Sleep Apnea is a serious sleep disorder that recurrently interrupts breathing during sleep. These breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and may occur up to 30 times or more in an hour. Sleep Apnea often leads to loud snoring, restless sleep, and feeling tired during the day. It comes in three forms: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome.
Relationship to Night Sweats
Sleep Apnea is a known cause of night sweats. When breathing is repeatedly interrupted or becomes very shallow during sleep, the lack of oxygen triggers the body’s fight-or-flight response. This emergency reaction leads to an increase in heart rate and body temperature, which can then result in sweating, often excessive and primarily during night sleep.
Some people erroneously believe that only overweight or older adults can develop sleep apnea. The fact is, it can affect people of all ages, genders, and body types, though it is more prevalent in overweight males over 40. Another misconception is that snoring alone indicates sleep apnea. While snoring can be a sign of this sleep disorder, not all who snore have sleep apnea.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can sleep apnea lead to other health problems?
Yes, if left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a range of health complications such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression and worsening of ADHD.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
Sleep Apnea is usually identified through a study conducted in a sleep laboratory, known as a polysomnogram, or a home sleep apnea test. These measure various bodily functions during sleep and help to establish a sleep apnea diagnosis.
Can I treat sleep apnea at home?
While severe cases may require medical intervention like a CPAP machine or surgery, moderate sleep apnea can be managed through lifestyle changes – losing weight, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol before bed, and different sleeping positions.
Can children have sleep apnea?
Yes, children can also have sleep apnea, though it might be tricky to diagnose. Symptoms to watch out for include snoring, restless sleep, bedwetting, and behavioral issues.