If you suspect that you’re suffering from disrupted sleep, the best place to begin figuring out what’s going on with your body is with your doctor of osteopathic medicine at Swetech Medical Center. We look at your symptoms but also seek to identify the source of your sleep troubles – whether the cause is sleep apnea or something else – so you can find relief, get adequate rest, and achieve full-body wellness.
What is Sleep
Sleep is an essential component of good health. Millions of Americans lose sleep every night because they suffer from sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes a person to stop breathing while asleep. This health condition is common, but it can also be life-threatening. Breathing can stop for seconds or well over a minute.
If you are doing all the right things to facilitate a good night’s sleep – avoiding caffeine, going to bed early, meditating, maintaining a comfortable bedroom temperature, using a sound machine – but still waking up tired every morning and remaining exhausted through the day, you could be suffering from sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction of the upper airway, usually the soft tissues in your throat and nasal passages. During sleep, the tissues relax and can reduce, restrict, or completely block airflow – this is known as obstructive sleep apnea. Breathing that starts and stops during sleep is known as central sleep apnea and occurs when the brain doesn’t properly signal the muscles to control breathing.
People who suffer from sleep apnea may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Heavy, loud snoring
- Restless sleep
- Excessive daytime fatigue and sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating
Complications of Sleep
Sleep apnea is more than just a sleep problem. Lack of quality sleep contributes to a compromised immune system, leaving people more susceptible to illness and infection. If undiagnosed and untreated, this sleep disorder can lead to serious health problems including:
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and depression
- Weight gain
Treatment and Treatment For Sleep
A diagnosis may take place in your D.O.’s office. You may be referred to a specialist, like an ear, nose, and throat doctor, to confirm the condition, or you may be asked to undergo a sleep study. One way or the other, you will receive an accurate diagnosis so proper treatment can begin.
Sleep apnea is addressed in various ways depending on the severity of the condition, other health conditions you may be suffering from, and comfort level.
- Devices: Certain breathing devices, like a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, can be used every night during sleep to help keep blocked airways open and prevent pauses in breathing.
- Surgery: For moderate to severe cases, a surgical procedure may be necessary to remove excess tissues that are causing airway blockages.
- Lifestyle: You may be prescribed an exercise regimen or work with your doctor to establish and achieve weight loss goals. Expect to discuss alcohol consumption, diet, sleep aids, and other vices to determine if there are triggers in your environment or habits that are contributing to poor sleep.
The quality of your sleep affects your quality of life. You will not only be more rested when your sleep issues are addressed, but you will also be calmer, happier, and healthier. Contact Swetech Medical Center or Swetech Urgent Care in Clinton Township to discuss treatment for sleep disorders. Doctors of osteopathy rely on holistic methods to help patients find wellness physically, mentally, and emotionally.