Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when the tongue is drawn against the back of the throat, causing the obstruction of the airway during sleep. Although snoring, daytime drowsiness, and sudden awakenings with gasps are common associations with sleep apnea, there are several surprising signs that frequently go overlooked as potential indicators of this condition. Here are six unexpected signs that may indicate you have a sleep disorder:
Frequent Nocturnal Urination:
If you frequently make multiple trips to the restroom in the middle of the night, you might be experiencing a condition called nocturia. While various factors can contribute to this, it’s a common symptom in individuals with obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep disruptions can lead to reduced production of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), causing increased nighttime urination.
The mechanics of an obstruction sleep disorder make it unsurprising that individuals who frequently wake during the night often experience morning headaches. Reduced oxygen flow to the brain and fragmented sleep create an ideal environment for headaches, which typically manifest on both sides of the head.
Many people with obstructive sleep apnea wake up with a persistently dry mouth. Sleep disorder sufferers often unconsciously resort to mouth breathing to enhance oxygen intake, leading to mouth dryness and, in some cases, a sore throat. What may initially seem like a minor annoyance could be an early sign of an underlying sleep disorder, potentially indicating an airway disruption while sleeping.
Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure:
When an individual finds themselves taking multiple blood pressure medications and still struggling to manage their blood pressure, sleep apnea could be a contributing factor. Sleep apnea prompts the activation of the sympathetic nervous system due to repeated breathing interruptions during sleep, resulting in elevated blood pressure.
Frequent episodes of acid reflux upon waking in the morning may be more than just a consequence of a hearty dinner. If you experience recurrent morning acid reflux, it might be worthwhile to have your sleep patterns evaluated. Sleep apnea weakens the lower esophageal sphincter, making it more likely for stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus.
Don’t Delay Seeking Treatment:
Sleep apnea is a relatively common condition that not only disrupts your sleep quality but also impacts your overall well-being and daily life. Fortunately, there are various treatments available to address airflow obstruction during sleep. If you identify with any of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea, it’s advisable to consult your healthcare provider for a sleep evaluation and to initiate appropriate treatment. Contact an experienced dental professional for help.