If you don’t feel refreshed after a night sleep, you may have sleep apnea and the position you sleep in can make it worse. “Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common problem that affects a person’s breathing during sleep, where air cannot flow normally into the lungs,” say the authors of One Major Sleep Apnea study. “The blockage in the airflow is usually caused by the collapse of the soft tissues in the back of the throat (upper airway) and tongue during sleep.” The authors found that sleep apnea can have dangerous consequences. Read on to discover 4 symptoms and which sleeping position makes it worse – and learn what to do about it. And to ensure your health and that of others, don’t miss this one Certain Signs You Have “Long” COVID and May Not Even Know It.
If you wake up from snoring, if your breathing stops, or if you find yourself gasping for air in the middle of the night, you may have sleep apnea. The study, which examined airline pilots based in Saudi Arabia, found that “screening for employees of this high-risk profession should be considered. Fatigue, depression and insomnia can be secondary effects of sleep apnea and should be assessed and treated early.” Sounds logical. “If you have obstructive sleep apnea, tissues in your throat relax during sleep, periodically blocking your airways, causing interruptions of breathing that disrupt sleep,” reports Harvard Health. And that’s not the only symptom.
“A third of the participants had some difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep (insomnia), 33% had fatigue and fatigue, 35.9% had depression, while 23.1% were extremely sleepy during the day,” say the authors of the research. Even if you are able to fall asleep, the apnea can wake you up, making it difficult to fall back asleep.
The study authors noted depression. AN study discovered a few years ago that the same was true. “Patients with OSA have impaired health and their psychosocial health and daily performance also decline,” the authors wrote. “Because disturbed sleep can cause poor concentration, mood problems, anxiety and MDD” – which is major depressive disorder – “these factors are also part of poor daytime performance.”
“Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea raise blood pressure and put a strain on the cardiovascular system. Having obstructive sleep apnea increases your risk of high blood pressure (hypertension),” says the Mayo Clinic. “Obstructive sleep apnea can also increase your risk of recurrent heart attacks, strokes, and abnormal heartbeats, such as atrial fibrillation. If you have heart disease, multiple episodes of oxygen deprivation in the blood (hypoxia or hypoxemia) can lead to sudden death from an irregular heartbeat. “
To keep your airways open, sleep on your side or on your stomach – that will help mild apnea. For more serious conditions, contact your doctor. You may need a CPAP machine, which provides a steady stream of oxygen to your nose and mouth so you can breathe normally. “CPAP treatment has been shown to improve depressive symptoms associated with OSA,” say the authors of one study. “CPAP therapy also improves the quality of life of OSA patients.” If that doesn’t work, there are surgical procedures that can. And to get through this pandemic as healthy as possible, don’t miss this one 35 places you are most likely to get COVID.