Have you ever woken up with a racing heartbeat, and found it difficult to fall back to sleep? Chances are you probably dismissed it and went about your day like normal the next morning.
However, while events like this are usually harmless and temporary, waking up with an increased heart rate can also be a telltale sign of obstructive sleep apnea...
Here's everything you need to know about this particular sleep disorder.
What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
OSA refers to a relaxing of the muscles in our upper airway while we sleep to the point where it becomes difficult to breathe.
This happens so often overnight that it disrupts sleep, leading to mental fog, clumsiness and daytime tiredness.
What are the symptoms of OSA?
The effects of this sleep disorder can manifest in a variety of ways.
One example is the increased heart rate we mentioned before, which is a result of the body attempting to compensate for the lack of oxygen coming into the lungs, but other examples include:
And if left unchecked, OSA has been shown to contribute to heart disease and stroke.
How is OSA treated?
There are a number of treatment options available for OSA that range from CPAP therapy to dental splints, all of which vary based on the individual and their disorder.
However, the first step of treatment is always a conversation with a medical professional.
OSA is a serious disorder that requires medical assistance.
If you have trouble sleeping, or resonate with the symptoms listed above, please book an appointment with your GP and get in touch with us.
Sleep well, live well.