Have you noticed that during the day, at work, at school or going about your normal daily activities, you seem to be constantly tired and sleepy? Do you have trouble with mood swings or maintaining focus? You could be suffering from a condition called hypersomnia, or excessive tiredness. There are many potential causes of this ailment, one of which could be sleep apnea. It is important to get diagnosed and treated to avoid the many dangers and health problems associated with hypersomnia.
Causes of Hypersomnia
Hypersomnia can be caused by many different factors, but almost all of them are related to not getting a good night’s rest. Causes that aren’t directly related to sleep include: drug and alcohol use, certain prescription medications which have a tranquilizing effect, head injuries, neurological diseases and depression.
Sleep deprivation can result from sleep apnea, a condition wherein patients experience a cessation of breathing for varying amounts of time, several times throughout the night. Conditions that contribute to this problem include being overweight, age or other obstructions in your airway. Sleep apnea affects millions of people in the United States and is not something to be taken lightly.
If you have excessive tiredness, you should speak to your doctor, who will interview you about your symptoms and sleeping habits. Do you wake up several times throughout the night or fall asleep during the day? Do you take prescription drugs, have high stress levels or emotional problems?
Following the interview, your doctor may take blood tests and examine your nasal passages, tonsils, tongue, and other parts of your soft palate for obstructions. They may perform a CT scan or recommend a sleep study to measure your sleeping habits and brain activity via an EEG. In many cases of sleep apnea, a sleep study is the best way to diagnose and treat the problem.
Sleep apnea is a common but potentially dangerous disorder. Treatments for the condition can include lifestyle alterations such as weight loss and increased exercise. In mild cases, over the counter options like nasal breathing strips can be applied. Oral appliances may be used to adjust the position of the jaw while sleeping, and in some cases, medication can help.
In more serious cases, a CPAP machine may be recommended. With a CPAP, you wear a breathing apparatus while sleeping to ensure that you receive a continuous flow of air into your lungs during the night. In extreme cases, surgery in the nasal passages may be required. These procedures are routine and generally safe.
Sleep apnea can be associated not only with excessive tiredness, but with serious conditions such as depression and even cardiovascular disease. If you have problems staying awake during the day and are in the Atlanta area, we may be able to help. After taking some time to read over our site, get in touch with us for a consultation today!