Sleep apnea refers to a sleep disorder characterized by respiratory disturbance during sleep so that breathing stops for ten or more seconds and interferes with valuable oxygen supplies to the brain. This disruption of the body's breathing cycle may return hundreds of times each night, with potentially fatal results. Even more alarming, sleep apnea, the most dangerous of all sleep disorders, also represents one of the most commonly identified sleep disorders affecting as many as eighteen million Americans each year.
This condition can be divided into two primary categories. "Central sleep apnea", caused by a neurological disorder, where the brain in some way interferes with the normal breathing signal and "Obstructive sleep apnea" characterized by excessive relaxation or collapse of muscles around the trachea, which in turn causes wind turbines. Both forms often involve respiratory arrest and temporary suspension of oxygen supply to the brain, causing sleep apnea to be affected by a significantly higher risk of hypertension, myocardial infarction and stroke.
Diagnostic sleep apnea can be difficult. Snoring, one of the most common symptoms associated with sleep apnea (which causes many who refer to this as "snoring disease") often leads to an incorrect diagnosis of the condition. In fact, snoring can be associated with a variety of other sleep disorders and conditions that are not related to sleep apnea.
When the brain feels a lack of oxygen, as a result of a trachea, it reacts by waking the sufferings enough to breathe again, which often causes snoring or sometimes coughing. As a result, sleep apnea suffers from a very poor sleep quality and wake feeling even more tired than before going to sleep.
Feelings of fatigue, fatigue and an overwhelming desire to sleep during the day, known as excessive sleepiness today, characterize sleep apnea; especially if seen in conjunction with other symptoms such as morning headache, noticeable drowsiness, loss of interest in sex, forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating.
The ongoing fatigue and physical fatigue caused by undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea can also lead to the emergence of severe psychological symptoms such as depression, irritability and changes in mood and behavior.
If you suspect that you are suffering from sleep apnea, seek immediate medical advice and, if necessary, arrange suitable tests.
There are a variety of effective therapies available for both obstructive and central sleep apnea. Most patients benefit greatly from one or more of these treatments, which primarily involve simple behavioral adjustments like changing or changing your sleeping position. Sufferers of mild obstructive sleep apnea as a result of prolonged nasal overload can simply require a degree of depression, while more severe sleep apnea may require the use of an oxygen mask to stimulate consistent breathing during sleep. In severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea, some surgical procedures may help restore effective and consistent breathing during sleep, although patients should continue down this particular route with caution, as surgery often leads to complications.
An important point to note is that due to the risk of potentially lethal respiratory distress, sleep apnea should be affected by taking sleep pills or artificial sleep enhancers due to the associated respiratory hazard.
Natural sleepers provide an effective complement to medically prescribed treatments and can certainly help suffer from a better sleep. Herbal remedies aimed at improving sleep quality and durability can help patients manage and even reduce the excessive sleepiness of the day otherwise caused by sleep apnea.
Similarly, the use of aromatherapy, chromotherapy and guided relaxation and meditation can help reduce anxiety and insomnia, sleep apnea patients experience when they learn to handle their sleep disturbance.