There is a medical condition known as ‘sleep apnoea’, which causes a person to have blocked airways while sleeping and this usually wakes the person, who is unaware of anything and returns to sleep. This might happen 5-6 times per night and that affects the quality of sleep, and if not addressed, will result in the person experiencing drowsiness and possibly mood swings, which are the result of lack of sleep.
Typically, a person that suffers from sleep apnoea makes loud gasping noises during the night, and may wake up a few times, for no apparent reason. This is due to the airways deflating, which prevents oxygen entering the lungs, and, of course, the person wakes up. Loud snoring quite often accompanies sleep apnoea, and if your partner has commented on odd sleeping behaviours, this might be due to a sleep disorder.
A person who is not receiving enough sleep due to sleep apnoea can be prone to sudden bouts of drowsiness, which can be very dangerous if you are driving or operating machinery.
Here are other common symptoms:
- Inability to concentrate.
- A constant feeling of tiredness.
- Easily agitated and loss of temper.
A person who sleeps alone might be suffering from sleep apnoea and never know it, as they would not recall the incidents the following morning, and if the doctor suspects you are suffering with sleep apnoea, he or she might refer you to a sleep centre, where you would stay overnight and your sleeping behaviour would be recorded.
For very severe cases, surgery might be recommended, but the majority of sufferers find that using a CPAP machine when sleeping, resolves the issue. There are a range of CPAP masks, some cover the mouth and nose, while others only cover the nose, and it really is personal preference as to which you prefer. There are online suppliers of CPAP related products, where you can acquire everything you need to get a good night’s sleep, including the CPAP machine.
Visiting your GP
If you have any of the above symptoms, you should make an appointment to see your local doctor, who can investigate your symptoms and find out if you are suffering with sleep apnoea. This is the best way forward if you are feeling drained all the time, and the doctor will ask you a series of questions and may even refer you to a sleep centre, where they are equipped to monitor your sleep behaviour.