Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes your body to stop breathing while you sleep. It’s a potentially fatal condition, with harmful short- and long-term complications, that affects more than 1 in 3 men and 1 in 6 women.1
There are three main types of sleep apnea:
Eventually your brain senses that you’ve stopped breathing and causes you to wake up just enough to gasp and start breathing again. Then you fall back to sleep and the cycle begins again. This can happen more than 120 times every hour, even though you may not remember waking up.
As you can imagine, apneas put immense short- and long-term strains on the body.
Of course apneas cause the immediate life-threatening danger of not inhaling enough oxygen (or exhaling enough poisonous carbon dioxide). But the body’s constant waking due to these apneas can also cause sleep deprivation. This can lower people’s energy and attentiveness the next day, negatively affect their moods and relationships with others, and raise the risk for memory loss, cognitive impairment and injury.
Untreated sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk for other chronic and life-threatening conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure)2 and heart failure,3 as well as poorer glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes.4
The first step toward treating sleep apnea and living healthier is recognizing the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea and asking your doctor to get screened and tested.
Roughly 80% of people with sleep apnea don’t know they have it,5 partly because they can never witness their own nighttime symptoms.
While snoring is still the strongest predictor of sleep apnea in men and women,6 not everyone who snores has it. And more important, not everyone who has it snores. Below are other common sleep apnea symptoms:
In addition, women often show subtler, atypical symptoms such as insomnia, morning headaches, depression and anxiety.7 These symptoms often lead to misdiagnoses such as depression, insomnia or menopausal side effects.8 If you have these symptoms, be sure to ask your doctor about whether you might have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is more common than you might think. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you won't need to walk the journey alone. Join our free online community today—it's absolutely FREE!
The benefits of treating sleep apnea include easing common symptoms such as snoring and lack of energy.
You can manage your sleep apnea and live a long, healthy life. The key is finding the right treatment option for your symptoms and lifestyle. Learn about the options here, and talk to your doctor before pursuing a particular option.
Traveling with sleep apnea therapy? Here’s an overview of the basic steps to follow to ensure that your travel plans don’t interrupt your sleep apnea treatment.
It's important to make sure you’re receiving the proper sleep apnea treatment all night, every night. ResMed has a data tracker that syncs up to its machines: