healtheo360 Wellness Blog
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which pauses in breathing or instances of shallow breathing occur during sleep. Each pause in breathing is called an apnea, and can last for several seconds to several minutes. They may occur 30 times or more per hour. Typically, normal breathing starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. Each abnormal shallow breathing even is called a hypopnea. When breathing is paused, carbon monoxide builds up in the bloodstream. Sensory extensions in the blood called chemoreceptors notice the high carbon monoxide levels. The brain is then signaled too wake the sleeper and breathe in air. Breathing normally will restore oxygen levels and the person will fall asleep again. The disorder is often diagnosed with an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram, or “sleep study.” Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed. Doctors usually can’t detect the condition during routine office visits. Also, there is no blood test available to help diagnose the condition. A diagnosis often results after a family member or bed partner has noticed the signs of the disorder.
The effects of sleep apnea can leave sufferers tired even after a seemingly long night's sleep. Sleep apnea can also be deadly if undiagnosed or left untreated.
A sufferer of sleep apnea will experience episodes where they stop breathing when asleep. This cuts off the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain, with life threatening consequences in the long term.
Types of Sleep Apnea
The two main types of sleep apnea are as below, with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) the most common one:
Truck driving is one of the least healthy careers, according to medical experts and those in the profession.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics supports that claim, calling trucking one of the highest-risk occupations in the U.S. in a 2007 study. While the risk obviously includes the danger posed by highway accidents, unhealthy lifestyles also play a part, said Dr. Clayton Cowl, who practices occupational medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Pop quiz: It’s 4 am, and you are working on an assignment that’s due at sunrise. You reach for your favorite late-night snack. Did you just grab a handful of baby carrots or potato chips? If you opted for the Ruffles, then you are not alone: during and after periods of sleep deprivation, most of us choose a higher calorie alternative to the foods that we usually eat.