As you pay attention closely to this page, you will learn more about the most serious sleep disorder – Sleep apnea which in the long term can cause other serious diseases like heart disease and Alzheimer.

My 80-year old mom normally sleeps 5-6 hours at night and sleeps during the day for a couple of hours, which is likely close to the sleep requirement. Senior adults may be able to sleep for a short period because the body produces lower serotonin, which helps sleepiness. This may be not a problem when having a quality sleep.

The fact is my mom is starting forgetting things and her memory is diminishing. The doctor diagnosed her having a beginning stage of Alzheimer. The doctor recommended her to have a sleep test for examining if she has Obstruction Sleep Apnea (OSA). 

Sleep Apnea – Ignorance becomes brain damage

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where an individual’s breathing is briefly interrupted during sleeping. The most common form of sleep apnea is Obstruction Sleep Apnea (OSA). Sleep apnea only occurs while we are sleeping. Individuals may not even realize what’s happening. The airway is blocked causing pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep. This follows loud snoring. There may be a choking or snorting sound as breathing resumes. (R)

The condition that the muscles in the back of an individual’s throat relax, the airway narrows or closes when breathing in. An individual can’t get enough air, which can lower the oxygen level in blood. The brain rouses the individual from sleep so that can reopen the airway. The pattern of snort, choke of gasp can repeat itself five to 30 minutes or more each hour, all night, impairing the ability to reach deep sleep.

The second form of sleep apnea is Central Sleep Apnea, which occurs when an individual’s brain respiratory control center does not react quickly enough to maintain an even respiratory rate. The sleeper stops breathing and then starts again. There is no breath during the pause in breathing.

In a normal sleeping, a sudden drop in oxygen or excess of carbon dioxide stimulates the brain’s respiratory centers to breathe. The malfunction of the brain’s respiratory controls causes the individual to miss one or more cycles of breathing. The lower level of blood oxygen goes long will cause brain damage and minor death incidence.

The last form of sleep apnea is Mixed Apnea, which occurs when an individual has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Early Signs of Sleep Apnea – Symptoms Beyond Snoring

Commonly a sleep apnea follows by loud snoring and the sleeper may not realize, as sleep apnea only occurs when you are sleeping. A sleeper may discover when a roommate complains about the snoring. I do not know whether I have snoring if my bed partner does not tell me. Open and sincere conversation with your partners can help you find out whether you have the symptoms sooner.

Major warning signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas include:

  • Loud and repetitive snoring during sleep. This is one of the most obvious signs of potential OSA.
  • Regular pauses in breath during sleep caused by airway obstruction.
  • Snorting, choking or gasping during sleep often follow after breathing obstruction, as the brain’s respiratory system arouses breathing through the blockage.
  • Waking up at night feeling short of breath and causing restless sleep.
  • Uncommon sweating during sleep due to breathing difficulties.
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue (hypersomnia) to compensate for the low-quality night sleep.
  • Awakening with chest pains and nasal congestion.

Other warning signs

  • Morning headaches due to the loss of oxygen in the bloodstream that flows to the brain.
  • Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat.
  • Not feeling energetic due to restless sleep.
  • Difficulty concentrating and poor judgment.
  • Irritability or depression, often feeling short-tempered.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Decreasing in sexual desire.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey during 1988 – 1994 and 2007 – 2010, revealed the estimates that 30 percent of people in the United States have sleep apnea. In addition, it suggests that sleep apnea is more common in men than in women. Adults from middle-aged and older have higher risks of central sleep apneas than younger-aged. The data was estimated to increase in the next decade.

Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea and not everyone who has sleep apnea snores. When you experienced early signs of sleep apnea or warning signs, it is better to consult your doctor about any sleep problems. Sleep apnea symptoms obstruct or pause breathing cycle and occur several times during sleep, causing lower blood oxygen. Chronic symptoms increase the risk of brain damage and other complications, such as heart problems, diabetes, and liver problems.

Sleep Apnea – A Factor of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep apneas interrupt sleeping by waking up the sleepers throughout the night due to choking breathing many times and pulling them out of non-REM and REM sleep stages. Consequently, the sleepers have more difficulties having deep sleep. Sleep apnea is a factor of sleep deprivation and results in daytime sleepiness, memory problems, morning headaches, depression, non-productiveness, poor concentration and decision, and accident-prone. Sleep apnea can take a serious problem with your physical and emotional health.

Risks of Sleep Apnea – Sleep Apnea Awareness

Excessive weight. Individuals with overweight are more likely to have excess fatty issues in throat and muscle, which will narrow the respiratory airway, resulting in much more breathing difficulties during sleep than normal-weight individuals.

