Sleep Apnea Misconceptions
Sleep apnea is a wide spread condition that affects an estimated 18 million Americans. Even though this condition affects a large portion of the population, there are many misconceptions that many people make about sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is not “just snoring.” Many people do not take the issue of snoring as seriously as they should. Partners often “just deal” with snoring and the sleep interruption that comes with it without encouraging their spouse or partner to seek medical advice. For some, snoring is not related to sleep apnea. However, for many, snoring is a direct factor. Any snoring that is loud or involves choking or gasping during sleep should be looked into immediate.
It is also important to understand that just because a person does not snore does not mean that s/he does not have sleep apnea.
Men and women are affected. There is a larger diagnosis of sleep apnea among men than women, but that does not mean that sleep apnea is a “man’s disease.” Women that are affected by sleep apnea are more prone to experience insomnia and fatigue. These are simply different side effects of the same condition.
You do not have to be overweight. It is true that a majority of people diagnosed with sleep apnea are overweight, there are still a significant number of sufferers who are considered to be average weight. Sleep apnea can affect people of all shapes and sizes, with genetics often playing a role in the condition.
Alcohol does not “cure” sleep apnea. Many people who find it difficult to sleep often turn to alcohol as a remedy. The idea of having a night cap before bed to help them fall asleep is actually detrimental to sleep, and ultimately to their health. Alcohol acts as a depressant and can make you feel drowsy, but it is also known to inhibit REM sleep. REM sleep is the restorative stage of sleep where the body recovers itself and prepares for the next day. If this stage of sleep is inhibited, then the body does not get the benefits it needs.
Sleep is a healthy and necessary part of life for every human being. If you are not getting the restful sleep that your body needs, it is time to talk to a sleep expert. At Georgia Dental Sleep Disorders, Dr. Patel is here to help you.
Posted on Behalf of Georgia Dental Sleep Disorders