Does an exhausting schedule at work, listening to an already stressed out boss, meeting deadlines and finally coming home to a demanding family kick the hell out of you? Does all the exhaustion give you restless nights? Do you also feel dull and groggy during the daytime? Many workingmen seem to undergo this but this is no ordinary exhaustion. You could be suffering from sleep apnea.
But, what exactly is sleep apnea? Sleep apnea occurs when the pauses in between your breathing lasts for a minimum of 10 seconds. It also occurs when you snore irregularly with gasping sounds. One out of every ten men over the age of 40 seems to suffer from this. Some younger people have also begun to suffer from sleep apnea now days. Men with sleep apnea often stop breathing during their sleep, as sufficient air is unable to enter the lungs resulting in choking and gasping.
Sleep apnea causes sexual dysfunction, heart problems and even memory problems. So, which category of people is more at risk? If you have a nasal trouble like sinus or large tonsils then you are at risk. Muscle weakness or scoliosis also causes sleep apnea. More than anything else, obesity seems to be the greatest risk factor for sleep apnea.
So, can anything be done about it? Why not? The best way would be to change your lifestyle. Go in for fresh fruits and vegetables everyday. Avoid greasy food. Do not definitely become overweight so, start discarding fatty foods today itself. Regular exercising definitely helps. And no, alcohol before bedtime.
As far as treatment for sleep apnea is concerned, try sleeping on your side instead of your back. Reduce your snoring by raising your pillow or bed. For men with extreme cases of sleep apnea, oral appliances like the mandible advancement device (MAD) or the continuous positive airflow pressure (CPAP) masks keep the nasal passages open preventing the tongue from obstructing the airway. For those requiring surgery, jaw and nasal surgeries are also done to remove obstructions.
So, the next time you find yourself falling off asleep without your knowledge, are finding memory problems or having restless nights you know what to do.