Narrow respiratory system. By genetics, individuals have narrow respiratory muscles. When the muscle relaxes, it easily blocks the airway.

Infection in nasal tissue or nasal congestion. Swelling of nasal passages may block the airway causing breathing difficulty and leading to a higher risk of breathing obstructions.

Gender. The survey revealed that sleep apnea happened to men more than women. Women with menopause have more sleep apnea than younger women due to changes in the hormone leading to neck muscle relaxes.

Genetics. The study reported a higher risk of sleep apneas in the family with a history of Sleep Apnea.

Aging. The survey revealed that sleep apneas are found more in individuals from 40-year age and up.

Obesity, high blood pressure, and asthma. Individuals with obesity, high blood pressure, and asthma have a higher risk of sleep apnea is related to poor muscle tone and/or fatty tissues in throats causing to breathing obstructions.

Lifestyle and behaviors. Some lifestyle and behavior cause a higher risk of sleep apnea, such as smoking, alcohol consumption before bed, and some medications, which increase muscle relaxation.

The Bottom Line

The World Sleep Society suggests awareness of improving healthy sleep for a better quality of life. It is true and there is no doubt all nations focus on the quality of life. In addition, it is common to understand that national health budget will increase in attribute to increases in health and mental problems. The cycle will turn to citizen tax increases.

When individuals have a doubt of any signs of Sleep Apnea, the sooner the treatments they take, the lower risks of serious health and mental problems. Individuals can learn natural treatments for sleep apneas and practice self home remedies that can be the beginning of the treatments. However, individuals with sleep apnea should consult doctors or sleep specialists if they need medical treatments

Sleep apnea is one type of sleep disorders, according to the ICSD-3 International Classification of Sleep Disorder, and has the most effects on physical and mental health. Everybody has a sleep disorder at some stages in life. Inadequate sleep or poor quality sleeps affect brain function. If you cannot sleep even you are tired, that is insomnia. You can learn more through the article about sleep disorders, insomnias, and 9 best natural foods for sleep in this website.

If you have questions or personal reviews, please leave the comments below. I will be glad to hear from you.

All the best for your good sleep,

Priscilla, TreatmentOfSleepDisorders.com

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18 Comments

Emily · February 22, 2019 at 2:05 am

Thank you for such a thorough run down of sleep apnea. I’ve suspected for a while now that my mother, like yours, also might have sleep apnea so I’ve been doing a bit of research on it. My mum isn’t that keen to go and get herself tested, so I’m going to print out the section of your post that describes the symptoms and give it to my dad to see if he can notice some. Perhaps if he can point some out to her she might get tested! Thanks again.

    Priscilla · February 22, 2019 at 7:12 am

    Hi Emily, thanks for the review. I hope the information is useful to your family.

    All the best to your mom,
    Priscilla

Hi Tony · February 22, 2019 at 2:10 am

This information is really helpful and great. I just stumbled across it and I must say that this writer did a comprehensive breakdown of every bit of information step by step one need to take and be aware of in Sleep Apnea. I have experience some if those symptoms especially the sleeping at day. If I haven’t read this article, I wouldn’t have knew. I’ll definitely take all the precautionary steps outlined here to get rid of that. Thanks once more for sharing this wonderful article on Sleep Apnea. It’s really helpful. Cheer’s

    Priscilla · February 22, 2019 at 7:10 am

    Hi Tony, thanks a lot for the review and comments. I am glad this article is useful to people, which is the main purpose of this website.

    All the best,
    Priscilla

Vapz · February 22, 2019 at 2:11 am

Thanks for bringing attention to this health issue. I have a dear friend who suffers from sleep Apnea and spending a nightat his usually very stressful for me because I do not sleep deeply and his snorting and snoring get me really worried. The first time I spent the night at his, I thought he was gonna die but he explained his condition to me and even though I don’t get as scared anymore, I still do worry. Do children suffer from sleep Apnea?  If a child has some of these symptoms, is it possible that this is the case? 

    Priscilla · February 22, 2019 at 6:39 am

    Hi Vapz,

    Thanks for sharing the experience about your friend. 

    Children can suffer sleep apeas as well, but not many as adults. The most common cause of children sleep apnea is enlargement of adenoids or tonsils. Others may relate to obesity, asthma, and nasal allergies. There are several treatments that doctors can treat children. It is more critical when the sleep apnea happens to children, as the symptom will affect the brain development.

    Thanks again for stopping by.

