Sleep Apnea Signs

Signs, Health Problems, and Treatment

The restorative processes that take place during sleep are crucial for overall health and wellness. For those in the transportation industry, the need for consistent and undisturbed sleep is even more important. In an industry which requires complete focus and attention, issues related to disrupted sleeping must be diagnosed and treated immediately.

What is Sleep Apnea?

While awake, your airway is kept open by specific muscles. These muscles are responsible for regulating normally breathing patterns. During sleep, these muscles relax. For some, this relaxation of the muscles allows the upper airway to collapse. When this collapse occurs, the airway is closed off and breathing is temporarily obstructed. A small collapse may result in light snoring; however, a full collapse results in a complete closure of the airway for an extended period, which prevents breathing. The brain eventually registers the interruption and wakes the person, reengaging the muscles and opening the airway for breathing.  Individuals who experience this have sleep apnea. Instances of sleep apnea are usually very short and rarely recalled in the morning.

What are the Signs of Sleep Apnea?

Since occurrences are not consciously registered, it is important for you and your bed partner to know the signs of sleep apnea. Individuals suffering from sleep apnea may display one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Loud snoring
  • Choking or gasping during sleep
  • Mood swings, irritability, or depression
  • Waking with continued grogginess and lethargy
  • Problems with memory, learning, and concentration

For transportation professionals, the last bullet is especially worrisome. The National Sleep Foundation’s recent poll reveals that many workers in the transportation industry find a lack of restful sleep directly impacts their job performance. Some workers may not even realize that they are suffering from a sleep disorder.

What are the Health Problems Associated with Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea has a direct effect on your overall health and can harm your work life as well as your home life. Studies have shown that sleep apnea can cause:

  • Insulin resistance, which inhibits weight loss
  • Hypertension
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Greater rates of sudden nocturnal death

Luckily, sleep apnea is not a permanent condition. When diagnosed and treated, individuals who previously suffered from sleep apnea can return to restful and healthy sleep cycles. Getting the sleep your body and mind require is better for you, better for your work, and better for your family.

Sleep4Safety® Is Ready to Help

If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea or any other type of sleep disorder, Sleep4Safety® is here to help. Specializing in treatment options for DOT regulated and non-DOT regulated workers in the transportation industry, Sleep4Safety® is the national leader in transportation sleep medicine. Sleep4Safety® treats sleep apnea and over 80 other sleep disorders for those professionals in trucking, aviation and transportation industries. Let Sleep4Safety® give you the restful night’s sleep you’ve been searching for. Call us today and book an appointment.

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