Has your partner ever poked you in the ribs and complained that you were snoring just way too loud or have they told you on multiple occasions that you weren’t breathing while you were sleeping? Have you ever woken up gasping for air or found yourself exhausted in the morning with no idea exactly why?
These could all be signs of sleep apnea.
There Are Three Types
If you are worried that you might have this condition, you are not alone. The condition is surprisingly common and affects sleepers of all shapes, sizes, ages, and genders around the world.
While this condition can, and does, affect people from walks of life, it is typically diagnosed in men. However, there are some specific demographics who should keep the disorder in mind and talk to a doctor if they find themselves experiencing symptoms.
At this point, you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal if my possible sleep apnea isn’t diagnosed?” A lot of people think it boils down to some loud and gnarly snoring and not much else. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Sleep apnea is cited as a contributing factor in Carrie Fisher’s death, along with heart health issues and complications of drug use.
Some other famous OSA sufferers include Shaquille O’Neal, William Shatner, and Regis Philbin.
There are a few key symptoms that most people know they should be looking for when they are trying to determine whether or not to talk to a doctor about whether their snoring is a sign of something more dangerous. Waking up gasping for breath, unusually loud snoring, and pauses or gaps between breathing can all be signs of the disorder.
Other, less-known symptoms people may not be aware of can include headaches and depression — especially in women. More frequent trips to the bathroom, heartburn, and changes in dreams (either frequency or content) may also be signs of an undiagnosed affliction.
Find Out More: Why Sleep Apnea Is Often Misdiagnosed In Women?
There are a few extra symptoms to pay attention to when determining if a child may have the disorder, as well. Jaw-clenching, teeth-grinding, frequent bed-wetting, migraines, and irritability may be present if the condition is left untreated. Because they are not receiving the proper amount of adequate rest, children with this disorder may appear unfocused or hyperactive during the daytime.
Always talk to a doctor if you think you or someone you know may be showing symptoms of sleep apnea or another sleeping disorder.
Learn More: Sleep Related Breathing Disorder
FUN FACT: Learning to play the didgeridoo could help strengthen the upper airways!
Soft Palate Blowing
According to the Mayo Clinic, if these simple fixes don’t the trick, a continuous positive airway pressure device, or CPAP machine, may be used to improve air pressure. Other styles of air pressure machines or oral appliances that position the mouth and throat in such a way as to allow airflow may also be considered as treatment options.
In some cases, surgery may be a necessity. Tissue that blocks airflow may be removed or reduced. Removal of the tonsils, repositioning of the jaw, and tracheostomy are examples of the more invasive methods used to treat the condition.
It is very important to be checked out by a doctor if you suspect you have sleep apnea or another sleeping disorder.
Some people may be embarrassed to admit to their medical professional that they snore. Others might consider a few sleepless nights to be a mere inconvenience and ignore the symptoms, not realizing the dangers that could be involved. Treatment is the key to higher-quality rest and better overall health. Additionally, we recommend exploring mattresses for sleep apnea.
Don’t ignore your snoring!
 Sleep Apnea, Mayo Clinic
 Rising Prevalence of Sleep Apnea in U.S. threatens public health, American Academy of Sleep Medicine
 Why Women Can't Afford to Overlook Sleep Apnea, Psychology Today
 Researchers Say up to 15% of Children Have Sleep Apnea, yet 90% Go Undiagnosed, American Osteopathic Association
 Advanced Sleep Medicine Services, Inc.