohol relaxes the throat muscles for breathing. This will lead to snoring, and, eventually, interrupted sleep.
The Possible Risk Factors
Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
The risk factors for this type include:
- Excess weight, as the fat deposits around the upper airway can obstruct breathing;
- Narrow airway, having a narrow throat can often be genetic, while for children, big tonsils can obstruct the airway;
- Age, which is a common risk factor for any sleep difficulties and respiratory problems.
- Use of tranquilizers and sedatives, as these substances relax the muscles in your throat, which can only worsen sleep apnea;
- Nasal congestion, because this leads to difficulty breathing through your nose.
Central Sleep Apnea,
With Risk Factors Such as:
- Age, a consistent and common risk factor with all types of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders;
- Heart disorders, as these inherently result in abnormal heart function and breathing;
- Stroke, as your breathing capability may be affected.
The Potential Effects
All these considered, sleep apnea also has underlying potential side effects that you’ve got to be aware of.
The only way to reduce the likelihood of these side effects from happening is by following the treatment form and plan set by your doctor.
These side effects you’ve got to be wary about are:
- Memory loss;
- Acid reflux;
- Mental confusion;
- Adult asthma.
Now that you’ve got insights on what sleep apnea really is, hopefully, this can help you manage your condition better.
Don’t just confuse it with an ordinary sleep difficulty. Because it’s something that could be potentially fatal, you must give attention to it and manage your condition better.
Don’t just self-diagnose. Remember that people with sleep apnea may have different underlying causes.
Identifying yours can help treat it from the root – so you don’t have to suffer its dire consequences for the rest of your life.