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What is Sleep Apnea?

Couples suffering with sleep deprivation due to sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder that results in repetitive pauses in breathing during sleep.  Pauses can occur several times an hour and last for more than 10 seconds.  During the pause, your blood-oxygen levels decrease, and the brain signals you to wake up, which may happen suddenly accompanied by your  loud gasping and choking.

This constant interruption in sleep results in poor quality sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Sleep apnea is usually a chronic condition and is often associated with snoring.  Most people have sleep apnea for years before it is diagnosed.

Partners of those suffering with sleep apnea also end up with poor quality sleep because of “Spousal Arousal Syndrome.”  Their rest is interrupted by the apnea events of their bed partner as many as 21 times an hour.  It is estimated that they lose about one hour of sleep every night.

Facts You Should Know About Sleep Apnea

  • 25 million U.S. adults have obstructive sleep apnea
  • 20 to 40% of the adult population that are snorers may have sleep apnea
  • 2 to 4% of all Americans have undiagnosed sleep apnea. This translates into approximately 1 out of every 50 individuals.

The lack of oxygen to your brain during sleep apnea can have serious, long-term health consequences.  Sleep apnea can cause weight gain, memory problems, headaches, depression, impotence, increased risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.

Sleep apnea makes you

  • four times as likely to have a stroke
  • three times more likely to have heart disease
  • six times more likely to be involved in a car crash

Why is Diagnosing Sleep Disorders Important?

There are many good reasons for you to seek treatment for sleep disorders.  Protecting your health and quality of life are at the top of the list, but other significant reasons include restoring your sleep quality, your mood, and your day and nighttime energy levels.

If you suspect you might be suffering from snoring or sleep apnea, we can set up a home sleep test to help identify your problem and find the right treatment.

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