    Cheer,

    Priscilla

John Eather · February 22, 2019 at 2:11 am

Great information Priscilla! My good friend was recently diagnosed with ‘sleep apnea’. Although I was familiar with the term, I didn’t really know much about it and how devastating it could be. I’m glad that I was able to come across your website which lays out the symptoms and causes of this condition in a very easy to understand manner. To be frank, I’ve been having trouble sleeping myself for the past year, waking up several times during the night, often feeling lethargic during the daytime. I know that I really need to take charge of my diet and lose some pounds. I’ve also been told that my snoring is quite loud. I’m going to have to address these and make sure that I can avoid sleep apnea. I’ll be sure to check into your site for the latest info. Cheers.

Kenechi · February 22, 2019 at 2:13 am

Sleeping disorder is very bad and it is important every adult exermines him or herself and be sure they are getting sufficient sleep. There is health benefits attached to sleep and In the other hand there are problems associated with insufficient sleepy. Insufficient sleep caused by sleep apnea can result to some damages to the brain  

    Priscilla · February 22, 2019 at 7:05 am

    Hi Kenechi,
    Thanks for the review and comments.
    All the best,
    Priscilla

John · February 22, 2019 at 2:15 am

Read your article about sleep apnea with interest.

I have had this condition for the past 25 years.

Never really thought about natural remedies.

I went through to another page and watched a very interesting video about natural remedies and found this extremely interesting.

I didn’t realize the incidence of this problem in the US.

I will probably try some of the tips on the video.

I cannot use a CPAP machine as I keep ripping the mask off.

Thank you for providing this important information

John

    Priscilla · February 22, 2019 at 7:03 am

    Hi John, thanks so much for sharing your experience. I wish you try natural treatments and hope you’ll see good results.

    Wish you have better sleep.
    All the best,
    Priscilla

Henry · February 22, 2019 at 2:17 am

Hello Priscilla! I’m grateful you have raised awareness concerning this sleeping disorder called sleep apnea. I appreciate you have listed the symptoms and I feel relieved because I understand I don’t have them. But due to the severe damages it causes to our brains it is always good to be vigilant concerning the early signs.

I found your post very useful. Thank you very much!

    Priscilla · February 22, 2019 at 7:00 am

    Hi Henry, thanks so much for the review and comments. Very appreciated.

    All the best,
    Priscilla

Geoffrey wurz · February 22, 2019 at 2:25 am

Thank you for the article on Sleep Apnea. I never knew that Sleep Apnea could be so dangerous. There is so much amazing information in this article. I was wondering if the natural remedies do not work is there a surgery for this condition? Also how often can this disorder lead to brain damage? I know someone who might suffer from this disorder but they are very defensive and is hard to tell them anything without hurting their feelings. Any tips for talking to someone who might have this condition? Thank you.

    Priscilla · February 22, 2019 at 6:58 am

    Hi Geoffrey, thanks for sharing about your experience with friends. There are many treatments these days such as CPAP, chin strap, or surgery. Doctor specialists know better which treatment is best for patients. Each treatment focuses on opening airways during sleeping.
    Sleep apneas gradually damage the brain due to lack of oxygen in the brain vessel. I would suggest you to forward this website to your friend to educate him about the serious effect of this symptom.

    All the best,
    Priscilla

Alblue · February 22, 2019 at 8:40 am

I found your article when searching about snoring. So, loud snoring itself doesn’t always indicate that a person suffered from sleep apnea. I’m actually a bit afraid if I suffer this sleep disorder too. Sometimes I found myself heavily sweating and choking at midnight, but according to my family, I’m not a type of loud snoring (just sometimes). It only occurs occasionally, and in other times, I can sleep just well enough to wake up early in the morning without feeling fatigued. Do you think this is a symptom for other sleep disorder? Thank you for your information

    Priscilla · February 23, 2019 at 7:31 am

    Hi Alblue, thanks for your review and sharing your experience. 

    There are levels of OSA depending on the amount of breathing interruptions. Mild, moderate, or severe OSA, which an individual suffers from 5 to 30 episodes of breathing interruptions in an hour. The ways to know is having a sleep study.  

    I recommend you practice the sleep apneas natural treatments posted in this website, which treat snoring as well. Try sleeping on your side, have good diets, avoid drinking before bedtime, and apply essential oil to open the airway.

    If necessary, get consultation from your doctor for a Home Sleep Test (HST), which is 10 times cheaper than having a sleep study in a lab. You may find the information from the CBS New York. If you have more questions, please feel free to post in the website. I will be glad to hear from you.

    Wish you have a better sleep and be healthy!

    All the best,

    Priscilla

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