What is Sleep Apneoa and how does it affect me?
Sleep apnoea is a common sleep disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. These pauses in breathing, called apnoeas, can last from a few seconds to minutes and may occur 30 times or more an hour. After each pause, normal breathing resumes, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.
There are three main types of sleep apnoea:
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA): The most common form, it is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep.
Central sleep apnoea (CSA): Unlike OSA, the airway is not blocked, but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe due to instability in the respiratory control center.
Complex sleep apnoea syndrome: Also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnoea, it occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnoea and central sleep apnoea.
Sleep apnoea can lead to poor sleep quality, resulting in daytime fatigue and sleepiness. It can also contribute to a variety of health problems over time, including high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cognitive difficulties.
Many people with sleep apnoea may not even be aware they have it, as they don’t fully wake up during these episodes. Common symptoms include loud snoring, waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat, headaches in the morning, difficulty staying asleep, and feeling excessively tired during the day.
If you suspect you have sleep apnoea, it’s essential to seek medical advice. It’s usually diagnosed with a sleep study (polysomnogram), and treatment can range from lifestyle changes to using a device to help keep the airway open while sleeping, or in severe cases, surgery.
If you are experiencing fatigue from sleep apneoa, here are some tips for managing fatigue:
- Get enough sleep. Most adults need around 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help give you energy.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise can help improve your sleep quality and energy levels.
- Manage stress. Stress can contribute to fatigue, so find healthy ways to manage stress, such as yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine and alcohol can disrupt your sleep, so it is best to avoid them in the hours leading up to bedtime.
- Take breaks during the day. If you are feeling tired, take a short break to rest or do something relaxing.
If you follow these tips, you should be able to manage your fatigue and improve your energy levels.
What should you do?
If you are concerned about fatigue, please talk to your doctor. They can help you develop a plan to manage your fatigue and improve your safety.
Thank you for reading!
We hope this helps.