Snoring – The Not So Silent Killer
Snoring is funny to most of us. We even have little things we say about people who snore like “he sure was sawing a log last night.”
When you really get down to it and understand what snoring is, you will find out it really is not a laughing matter. It really is very serious and as one author has put it, it is the “not so silent killer.”
You may be asking yourself right now, “is it really that serious?” The answer is a resounding yes.
Snoring is the most common sign of a dangerous disease called sleep apnea. You will probably also hear it referred to as Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that affects the way you breathe when your sleeping. It is characterized by one or more pauses in your breathing while you sleep and these can occur from a few times to several hundred times a night in those with more severe cases.
More than 80% of those with sleep apnea go undiagnosed and end up suffering with a variety of health problems. The only way to know if a person has sleep apnea is to have a sleep test done and to have that test read by a certified sleep doctor.
Since sleep apnea only occurs during sleep, it can go undetected for very long periods of time. A family member, usually the spouse, is the first to notice and point out symptoms especially if that person is snoring loudly and excessively.
In more severe cases, spouses have reported their family member having stopped breathing for 45 seconds or more multiple times during the night. This puts a huge strain on the cardiovascular system and can cause chemical imbalances in the body.
The person with sleep apnea develops issues like high blood pressure, morning headaches, inability to focus, falling asleep behind the wheel, extreme moodiness and more. All of these thing are very dangerous signs of sleep apnea.
Don’t Ignore The Signs
If your reading this and your loved one is exhibiting the signs of sleep apnea, then for there sake, don’t ignore it. You need to sit down with them and have a personal conversation with them about what you are seeing and hearing.
Many people from all walks of life have died from sleep apnea. Actors, athletes and what some people would call a “health guru,” have all died from sleep apnea.
The Importance of Sleep
Most people don’t understand the importance of sleep. They just think it is apart of what you do in a day. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
Your sleep has a purpose. Think of this way. It’s really similar to you using your computer. Your computer gets bogged down and sluggish because of its use during the day. When you reboot that computer, certain files are cleared out and the computer comes back up running better.
Your sleep provides basically the same process to your body. Your body and mind work throughout the day. You may develop brain-fog and you muscles become fatigued. You’re not able to think as quickly and clearly as you did when you started the day. When you go to sleep, it reboots your body and mind helps to bring things back into order helping you to feel refreshed and renewed.
Stop and think about it. When you get a really great nights rest, you get up feeling awesome and ready to tackle the things you have to do that day. I
If your sleep is bad and was restless, when the alarm goes off, you don’t want to get up and do anything. When you do get up, you find that things like focusing on a task or even getting along with friends and family, can be difficult.
This is because you body and mind has not been able to fully restore itself like it is designed to do through sleep and rest.
People who suffer with sleep apnea find themselves struggling on the job, with their relationships and they have health problems that want go away and they only end up treating the symptoms and not getting to the root or cause.
What Should I Do If I Suspect I Have Sleep Apnea or My Family Member Does?
What’s the first thing you should do if you think you or someone you know has sleep apnea? You have to get an accurate diagnosis to determine if you have it and how severe it is.
This is done by getting a sleep study done and read by a certified sleep doctor. If you don’t know where to get this done, then call our office and we will help you get that started.
Don’t let that snore be a form of family entertainment. It could be a sign of something very serious so it is important to be proactive and get tested and treated for sleep apnea. It really is a matter of life and death.
Call us today if you have questions about sleep apnea and how to get treated.