What is Insomnia and how is it related to sleep apnea?
The International Classification of Sleep Disorders recognizes 80 distinct sleep disorders. Insomnia is defined as “persistent problems falling and staying asleep.” Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing repeatedly starts and stops, making it difficult to get a good night’s rest. These two conditions often occur together. Treating sleep apnea often leads to better sleep. With more Americans having problems getting sufficient sleep, let’s talk about insomnia and how sleep apnea could be causing you to sleep poorly. There’s no reason to suffer with chronic sleep disorder.
How Can Insomnia Affect You?
According to the Mayo Clinic, most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Insomnia makes it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep or difficult to go back to sleep once you wake up. Stress or a traumatic event can cause short-term insomnia lasting a few weeks. Once insomnia lasts more than a month, it’s considered chronic. One or two nights of insomnia may not be cause for concern, but chronic insomnia can make it difficult to function during the day. It may become difficult to concentrate at work. You have a higher risk of accidents or falling asleep at the wheel. Performing well at work or in school when you live with insomnia is also a challenge. Chronic insomnia is a risk factor for depression and substance abuse. Insomnia is usually treated through lifestyle changes or by finding the root cause of the insomnia and treating that.
Understanding Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep disorder is often related to snoring. Essentially, your throat muscles block your airway while you sleep. Sleep apnea happens for many reasons, but it’s often due to underdeveloped jaws. It’s similar to insomnia, because you don’t sleep restfully each night. Your body doesn’t get the oxygen it needs, so sleep apnea can lead to a higher risk of disease, such cancer and dementia. A doctor can diagnose sleep apnea and find treatment options, such as a specialized mouthguard that keeps your airway open while you sleep.