Snoring and night sweats may be the first signs of sleep apnea. If you are affected, you may have breathing pauses at night, which can have life-threatening consequences if the condition persists. It is therefore important to know the causes of this condition and its risks.
In sleep apnea, there are multiple breathing pauses during normal sleep, here we are talking about more than 5 pauses. Their duration can be as short as ten seconds in mild cases, or as long as several minutes in the most severe cases. The body reacts to this loss of oxygen by briefly waking you up in order to quickly get its breath back. As a sufferer, you normally don’t notice this process at all.
Even if the natural wake-up process and the resulting self-protection of our body work properly, the condition can permanently lead to various secondary diseases. There is a high risk of heart problems, which can primarily be explained by the high blood pressure that is triggered by the constant natural wake-up reactions. In addition, a permanent state of fatigue puts extreme psychological strain on our bodies in the long run.
In summary, these possible consequences of sleep apnea are probably the most common:
In addition, the lack of concentration resulting from sleep loss significantly increases the risk of accidents, for example on the road or during physical work. Quite a few sufferers fall into microsleep unnoticed during the day.
What a person with sleep apnea definitely notices is that he or she is tired and unfocused during the day for a long period of time, even though he or she has gone to bed early enough. Other common indications also include night sweats and complaints from their partner of frequent snoring. But don’t worry, because snoring does not always mean that you are suffering from sleep apnea.
In principle, anyone can develop an apnea disease. However, statistics show that men are almost twice as likely to develop it as women. The risk also increases with age. Furthermore, various other factors play a role.
Within the causal development of sleep apnea, medicine distinguishes between two different types of the disease.
We all know that we get less air when we have a respiratory infection. However, in the case of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the condition of blocked airways at night is permanent. The most common causes can be:
In the most favorable case, you can successfully prevent your tendency to develop sleep apnea through certain lifestyle changes.
Refrain from smoking
Enjoy alcohol occasionally and in moderate quantities. Also, make sure there is at least four hours gap between alcohol consumption and bedtime.
Exercise regularly and reduce excess weight.
The best temperature for sleeping is around 18 °C.
Open the windows and let fresh air in your come into your bedroom regularly, before going to bed.