LEARN It! Challenge 1 of 1
In Progress

Introduction to Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can cause interrupted breathing or shallow breathing during sleep, leading to poor sleep quality and other health problems. Here are some clues that you might have sleep apnea:

  1. Loud, chronic snoring: Loud, persistent snoring is the most common symptom of sleep apnea. The snoring may be intermittent, and it may be followed by a brief silence during which breathing stops or becomes shallow.
  2. Gasping or choking during sleep: People with sleep apnea may experience episodes where they suddenly wake up gasping or choking for air.
  3. Excessive daytime sleepiness: People with sleep apnea may feel excessively tired during the day, despite getting a full night’s sleep.
  4. Difficulty concentrating: Sleep apnea can lead to poor concentration, forgetfulness, and other cognitive problems.
  5. Morning headaches: Sleep apnea can cause morning headaches, particularly in the back of the head.
  6. High blood pressure: Sleep apnea can increase blood pressure, and people with sleep apnea may have difficulty controlling their blood pressure with medication.
  7. Obesity: People who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for sleep apnea, as excess weight can contribute to airway blockages during sleep.

If you suspect that you may have sleep apnea, it’s important to talk to your doctor. They can perform a sleep study to determine whether you have sleep apnea and recommend appropriate treatment options.

One treatment, is a mask that delivers continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP. A sleep test is required to diagnose and prescribe this life improving treatment.

Why should you care? See how sleep quality affects quality and length of life.

  1. Improves concentration and academic performance: Lack of sleep can negatively impact your ability to focus and learn new information.
  2. Boosts mood and emotional well-being: A good night’s sleep can help reduce feelings of irritability and improve emotional regulation.
  3. Reduces risk of depression and anxiety: Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of depression and anxiety.
  4. Supports physical health: Sleep is crucial for physical health, including immune function, metabolism, and cardiovascular health.
  5. Enhances athletic performance: Sleep is essential for recovery, and getting enough rest can improve athletic performance.
  6. Increases creativity: Sleep has been shown to enhance creative thinking and problem-solving abilities.
  7. Reduces stress: Adequate sleep can help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.
  8. Improves memory retention: During sleep, the brain processes and consolidates memories, which can improve memory retention.
  9. Reduces risk of accidents: Lack of sleep can impair judgment and increase the risk of accidents, especially while driving.
  10. Promotes healthy skin: Sleep is essential for skin health, including cell repair and renewal.

OK, I get it. In the meantime, what are some good sleep hygiene behaviors I should try to follow?

  1. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends.
  2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine to signal to your body that it’s time to sleep.
  3. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol before bedtime.
  4. Limit screen time before bed and keep electronic devices out of the bedroom.
  5. Create a comfortable sleep environment, including a cool and dark room.
  6. Exercise regularly, but not too close to bedtime.
  7. Practice stress-reducing activities, such as meditation or deep breathing.
  8. Eat a healthy diet and avoid heavy meals before bedtime.
  9. Consider a natural sleep aid, such as melatonin, if necessary.
  10. Seek help from a healthcare professional if you have persistent sleep problems.