Symptoms of Sleep Apnea – Covington, GA
Recognize the Signs of OSA
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can have devastating consequences for your overall health and well-being if it remains untreated. It is essential that you are able to recognize its signs and symptoms so you can seek appropriate professional help. On this page, we will discuss some of the primary indications that you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. If you frequently experience any of the following, we recommend that you schedule a consultation with Dr. Dean and our dream team as soon as possible.
Snoring occurs when air brushes past tissues in the throat, causing them to vibrate. In some cases, snoring is the result of allergies, consuming alcohol too close to bedtime, or other temporary circumstances. In other cases, however, it is an indicator of sleep apnea. Some signs of OSA-related snoring include:
- The snoring is loud
- You snore frequently
- Your partner observes that you sometimes stop breathing
OSA prevents your body from getting the rejuvenating, high-quality sleep it needs to function at its best. Hence, you may find that you are constantly tired, no matter how long you spend in bed or how much coffee you drink. You may have slower reaction times when you are driving and exhibit decreased productivity at work.
There are numerous possible causes of insomnia, including stress, overconsumption of caffeine, and other factors. However, OSA may also play a role in making it difficult for you to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. If you often experience insomnia along with other signs of OSA, such as snoring, it would be wise to consult with a sleep apnea expert.
Sleep apnea may reduce the overall number of dreams you experience. This occurs because it causes you to spend less time in REM sleep, which is the part of the sleep cycle wherein most dreaming occurs. However, it does not eliminate all dreaming. Research indicates that OSA sufferers are more likely to experience nightmares because when you cannot breathe, that feeling of suffocation can get transferred into your dreams.
Dry Mouth/Dry Throat
Individuals with sleep apnea often sleep with their mouth open. This allows an excess of air into the oral cavity and can reduce the amount of saliva there. It is common for OSA sufferers to wake up with a dry mouth, a dry throat, or a sore throat.
Irritability and Mood Swings
Research indicates that a lack of high-quality sleep can affect the amount of mood-regulating chemicals in the brain. You may have less of the chemical that helps you to stay calm (called GABA) and more of the chemical that heightens feelings (called glutamate). The result is that you may often feel stressed and irritable. Depression is even common in individuals with sleep apnea.
Without an adequate amount of high-quality rest, you may not have the energy to exercise as often as you should. You may also experience increased cravings for high-calorie comfort food. These factors can make it very difficult for you to maintain a healthy body weight.
Are you experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea? If so, our team is ready to help you get the rest your body needs to thrive!