Beyond Snoring: How Sleep Apnea Shows Up in Daily Life

Feb 15, 2023
Beyond Snoring: How Sleep Apnea Shows Up in Daily Life
You might think sleep apnea only stops you from getting a good night’s sleep. While that’s true, it also affects how well you function during the day.

Getting adequate rest at night is vastly important to our health, but statistics show that over 32% of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep. Not only that, but almost half of all Americans experience daytime sleepiness up to seven days a week. 

Sleep apnea makes it even harder for millions of people to get that precious rest. This is because it interrupts breathing and rapid eye movement (REM) several times a night. As a result, sleep apnea can also impact how well you function during the day. 

Let’s take a look at the effects of sleep apnea on your waking life by examining its causes and symptoms, how it affects your body during the day, and how we can help. Residents of Frisco, Texas having problems with sleep apnea can find help with Dr. Alecia Hardy and our skilled medical team at Frisco Dental Implant Center

Causes and symptoms of sleep apnea

The word apnea comes from the Greek meaning “breathless,” and that is exactly what sleep apnea does: stops you from breathing long enough for your brain to wake you up several times a night.

The cause of sleep apnea is most commonly a blockage in your airway. This is typical of obstructive sleep apnea. However, it can be also due to your brain's inability to control your breathing while sleeping (central sleep apnea), or a combination of the two.

Specifically, the causes of each form vary and include the relaxing of your neck muscles while you sleep, heart failure, nervous system conditions, nervous system damage, and low oxygen levels. Things like obesity, having a thicker neck, alcohol abuse, using tranquilizers or sedatives, smoking, and nasal congestion can all increase the risk of sleep apnea. There are also many common signs of this illness, such as snoring, waking up repeatedly at night, unusual breathing patterns, insomnia, night sweats, and headaches upon waking up.

The effects of sleep apnea during the day

Because you’re not getting proper rest, one of the more common problems with this illness is daytime sleepiness. This can affect your memory, concentration, and cognitive function in the form of mood changes, lack of focus, memory loss, fatigue, and other brain-related issues. It can also affect sexual function, and cause you to wake up feeling like you’re choking or short of breath.

How we can help

It may seem unusual for a dental practice to treat sleeping problems like sleep apnea, but we offer intraoral devices that can be used to keep your throat open by bringing your jaw forward. These appliances help to ease snoring and obstructive sleep apnea symptoms. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices are used more frequently, but our appliance is easier to use, and we’ll help you find the one that fits your needs.

If you have trouble sleeping due to sleep apnea, it can affect how you function during the day. Left untreated, it can also lead to other complications. Fortunately, help is available. Make an appointment with Dr. Hardy and Frisco Dental Implant Center today to get better rest.