10 Interesting Facts About Sleep Apnea

No amount of wealth or pleasures in the world can come close to the luxury of having a restful sleep. It repairs our body and resets our brain to tackle another day with full energy; however, the problem arises when we are unable to sleep properly. There are many disorders that lead to poor quality of sleep, and sleep apnea is one of them. Here are some interesting facts about it:

Sleep Apnea Fact Cover

1. What is Sleep Apnea?

What is Sleep Apnea

It is a sleeping disorder that can be life-threatening depending on its intensity. In this, breathing stops and starts abruptly. Moreover, a person can experience as many as 100 apnea cycles in one night’s sleep. An individual suffering from this condition often feels fatigued, tired, and restless throughout the day.

2. Three Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three types of sleep apnea, which are:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: In this, throat muscles are relaxed which obstructs the airflow. It is also the most common type of apnea.
  • Central Sleep Apnea: This occurs due to neurological imbalance. In this, the brain stops sending required signals to the muscles that regulate breathing.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome: If individual experiences both previously mentioned types of sleep apnea at the same time, it is labeled as complex sleep apnea syndrome.

3. Not Just a Discomfort

Granted, the breathing resumes after a short duration; however, due to this interruption in breathing, the heart rhythm is offset. In addition to fatigue, it can lead to stroke, heart failure, increased blood pressure, and even a heart attack. Additionally, it can give rise to psychological disorders as well, such as depression and anxiety, because if the body is not able to resume breathing, the brain forces the person to wake up. This can be particularly damaging to cognitive abilities during rapid eye movement or REM sleep.
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4. Not Commonly Diagnosed 

Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea


Interestingly, people suffering from sleep apnea are able to fall asleep immediately after getting to bed; therefore, a majority of people are under the impression that they are having a decent sleep. This false perception doesn’t allow people to discuss their sleeping patterns with physicians. Moreover, people with sleep apnea are likely to fall asleep anywhere, making them believe that they are catching up on their missed sleep. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, approximately 23 million Americans are suffering from undiagnosed sleep apnea. Experts also state that snoring is the earliest sign of this disorder, and it must be addressed.

5. Watch the Weight

People that tend to have an increased body mass index (over 28 BMI) are likely to experience sleep apnea. It is considered one of the major risk factors for this disorder. This is due to excessive fat tissues surrounding the throat and neck, which can lead to obstruction of the airways.
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6. Size Matters

At least, the size of the neck when it comes to sleep apnea. The larger the circumference of the neck, the more likely it is for a person to develop sleep apnea because of greater pressure on the airways in the throat.

7. Endocrine Disorder

Endocrine Disorder sleep Apnea

When the endocrine system inhibits or enhances the production of hormones in the body, it is known as an endocrine disorder. For instance, excessive growth hormone can lead to enlargement of the tongue, resulting in obstruction of the throat. Other conditions, like hypothyroidism, can also lead to sleep apnea because of the lack of hormones required to regulate breathing.

8. Higher in Males

Although it affects people of any age and gender, it largely affects males, particularly over the age of 40. Interestingly, the risk of sleep apnea increases significantly in overweight women after menopause. Moreover, children are also observed suffering from sleep apnea. According to the statistics, 24% of males, 9% of women, and 2% of children are diagnosed with this disorder.

9. Use Medical Devices

Apnea Mask Fact

After diagnoses, the patients are often recommended a positive airway pressure device. It is like a mask that is connected to a machine that maintains adequate pressure for airways to remain open. Although people are hesitant to use such devices, they are extremely useful.

10. Change in Lifestyle 

Active lifestyle Apnea Fact

While there are medical devices that can ease the discomfort caused by sleep apnea, ultimately, lifestyle changes lead to a permanent solution. Losing weight should be the primary concern for obese people. Secondly, positional therapy can also lead to better management of sleep apnea. Moreover, smoking and alcohol consumption should be restricted.

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