Learn About Sleep Apnea
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Learn About Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea means that breathing stops or has hesitations, while sleeping. Snoring is an indication that you may have bouts of apnea while you sleep.

Sleep apnea can be a frightening experience. One minute you are sleeping soundly and the next, you may be choking and gasping for air. For some people, they may not even know they are having bouts of apnea; they essentially sleep right through the episode. If you sleep with a significant other or your spouse, they may be the ones to hear the episodes and tell you about them.

Sleep apnea is a term that means that you have hesitations in your breathing or stop breathing altogether in your sleep. Your breathing pattern is disrupted, and you are no longer in a normal breathing pattern. Apnea can last for different lengths of time, from a few seconds to a few minutes. Some people wake-up from their attack of apnea, while others do not realize anything is happening. Some people have their sleep disrupted enough that it causes roll over multiple times in their sleep, or sleep restlessly.

Attacks of apnea can happen multiple times in one night; 20 to 30 times per hour, or as much as 300 episodes a night. Your breathing can stop for 10 seconds - even longer. The more episodes you have each night and the longer the episodes last, the more dangerous the condition can be. Regular pauses in your breathing can affect other areas of the body; such as your heart, your brain, and neurological system. Your heart can get into irregular beating patterns due to interruptions in breathing and cause arrhythmias. This is a very dangerous situation. It can also cause a rise in blood pressure.

If you snore regularly, this could be an indication that you may be having bouts of apnea and should have your snoring checked out. Sleep studies are a popular test to check for sleep apnea. You are hooked up to leads that monitor everything from your brain activity, to your heart, and breathing. The test will show if you stop breathing in your sleep, how often and for how long.

If you know you snore and are waking up feeling more tired than you should, apnea may be a cause. Many people question as to why the feel so tired the next day when they think they got plenty of sleep. The fact may that they are not sleeping properly and deeply. If you think you may be experiencing sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with your doctor. He can get you on the right path to finding out if you, in fact, are breathing correctly while you sleep.

Even though you may feel like you are sleeping through the night, you may not be.

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