Could Sleep Apnea Be the Root of Your Sleep Problems?

Find out if you have it, and if so, what to do about it.

If you’re clocking somewhere between seven and nine hours, but still feel exhausted in the morning, sleep apnea might be the cause. This is a condition that causes your breathing to stop and start intermittently when you’re sleeping. It often results in snoring, gasping or loud breathing, and is most common in men and obese individuals.

However, regardless of sex or body type, certain facial anatomy puts people at higher risk for sleep apnea—narrow airways, dental causes and even the amount of fat on your tongue. (An enlarged or fat tongue may be related to a medical condition, your body type or a genetic predisposition—a doctor or dental professional can help you determine the root cause and recommend a course of action, if needed.)

Sometimes a partner can confirm that you’re displaying signs of sleep apnea, but other indicators may be a sore or dry throat when you wake up, morning headaches or difficulty concentrating during the day. Sleep apnea puts individuals at higher risk for a heart attack, stroke, dementia and other serious conditions, so it’s important to tell your doctor.

Next: I Get Enough Sleep—So Why Am I So Tired?

Originally Published in Best Health Canada