Leading a healthy life is difficult today. With the hectic everyday schedules and when time is money, not everyone pays enough attention to what they eat, how many hours they sleep and how often they exercise. And while most people are very much aware of the benefits of healthy eating, very little know the benefits of quality sleep. According to doctors, 7-9 hours of good sleep every night is the answer to healthy body and mind. But what about those who have trouble staying asleep all night? Tossing and turning in bed, snoring, waking up often gasping for air – all this significantly diminishes sleep quality. All these are signs of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Obstructive sleep apnea is a type of sleeping disorder identified by repeated breathing pauses during sleep. The pauses in breathing happen because the airway is blocked. During sleep, the whole body relaxes including the soft tissue in the throat. If the soft tissue is relaxed more than normal, it falls down and blocks the air passage. This disturbs airflow and prevents air from getting to lungs. Each breathing pause can last from few seconds to almost a minute or two. The result is waking up choking at night gasping for air. This can happen over 20 times in only one hour.
Not treating sleep apnea leads to poor sleep quality what leads to impeded brain functioning, low energy during the day, impaired alertness, anxiety, headaches, impatience, stress and, all in all, very bad physical health. In the recent years, it has been reported that more and more Australians suffer, if not from OSA, then from some type of sleeping disorder (snoring, restless leg symptom, insomnia, etc. ). Also, latest consumer reports state that in Australia, obstructive sleep apnea patients spend billions every year on different sleeping disorder therapy solutions, such as CPAP masks, sleeping pills and other alternatives.
Also, treating sleep apnea and being consistent with prescribed OSA therapy will not only ensure quality sleep, but will also boost physical and mental health. Of course, symptoms vary from patient to patient, which is why it is important to consult with a doctor regarding the best sleep apnea treatment. However, regardless of the symptoms and severity of the illness, it is extremely important to treat the problem in time. If not, sleep apnea can lead to number of serious health problems:
- Hypertension or simply known as high blood pressure
- Clinical depression
- Panic attacks
- Diabetes mellitus
- Chronic headaches
- Cardiovascular problems which can even lead to heart attack.