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10 Things To Know About Sleep Apnea

10 Things To Know About Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a chronic sleep disorder that not only disrupts sleep quality, but also increases other health risks. As a person sleeps, the muscles of their throat collapse, obstructing the flow of oxygen. If this pause in breathing lasts for 10 seconds or more, and occurs more than 5 times an hour, it is diagnosed as sleep apnea.

Here are the facts about sleep apnea:

1. Sleep apnea has been shown to significantly increase the risk of having a stroke; 50% of all stroke victims have sleep apnea.

2. There is a 40% chance that you have sleep apnea if you have, or have had atrial fibrillation (a serious irregular heart rhythm).

3. Sleep apnea may increase your risk of having diabetes or worsen an existing diabetes condition, as it causes insulin resistance.

4. If you have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) your chance of having sleep apnea is greater than 50%.

5. Children with Down Syndrome have a 60% chance of being affected by sleep apnea.

6. Frequent unexplained nighttime urination, and early morning headaches are both signs of having this sleep disorder.

7. If you taking 3 or more blood pressure medications, and your doctor is still having trouble controlling your blood pressure, your chance of having sleep apnea is 60%.

8. Having insomnia with frequent nighttime awakenings points to sleep apnea.

9. 30% of people with sleep apnea are not obese, and after menopause, women’s rates of sleep apnea are comparable to men’s.

10. You don’t have to be sleepy to have sleep apnea.  Many people, especially with underlying heart disease, are not.  Female patients often manifest it with symptoms of anxiety, depression, and fatigue, as opposed to sleepiness.

Sleep apnea can present itself in numerous ways, so it important to familiarize ourselves and others with the signs of the condition. Some studies have suggested that over 25% of sleep apnea patients did not even snore.


If you suspect that you or a loved one have any of the above symptoms, see a licensed physician or sleep specialist. Sleep apnea is treatable, start getting the good night’s rest you deserve.

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