We constantly hear how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep rejuvenates the body, aids in brain development, and even speeds up the healing of wounds. Heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes are all linked to poor sleep quality. Snoring, shallow breathing, a total stop in breathing, or gasping or choking sounds are all signs of sleep apnea, which can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
Apnea is defined as a 10-second stoppage in breathing followed by a brief time of awakening. When the throat muscles relax and restrict the upper airways, this is known as obstructive sleep apnea. The majority of the time, a person with apnea is unaware that they have awakened.
Obesity, restriction of the upper airways, and a thin throat can all contribute to the development of sleep apnea. Although not all snoring leads to apnea, and apnea can occur without snoring, alcohol and sleeping medications can exacerbate the symptoms of apnea, such as loud snoring.
Sleep apnea affects 80 to 90 percent of adults in the United States who have not been diagnosed. Because they don’t wake up throughout the night, many people go untreated and accept daytime exhaustion as a way of life rather than an indication of a medical problem. In most cases, diagnosis necessitates an overnight stay in a specialised sleep clinic. Sleep clinics are not always available in every community, particularly in small towns or rural locations.
Sleep apnea causes blood oxygen levels to be lower than usual and carbon dioxide levels to rise, in addition to interrupting a person’s sleep cycle. Daytime sleepiness, overall fatigue, morning headaches, and difficulties concentrating are all possible side effects of these physiological alterations. Sleep apnea has consequences that go far beyond a lousy night’s sleep: Untreated long-term apnea can have serious consequences for the heart, brain, circulation, and metabolism.
A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is the most effective treatment for sleep apnea. Through a mask placed over the nose, CPAP distributes pressured air into the upper airways. The airways are kept open by the constant air pressure. However, only approximately half of those who begin using a CPAP will use it for the entire night. Oral appliances, such as mouth guards, and perhaps surgery are further options.
Ask your doctor about sleep apnea if your bed mate reaches for their earplugs as you prepare to sleep or if you find yourself dozing off at your desk in the afternoon.
Graduated from ENSAT (national agronomic school of Toulouse) in plant sciences in 2018, I pursued a CIFRE doctorate under contract with Sun’Agri and INRAE in Avignon between 2019 and 2022. My thesis aimed to study dynamic agrivoltaic systems, in my case in arboriculture. I love to write and share science related Stuff Here on my Website. I am currently continuing at Sun’Agri as an R&D engineer.