Can Snoring Be A Sign Of A Deeper Problem?
As much as we hate to admit it, we all make some kind of noise while we sleep. Probably one of the most annoying sounds we make is snoring. If you snore at all, you probably already know about it because the person sleeping next to you has let you know. It’s not really a big deal if you snore every now and then.
However, when you snore loudly and often, it could mean that you suffer from a potentially dangerous condition known as sleep apnea. If your snoring is just something that annoys your sleeping partner, you might not be motivated enough to do anything about it. But if it’s a sign that you have sleep apnea, your own health is at risk. Would that be enough to motivate you to seek treatment?
Luckily, diagnosis and treatment aren’t hard to find in the Salt Lake City area. That’s because our team at Rod Gleave, DMD are highly trained and equipped to help you find answers to your snoring problems and sleep apnea. Call our office today to schedule an appointment!
Sleep Apnea Explained
If you’ve never had any snoring or sleep problems before, you probably haven’t heard of sleep apnea. It actually has to do with your breathing patterns while you sleep. It basically goes something like this:
-The muscles in your throat relax as you drift off to sleep, and if they relax too much, they can put extra weight on your airways, which is what leads to snoring. Soon, the airway becomes so constricted from the weight of your throat muscles that you stop breathing as you sleep. After a few seconds, you will jerk yourself awake.
You might repeat that pattern up to a couple of hundred times per night! So actually, once you go back to sleep, you’re really not falling into a deep enough sleep at all. It makes sense, then, why one of the first signs of sleep apnea is feeling tired no matter how many hours you try to get each night.
What Are The Signs Of Sleep Apnea?
Believe it or not, snoring loudly enough to chip the paint off your walls isn’t the only sign of sleep apnea:
-You feel tired and sluggish throughout the day.
-You don’t feel rested and refreshed each morning, but instead feel worn out.
-You feel depressed, moody, or agitated.
-You have a hard time focusing throughout the day.
-You notice you’ve put on weight inexplicably.
Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?
The short answer is yes, it can be dangerous. Losing sleep here and there isn’t harmful because you can easily make that up the following night. Sleep apnea, though, causes you to lose sleep night after night after night. You never get the rest your mind and body desperately need to function properly. Because of this, sleep apnea can lead to various health problems.
Sleep Patterns & Behaviors
Because sleep apnea doesn’t allow you to reach a deep level of sleep, you’re more likely to exhibit behaviors like talking in your sleep, sleepwalking, or even eating while you sleep. Problems like this can not only be potentially embarrassing, but dangerous because you’re somewhere between asleep and awake and are not at all in control of your behavior.
When you go for long periods of time without mental or physical rest, it’s nearly impossible to be focused and alert. Therefore, you’re much more prone to accidents, especially when it comes to driving. Being extra clumsy due to exhaustion is one thing, but being distracted or groggy behind the wheel puts you and everyone else on the road at risk.
Moodiness & Depression
You know how irritable you get when you miss out on a good night’s sleep? Imagine feeling like that day in and day out. Sleep apnea keeps your mind from being able to rejuvenate and refresh the way it needs to, so each day, you’re cranky and easily agitated. Before long, this moodiness can develop into a bigger problem with depression.
If you don’t get the oxygen you need, which is what happens when you have sleep apnea, you heart has to work even harder to distribute whatever oxygen you do have to the rest of your body. That’s why this condition, if left untreated, can lead to things like hypertension and heart disease.
Dr. Gleave and our experienced team have the necessary skills and equipment to get to the bottom of your snoring problems and figure out if sleep apnea could be the cause. Let us help you find the relief and rest you’ve been missing!