Sleep apnea might not seem like a big deal. A little hiccup in your breathing while you’re asleep can seem minor, especially if you sleep right through it. But left untreated, sleep apnea can do a lot more than just leave you feeling drowsy during the day. It can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and more.
Clearly, sleep apnea is worth addressing. That’s why Silva A. Arejian, DDS, offers specialized sleep apnea treatment at our office in Downtown, Los Angeles. But before you can figure out if you should seek treatment, you first need to find out if this condition is affecting you while you sleep. So here are five warning signs to watch for:
#1: Waking up out of breath
Sleep apnea causes interruptions in your breathing while you sleep. This could be caused by your throat muscles relaxing too much and blocking your airways, as is the case with obstructive sleep apnea. Or faulty signals from your brain could be to blame, as is the case with central sleep apnea.
Either way, your condition causes you to stop breathing normally while you’re asleep. Your body registers this deprivation of oxygen and wakes you to correct the problem. If you wake up gasping for air, you very likely have sleep apnea.
You might not even be aware of your body waking you to get a good breath. It might all happen so quickly that you don’t fully awaken. Still, though, these interruptions in your sleep can leave you feeling tired throughout the day.
Because sleep apnea affects your ability to get sufficient oxygen through the night, people with this condition often wake up with a headache.
#4: Sore, dry throat
Similarly, you may wake up with a sore or dry throat after a night with sleep apnea. This happens because your body tried to reroute your breathing through your mouth in an attempt to get more oxygen.
Sleep apnea is one of the top causes of insomnia. This could be your body’s way of protecting your oxygen intake; it might make sleep harder for you in an effort to prevent the breathing problems you have while asleep.
Treating sleep apnea
Ultimately, if you’ve observed any of these warning signs of sleep apnea, it’s time to see Dr. Arejian. At our office, she can help you get a good night’s rest with a custom-fitted sleep apnea night guard. This oral appliance keeps your airway open through the night so you can get the rest you need without a cumbersome continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.