Sleep Apnea – Will it kill me?
Sleep apnea – Might it potentially kill you? What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is when your breathing sets out and your body needs to jolt you in a way for you to wake up and continue breathing. A lot of the time we think that sleep apnea is just for people who are snoring really loudly. And it can be. It has been shown that people who are overweight or have short necks, a little bit wider necks and who snore tend to also have sleep apnea. So just be aware of that.
If you set out breathing and people tell you, "Look, you stopped breathing and you were jolting...", then it's not a healthy state. The reason for that is your sleep is constantly fragmented, so you will never be able to get the healthy sleep phases that you need, to do your reparation, to balance your hormones and to basically keep you from aging quicker than unnecessary. To repair everything and to keep you from dying, because basically, what happens is we age. Lots of things start to malfunction and in the end, everything is just too old and it's not functioning well, it can't be repaired and we die.
So sleep is really trying to prevent that every night and to reset the clock. That's what sleep is having us do.
Now, one example that I want to quote is that sleep apnea can also be with people who don't snore. You wouldn't even notice it and it can also be the case with children.
I remember when I did my first certification as a baby sleep consultant, we read the book by William C. Dement, who's one of the main sleep historical researchers at Standford University. He had a child that was sick and wasn't growing. It was a baby and everyone was so worried and nobody could figure out what was going wrong. The child was basically dying. He took a look at him and he said, "That kid is not sleeping." It turned out that baby or toddler had sleep apnea. So they put him on a CPAP machine (Continuous positive airway pressure), a hose and mask or nose piece to deliver constant and steady air pressure, and lo and behold, the child started sleeping. He started to thrive and grow and catch up with everything.
So please, please, please be aware of this. If you feel horrible, even if you don't remember waking up at night, but you slept a lot of hours, say 8 to 9 hours, and you are still super tired; then please consider that sleep apnea might be a reason why. Obviously, it could also be hormones. It could be inflammation. It could be autoimmune. It could be all kinds of things. But that is definitely something to consider and to keep in mind.
Don't rule it out if you don't have the typical symptoms of snoring, wide neck and overweight and don't discriminate it on age. Children can suffer from it as well.
So sleep apnea is super serious. Please go see a doctor. Go to a sleep lab if you think you have it or if someone around you has it. It will definitely not just improve the quality of your life, but also the quality of your health. It will help you feel better. It will help you to be healthier in terms of losing weight, having more energy, being less sick, being more fit, being happier and it will have an impact on your mood.
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