“Not getting enough sleep can be dangerous…”
Always tired? How sleep apnea and snoring can cause sleep deprivation
Unlike insomnia, sleep apnea deprives patients of rest by ruining the quality, rather than the quantity, of their sleep. This means that no matter how long sleep apnea patients sleep, they are fatigued all day. In fact, it’s common for patients to feel more exhausted when they wake up than when they went to bed.
How sleep apnea destroys sleep quality
Restful sleep requires stages three and four sleep, also called deep sleep. Unfortunately for sleep apnea patients, the airway collapse that causes them to awaken is most likely to occur during deep sleep. The body normally cycles through all of the sleep stages four to five times per night. Sleep apnea patients, who can have anywhere from five to more than a hundred apnea episodes per hour, are repeatedly sent back to stage one sleep with each episode. This prevents them from ever getting any substantial sleep. As a result, any attempt to reduce the sleep debt by simply sleeping longer is futile.
The immense benefits of fixing sleep apnea
Restoration of deep sleep gives patients major benefits in terms of their health and quality of life. Lack of deep sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, low immunity and raised diabetes risk. Deep sleep is also when the body produces 80 percent of its human growth hormone, which is necessary for normal repair of daily wear on the body and brain. Patients who regain normal sleep also enjoy improved energy, performance and mood, boosting their quality of life immeasurably.
Return to being Rested
The only way to truly relieve the fatigue caused by sleep apnea and snoring is to tackle these problems directly. For patients with mild sleep apnea, lifestyle changes can make a difference. These can include avoiding alcohol and caffeine before bed, keeping the bedroom cool and raising the head of the bed about six inches. When moderate or severe sleep apnea is present, professional treatment becomes necessary.
Santa Monica residents can visit Dr. Brightleaf for a sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment. Available treatment options include CPAP, soft tissue removal and oral appliances. Each treatment works by keeping the airway open, but many patients prefer the last two over CPAP for the greater comfort and ease of usage they provide.
What will work best for you?
Everyone is different. Come on for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Brightleaf to discover your effective treatment for your sleep apnea.