We all identify with being tired; maybe you didn’t go to sleep early enough, maybe you’re stressed, maybe work was especially taxing, but sometimes it isn’t just a normal fatigue or sleepiness. So how do you tell if your seemingly constant tiredness is due to your busy schedule, or a sleep problem? Could you have sleep apnea? Sleep is incredibly important, (we know, all doctors say that) but it is true! There is almost nothing else that will wreck your mental and physical health like a lack of quality sleep. If you’re concerned that you (or even a loved one) could have sleep apnea, we’re here to help.
Identifying Sleep Problems
Identifying sleep problems can be difficult because, well, you are often at least partially asleep. Some sleep problems are subtle, such as difficulty entering REM (rapid eye movement) sleep which is where your body can get reparative rest. Other problems, like sleep apnea, are related to breathing while asleep. Sleep apnea is the repeated halting of breathing while sleeping, and it can be a potentially dangerous condition. Identifying sleep apnea can be done in a few different ways.
- If you have a sleep partner, ask them if they ever notice you snoring heavily, gasping, choking or not breathing for an extended period of time at night. If they haven’t noticed anything because they sleep heavily, ask them the favor of waking up and checking on you one night.
- If you don’t have a sleep partner, you can use your phone to do an audio or video recording of a night of sleep. Some apps will stop running after a bit, so be sure to test it out. Look for those same things; heavy snoring, gasping, choking or lack of breathing.
Think You Have Sleep Apnea?
If your experiments turn up anything suspicious, it’s time to visit the doctor; they will take care of you from there.
We hope that this helps in your quest for good sleep and energy. Please feel free to contact us at (208) 367-3320 with any questions or to set up an appointment!