Could there be an underlying reason for my tiredness?
There may be many reasons for poor sleep and tiredness, one is obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and it often goes undiagnosed. OSA is where a person’s upper airway collapses during their sleep, causing them to stop breathing for 10 seconds or more. This can happen multiple times a night, but each time it disrupts sleep.
How would I know if I have sleep apnoea?
Common symptoms include snoring, restless sleep, waking with gasping or other people may hear your breathing stop during the night. In the morning you may feel unrefreshed, struggle to stay awake and experience headaches and mood changes. Other health conditions such as type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure and depression can exist alongside OSA.
To test whether you have sleep apnoea, take the quiz here. If advised, the next step is to measure the number of sleep interruptions you experience each hour you sleep.
What causes sleep apnoea?
- Being overweight
- Drinking alcohol (especially in the evening)
- Thyroid issues, large tonsils, facial bone shape and muscle size
- Sleeping tablets and other medicines
- Nasal congestion or obstruction.
Is it really a problem?
Your daily life can become more of a struggle, thinking becomes unclear, mood drops and productivity suffers. But the bigger problem is that OSA increases your risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, depression and accidents.
Can it be treated?
In mild cases, losing weight, decreasing alcohol and adjusting sleeping position can make positive changes. For more severe cases, more active treatment is required. The number of sleep interruptions is measured and, depending on your results, you may be recommended a mask that provides a flow of air through the nose and/or mouth to prevent the throat from collapsing. This is called nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and can help to restore your normal sleep pattern and increase total sleep time.
Call about this service at Ahuriri Pharmacy on 8357948 or read more information here.