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Recognise the signs of sleep apnea

20-04-2013

Part of the problem with a number of sleep disorders is that the sufferer may be completely unaware they have a problem for many years. The reason is obvious, they are asleep when the problem occurs. Usually someone with one of these sleep disorders will either be diagnosed by a partner or due to escalating symptoms that indicate a problem.

Sleep apnea is one such problem. Sleep apnea is characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from at least ten seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Most sufferers will not notice these breathing problems and unless their partner does they could g undiagnosed for many years. That is why it is important to know what the signs of sleep apnea are.

The main signs of sleep apnea are:

Loud and chronic snoring
Choking, snorting, or gasping during sleep
Long pauses in breathing during sleep
Daytime sleepiness, no matter how much time you spend in bed

Obvious the problem with these symptoms is that they are vague and not all snorers have sleep apnea. That is why it pays to look for these other signs as well:

Restless or fitful sleep
Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
Headaches in the morning
Insomnia or regularly waking at night
Going to the bathroom frequently during the night
Waking up out of breath


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