While some people may be reluctant to start using a CPAP machine, it could make all the difference in helping you get a quality night’s sleep.
CPAP machines are designed to counteract the effects of sleep apnea, in which your breathing temporarily stops during the night as your airways collapse. When oxygen is cut off, your body forces itself to wake up to restore breathing to normal.
Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, these interruptions to breathing could occur upwards of 30 times per hour. This doesn’t just impact your quality of sleep now — it also poses serious long-term health risks.
Obstructive sleep apnea has been linked with high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and other serious medical conditions. Recognizing the warning signs that you may have sleep apnea and getting tested will allow you to get a prescription for a CPAP machine so you can sleep better and improve your quality of life.
1. Your Spouse Says You Snore
For a lot of people with sleep apnea, the first real sign they have a problem is when their spouse complains that they snore loudly during the night. Keep in mind that this isn’t the snoring that might occur if you have a cold or sinus infection. This is snoring that occurs consistently, almost every night.
When snoring is connected with obstructive sleep apnea, it will often be the loudest while you are sleeping on your back and is quieter when you shift to your side. However, it will generally be loud enough to disturb your sleep partner. There may also be periods of silence during the night when you don’t snore.
2. Gasping or Choking During the Night
This is another symptom of sleep apnea that typically will only be noticed by a significant other. People with sleep apnea will often wake up gasping or choking for breath after a temporary interruption to their breathing.
While you may notice this yourself, these events often occur relatively quickly, and most people with sleep apnea immediately fall asleep after they wake up, so they don’t remember it in the morning. If your spouse has noticed these somewhat alarming symptoms — which are preceded by moments when you stop breathing — you are definitely dealing with obstructive sleep apnea.
3. Daytime Fatigue
Even if you don’t have a bed partner who can report symptoms like snoring or gasping for breath, there are still sleep apnea warning signs you can watch out for. Chronic fatigue is a major cause for concern with sleep apnea. Even though the interruptions to breathing may only wake you up for a few seconds, the constant interruptions greatly affect the quality of your sleep.
As a result, those with sleep apnea will often experience excessive daytime drowsiness or a lack of energy. Sleepiness while driving is also quite common, and poses a serious risk to yourself and others. On the opposite end of your routine, those with obstructive sleep apnea will often experience insomnia as well, further worsening feelings of fatigue.
4. Morning Dry Mouth or Sore Throat
Sleep apnea can contribute to several other forms of discomfort in the morning. A dry mouth and sore throat are among the most common side effects that will occur in the early morning. These conditions are actually the result of acid reflux that is caused by obstructive sleep apnea.
As Steven Y. Park, MD writes, “Every time an apnea occurs, a tremendous vacuum effect is created inside the chest and throat, which literally suctions up your normal stomach juices into your esophagus and throat. […] what comes up can cause severe irritation in your throat, provoking the mucous secreting glands of your throat to try to dilute these substances.”
5. Irritability and Trouble Concentrating
The chronic fatigue caused by sleep apnea can have a severe impact on your mental and emotional well-being. Many who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea will also experience headaches in the morning, which can make it difficult to start the day. Your physical exhaustion can make it hard to concentrate on the road or at work, hurting your performance and increasing your risk of getting in an accident.
A single night of poor sleep can leave you feeling grouchy and irritable. We’ve all had nights of poor sleep that leave us in a bad mood all day, wanting nothing more than to go back to sleep. But, if your sleep is constantly being interrupted by sleep apnea, chronic fatigue will leave you feeling this way all the time. Left unchecked, this can eventually hurt your relationships with the people who matter most, causing you to lash out in ways you never would otherwise.
Time For a CPAP Machine?
If you think you may have obstructive sleep apnea, don’t wait — schedule a sleep test to see if this is really the case. If you have sleep apnea, getting started on a CPAP machine will eliminate your symptoms and help you sleep soundly through the night. You’ll feel refreshed in the morning, and reduce your risk for long-term health issues.
Of course, paying for CPAP equipment can be a challenge for some, especially during the current uncertain economic climate. No Insurance Medical Supplies will help you get quality equipment at a price you can afford, with great deals on CPAP and BiPAP machines, masks, and more. Financing is also available on purchases over $500.
Don’t let sleep apnea keep you from getting a full night’s rest. With No Insurance Medical Supplies on your side, the benefits of using a CPAP machine are closer than you might think!