What is a Sleep Disorder?
Do you have trouble falling asleep? Trouble staying asleep? Are you snoring? Sleep disorders are changes in the way that you sleep. And although they can be annoying, more importantly, sleep disorders can have negative effects on your overall health, well-being, and longevity.
What Are the Symptoms of a Sleep Disorder?
Many of the signs of sleep disorders result from sleep deprivation they cause:
- Not feeling rested when you wake up in the morning
- Morning headaches
- Excessive sleepiness during the day
- Falling asleep at inappropriate times (driving, reading, in a meeting, etc.)
- Decrease in your level of attention, concentration, or memory
- Waking in the night feeling confused
Other indicators can appear as the disorder continues over time:
- Recent, unexplained weight gain
- Fatigue, lack of energy
- Moodiness, irritability, impatience
- Decreasing quality of life
There are many different types of sleep disorders, and they are sometimes grouped into categories based on their cause or how they affect you. The most common sleep disorders relate to snoring and sleep apnea.
Is Snoring Ruining Your Sleep and Annoying Everyone Else?
Snoring. That sputtering, snorting nighttime noise is a common condition, and it can affect anyone. It does tend to occur more often in men, to get worse as you age, and be more common for people who are overweight.
Habitual snoring not only compromises your sleep quality and health, but it also disturbs the sleep of those around you. Just ask your family members!
Snoring may be an indication of obstructed breathing and should not be taken lightly.
- 48% of US adults report snoring 1
- 45% of normal adults snore at least occasionally 2
- 25% of them habitually snore 2
And, snoring may be robbing you of your health. If you snore nightly, you can be at risk for serious health problems including high blood pressure and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Snoring can also be associated with a serious sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) which disrupts breathing while you sleep.
Do You Know About OSA – Obstructed Sleep Apnea?
It is estimated that sleep apnea occurs in as many as 20-40% of adult snorers. Many of those people are unaware that they suffer from sleep apnea and may go undiagnosed for years. 3
Sleep Apnea causes frequent, repetitive pauses of 10 seconds or more in your breathing as you sleep. During this pause, your blood-oxygen levels begin to drop which signals the brain to wake you. You can awake suddenly, choking and gasping for air, but you may also wake up only partially or not at all as you resume breathing.
In addition to compromising your rest at night, sleep apnea is depriving your brain of oxygen. The result is an increase in your chances of developing serious health issues: 3
- increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity
- 3x greater risk of heart disease
- 4x greater risk of stroke
- 6x greater risk of being involved in a car crash
And the negative effects of sleep apnea are not limited to you. Your bed partner can lose as much as one hour of sleep each night from being awakened by your apnea episodes. This is a phenomenon called “Spousal Arousal Syndrome.” 3
The Importance of Diagnosing Snoring and Sleep Apnea
If you have symptoms of a sleep disorder, don’t ignore them or assume they will go away. The sooner you identify the cause and treat it, the sooner you and your family can enjoy better sleep, better health, and a better quality of life.
Approximately 1 in 50 Americans have an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea. 4
You don't want to be in that number!