Most everyone experiences a sleepless night on occasion but millions of Americans live with a sleep disorder. Snoring is one of the signs that someone may have a sleep disorder that can have a serious impact on their health.
Sleep apnea occurs when tissues in the throat block a person’s airway as they sleep, causing them to quit breathing multiple times over the course of a night. Warning signs of sleep apnea can include:
- Loud snoring
- Choking sounds while sleeping
- Memory or attention problems
- Sleepiness during the daytime
In addition to disrupting your sleep cycle, changes in blood pressure and oxygen levels can occur when sleep apnea is present. High blood pressure, stroke and heart disease are among the health risks for people who suffer from this sleep disorder.
Men are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than women; however, the disorder becomes more prevalent for women after menopause and children with large tonsils or adenoids may also be affected.
If you or a family member has trouble getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis or suffers from the symptoms of sleep apnea, a physician can recommend a sleep study that can determine if a sleep disorder may exist.
“During a sleep study, equipment monitors breathing, brain waves, snoring, heart rate, oxygen levels and other biometrics while the patient is asleep. The information collected during the study is interpreted by a physician to determine whether sleep apnea or other conditions may be occurring,” said Ted Bradshaw, manager of Maury Regional Health Sleep Centers.
Ted Bradshaw, RPSGT, RST, is the manager of Maury Regional Health Sleep Centers. Sleep studies are performed at sleep centers in Columbia, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Waynesboro. For more information, call 931.490.REST.