Sleep Apnea a Deadly Sleep Disorder You May Not You Have
Sleep disorders are new to the scientific world in the sense that many of the disorders are not remembered or mistaken for other illnesses. One sleep disorder that is not recognized very well is Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea was also known as Pickwickian Disorder; named after a character in Charle's Dicken's novel, the character would fall asleep at inappropriate times and would snore very loudly.This disorder may be recognized by snoring. Not just any snoring, but the type of snoring that is so loud that it can be heard througout the whole house.
There are two types of Sleep Apnea- Central Sleep Apnea and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The first type, Central Sleep Apnea, is the rarer of the two. This type is caused by a malfunction in the brain with the body's autonomic system (our brain's ability to control certain functions without needing to think or concentrate on them, in other words a type of autopilot for which we don't need to worry about whether we're breathing or not because our brain does it for us). This malfunction affects our brain's ability to breath when we fall asleep. Those who have Central Sleep Apnea are not able to breathe when they fall asleep. It isn't until the body's oxygen level drops very low, or until the carbon dioxide level in our body rises so high, that it creats a stimulus that wakens our brain momentarily.
The more common type of Sleep Apnea is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Unlike Central Sleep Apnea which is caused by a malfunction in the brain, Obstructive Sleep Apnea is caused by our airway (in the throat) to be blocked. This is caused by either skin in our throat or by our toungue. Someone can get Sleep Apnea as they get older because of the decrease in muscle tone.
One of the most common causes of sleep apnea is weight gain. The weight we gain goes to our face first, and so the extra weight puts too much pressure on the airway. Most people who have Sleep Apnea are not even aware that they do. This is because when they wake up in the middle of the night to catch their breath, they fall back asleep in just a few seconds. One person was videotaped while sleeping, and they found that he woke up as many as 300 times during the night. When asked if he had trouble sleeping, he said that he did not. But when he was shown the video tape, he was quite surprised to see himself waking up so many times.
So, if you have extremely loud snoring, that seems to wake up the whole house, or if you seem to have morning headaches when you wake up, and lastly if you have excessive daytime sleepiness where you want to nap during most of the day, you should go to your doctor and tell them about you symptoms. It's best to be checked before it's too late, because this illness is really quite deadly.