Always be tired. Sleep apnea can be the cause

With sleep apnea, someone has breath stops during sleep. As a result, insufficient oxygen is absorbed and carbon dioxide is exhaled. The brain sends a signal to the body to wake up. Waking up often happens in a shock. If this happens frequently, someone will not fall into a deep sleep and wake up tired. Many people have breath stops while sleeping. If someone stops breathing for more than 10 seconds, it is called apnea. Apnea literally means "no air." Sometimes a breath stop can take up to a minute. This can happen dozens of times per hour for someone with severe sleep apnea.

The symptoms of sleep apnea

  • Breathe stops while sleeping
  • Snoring
  • Excessive sweating at night
  • Pee regularly at night
  • Reduced sex drive and / or impotence
  • Wake up with the feeling that you are choking
  • Dry mouth on waking.
  • Morning headache
  • Extreme fatigue (too tired to do something, for example, exercise)
  • Just falling asleep
  • Heart complaints
  • Chest tightness
  • Concentration loss
  • Forgetfulness
  • High bloodpressure
  • Pain in joints
  • Mood swings

The two forms of sleep apnea

There are two forms of sleep apnea. Central Sleep Apnea Syndrome (CSAS) and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS).
With OSAS, the throat is blocked by the tongue and soft tissue in the throat because the muscles relax. With CSAS, too few stimuli are passed on from the brain to the body to breathe. For someone with sleep apnea it is often a combination of these two forms, but someone can also have one of the two forms. OSAS is more common in overweight people. Apnea is also often accompanied by heavy snoring.

The causes


Sleep apnea can be hereditary, but often it only starts later in life. This may be due to the muscles sagging or being overweight.

Physical abnormality

If there is a physical abnormality, the transition from the nasal cavity to the airways may be tight. For example, through a large tongue, short neck, or a lower jaw that is pushed back.
Sleeping aids, alcohol consumption and smoking are also factors that can aggravate sleep apnea.

Diagnosis sleep apnea

If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, you can go to your doctor. Your doctor can refer you to a hospital or sleep center. It may happen that your doctor needs to be reminded that it could be sleep apnea. When you are referred, you may have to deal with the ENT doctor (in connection with snoring) the pulmonologist plays a major role in determining apnea and the neurologist (in connection with sleep disorders).
If sleep apnea is indeed being considered, a sleep examination will follow. Hereby you get electrodes on your body and head and with this they can after a night in the hospital or sleep center read out whether you indeed get the diagnosis sleep apnea.

The treatment

Light or moderate sleep apnea

For light or moderate sleep apnea, the treatment will end up on an MRA device (Mandibular Reposition Device). This is a bit that you should wear while sleeping and can only be used if you have a well-cleaned teeth. This bit ensures that your tongue stays in place while sleeping. This will make you snore less and the throat remains free which prevents breath stops.

Moderate and severe sleep apnea

For moderate or severe sleep apnea you will be treated with a CPAP device. (Continuous
Positive Airway Pressure). Here you wear a mask which ensures that during your sleep continuous air is blown into the throat with a light pressure. This ensures that the pharynx cannot be closed. You can breathe all night, snoring decreases (often 100%) and there are no more breath stops.

Surgical correction

Surgical correction may also be the solution even if this is only possible in a small group of sleep apnea patients. With a surgical correction, an adjustment will be made to the nose or throat. For this you will be referred to the ENT doctor or dental surgeon and then the best solution for you will be looked into.

Video: Sleep apnea leaves you tired, even after a full night's sleep (February 2020).

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