People of all ages and lifestyles can experience issues falling asleep or waking up during the night. In most cases, these problems are temporary. However, other conditions like sleep apnoea need to be monitored.
Sleep apnoea is arguably one of the more severe sleeping disorders as it interrupts your breathing during sleep. If you have been experiencing sleep apnoea, or else it is a partner, close friend or loved one, continue reading.
Here is a concise guide to sleep apnoea.
What Exactly is Sleep Apnoea?
Sleep apnoea is a breathing interruption that can be serious if left untreated and happens almost nightly, caused by tightening and contracting of the throat muscles.
Once the throat tightens, it loosens to a point whereby both the soft tissue and muscles almost entirely collapse and then cause a partial or complete airway blockage.
Key Signs & Symptoms
In the vast majority of cases of sleep apnoea, it tends to be the case that the condition is spotted by a partner, close friend, or family member before the individual notices it themselves.
Usually, people who are sound asleep with sleep apnoea snore, particularly loudly, and their breathing sounds laboured and noisy, as if they are making an effort with every breath. Additionally, there may well also be short periods of time whereby the person with sleep apnoea wakes themselves up with a loud snore or by gasping.
What Your Doctor Will Advise…
If you think you may have developed sleep apnoea, even if you are not sure, or else you have only experienced one or more signs and symptoms on an isolated occasion, it is imperative that you make an appointment to see your doctor.
Additionally, there is a significant amount of talk surrounding other, more alternative, routes for managing and hopefully, one day entirely eradicating, sleep apnoea, such as the use of medical cannabis UK, acupuncture, and even meditation. However, it will be up to your doctor to decide what treatment options they deem to be most effective and relevant for you.
The Main Causes of Sleep Apnoea
As you might expect, there are a wide variety of reasons why a person may develop sleep apnoea. It is important to note that sleep apnoea is more common in people over forty years old, but it can happen in younger people as well.
As a general rule, and even though no medical professional has been able to determine the exact reason, sleep apnoea is also far more likely to occur in males than females. However, some researchers seem to believe this could be related to the distribution of fat in the body.
Other potential triggers of sleep apnoea and other related sleeping disorders include being obese or overweight, as the excess fat increases the volume of muscle and soft tissue in the throat and if the individual has a larger neck than average.
Sleep apnoea could also occur in people experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety, who have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, a prescription medicine containing sedatives, or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol before bed.