Do you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea? Chances are, if you’re even considering that you’re dealing with this sleep disorder, you probably are one of the estimated 18 million Americans who have it. Of course, many people don’t realize that they have the disorder because they’re asleep when it happens, and it’s only when the body starts reacting badly during the daytime that most people realize something is wrong.
Although you’ll definitely want to see a professional for testing and a diagnosis, here are a few signs that you might be suffering from this disorder, or that you’re at risk of developing it:
- The most common symptoms of sleep apnea tend to appear after a person has been suffering from the disorder for a while, and most symptoms are general signs of sleep deprivation. Feeling exhausted, stressed out, and physically/emotionally drained during the day are all very common symptoms.
- Studies have shown that people with one sleep disorder are more likely to have (or develop) another sleep disorder; if you know that you grind your teeth at night, for example, but you’ve received treatment for this problem and now you’re experiencing more symptoms, you could very well be suffering from sleep apnea as well.
- Sleep apnea has also been linked to asthma (they both have to do with your breathing, after all). If you have asthma, you have a 40% greater risk of developing sleep apnea too.
- On a semi-related note, although snoring isn’t a definite indicator of sleep apnea, it’s something to pay attention to, especially if you’ve never been a snorer before. This is a sign that your breathing and nasal passages are blocked; in many cases, it’s fairly harmless (albeit very annoying for anyone nearby), but if you’re noticing other symptoms too, it’s something that shouldn’t be ignored.
- This connection is a bit random, but has been proven in various studies: men are twice as likely to suffer from sleep apnea, compared to women. So if you’re of the male variety, be extra vigilant!
Even though exact sleep apnea causes are hard to pin down, the good news is that you can easily be diagnosed by a sleep professional and receive personalized treatment, sometimes in the form of simple at-home remedies, but often in the form of effective products like CPAP masks and nasal pillows. Luckily, because so many people also have this disorder, there are plenty of solutions available to fit your budget, medical needs, and personal lifestyle.