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snoring

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Many people with sleep apnea do not have symptoms or are unaware that their symptoms are due to sleep apnea. A person may not realize there is a problem until a spouse, family member, or friend complains about loud snoring or tells them that they stop breathing at night while sleeping. While snoring is a frequent sign of sleep apnea, not all people who snore have sleep apnea. In addition, not all people who have sleep apnea snore. 

Sleep apnea is a chronic disorder where a person stops breathing multiple times throughout the night. Breath cessation may last up to approximately 30 seconds and can occur hundreds of times each night in severe cases. Gasping, snorting, or choking may occur when attempting to re-start breathing.

Each time breathing stops, the body awakens, and these awakenings may or may not be remembered in the morning. These frequent arousals lead to decreased total sleep time, decreased deep sleep, and increased daytime sleepiness. In this chronic disorder, sleep is not restful or restorative, leading to excess daytime sleepiness. Daytime fatigue can negatively impact quality of life and could lead to decreased productivity at work or even more severe consequences such as falling asleep while driving. Chronic fatigue may also cause irritability, increased forgetfulness, or even symptoms of depression.

Other symptoms of sleep apnea include frequent awakening, gasping for breath in the middle of the night, sweating at night, dry mouth and throat, and morning headaches. Chronic, severe sleep apnea will not only cause these symptoms, but may lead to additional health problems such as cardiovascular disease and stroke.

If you have been told that you stop breathing during sleep, do not feel refreshed upon awakening in the morning, or fall asleep frequently during the day, you should talk to a Chicago sleep specialist at the Advanced Center for Specialty Care regarding treatment options. In order to determine if the symptoms are a sign of sleep apnea, a medical history and physical exam will be performed followed by a sleep study.

A polysomnogram or sleep study uses a computerized recording of your brain and cardiovascuaascular activity to asses your sleep patterns. Traditionally, sleep studies were performed in hospital or storefront sleep “labs.” It is often very difficult to sleep comfortably in these situations. In order to create an environment to allow for comfortable, natural sleep, Sleep Diagnostics has based their testing sites in luxurious hotel suites. Checking into a comfortable hotel creates a secure, relaxed atmosphere essential for a good nights sleep. As part of the study, you are entitled to enjoy the hotel facilities. The rooms are designed so that data collection goes through a computer port directly to the technician’s suite. Crown Plazas in Chicago and throughout the suburbs make the testing easy to arrange and convenient.

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