The signs and symptoms of different types of this health condition can make a precise diagnosis difficult. However, common symptoms include loud snoring, insomnia, and gasping for air during sleep. Other symptoms are a dry mouth when you wake up, a morning headache, irritability, and fatigue during the day.
You are more likely to have sleeping and breathing difficulties at night if you are an older male. Other risk factors include various heart disorders or being on opioid medications such as methadone. If you have had a stroke you may also be at greater risk of sleep apnea.
Smokers and obese people have a higher risk of this disorder.
Lifestyle changes may help in the treatment of mild versions of this ailment. For instance, if you are overweight, your doctor will probably recommend exercise and dietary changes. Losing weight can reduce your blood pressure and the number of breathing episodes you experience.
Aerobic exercise, weight-bearing exercises, and yoga all help strengthen the muscles that control breathing.
If you have obstructive sleep apnea avoid lying on your back and sleep on your side instead. This helps keep the airway open and reduces the risk of stop-start breathing and sleeping patterns. Avoid alcohol, medications, or sedatives that relax throat muscles and interfere with breathing.
For mild or more serious forms of this sleeping disorder your doctor may recommend “continuous positive airflow pressure” therapy. This involves a machine that delivers a steady stream of air through an airtight nosepiece or mask as you sleep.