Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) is a medical condition that is characterized by irregular or disrupted breathing patterns during sleep. SDB can occur in adults and children and can be caused by various factors, including anatomic abnormalities, neurologic conditions, and sleep position. Left untreated, SDB can lead to a number of serious health complications, including hypertension, heart failure, stroke, and sudden death. Early diagnosis and treatment of SDB are critical to preventing these serious health consequences.
Breathing problems are a common complaint among people of all ages. While some breathing problems are caused by a cold or allergies, others may be a sign of a more serious condition. If you’re having trouble breathing while you sleep, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying health problems.
Tips to Help You Get the Rest You Need
If you suffer from breathing problems, you know how difficult it can be to get a good night’s sleep.
1. Establish A Bedtime Routine
Going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning will help your body adjust to a regular sleep schedule.
2. Make Your Bedroom A Comfortable, Relaxing Place
Keep the room dark and cool, and make sure the mattress and pillows are comfortable.
3. Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine can keep you awake, so avoid coffee, tea, and soda in the evening.
4. Avoid Alcohol Before Bed
While a nightcap may help you fall asleep, alcohol can actually disrupt your sleep later in the night.
5. Practice Some Relaxation Techniques
Before bed, try some deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation to help you drift off to sleep.
6. Use An Air Purifier
An air purifier can help remove allergens and pollutants from the air, making breathing easier. You can read our guide on the best air purifiers for the bedroom here.
7. Drink plenty of fluids
Drinking fluids can help to thin mucus and make it easier to breathe.
8. See your doctor
If your breathing problems are persistent, it’s important to see your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Type of Breathing Problems While Asleep
Breathing problems while asleep are more common than you may think. There are many different types of breathing problems that can occur, and they can range from mild to severe. Some of the more common types of breathing problems include snoring, sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome.
If you have any type of breathing problem while asleep, it is important to see a doctor to find out the cause and get treatment. Here are the types of breathing problems that can occur while you sleep:
Snoring occurs when the flow of air is obstructed as you breathe. This can be caused by a variety of things, such as the position of your tongue, the size of your airway, or even the relaxation of your throat muscles.
While snoring can be a nuisance to yourself and your bed partner, there are things you can do to minimize its impact.
Sleep on your side
This can help reduce snoring by keeping the tongue and soft palate from collapsing into the back of the throat.
Excess weight can contribute to snoring by narrowing the airway.
Avoid alcohol before bed
Alcohol relaxes the muscles in the throat, which can make snoring worse.
Allergies can cause the tissues in the nose to swell, leading to snoring.
If you have ever felt like you were gasping for air in your sleep, you may have been experiencing a condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep.
This can happen several times throughout the night and can prevent a person from getting a good night’s sleep. If left untreated, severe sleep apnea and mild sleep apnea can lead to other health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. If you think you may have sleep apnea, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
If you are one of the people who suffer from sleep apnea, you know how disruptive and exhausting it can be. But there are things you can do to ease the symptoms and get a good night’s sleep.
See your doctor
If you think you might have sleep apnea, see your doctor for a diagnosis or treatment that completely relieves symptoms. Once you know for sure, you can start to treat obstructive sleep apnea.
Use a CPAP machine
A Continuous positive airway pressure machine can help keep your airway open while you sleep. It’s important to use it every night, even if you feel better after a few nights.
Change your sleep position
Sleeping on your back can make sleep apnea worse. Try sleeping on your side instead.
Losing even a few pounds can help ease sleep apnea symptoms if you’re overweight.
Type of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition that can cause breathing problems while asleep. There are three main types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is the most common type and is caused by a blockage in the airway. Central sleep apnea is caused by a problem with the brain signals that control breathing. Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Sleep apnea is one of the common serious sleep disorders that occur when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with sleep apnea often snore loudly and may feel tired during the day. Sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. If you think you might have sleep apnea, see your doctor.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your breathing is interrupted during sleep. The interruption in breathing can last for a few seconds to minutes and can happen dozens or even hundreds of times during a single night.
The main symptom of untreated obstructive sleep apnea is loud snoring. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Other symptoms may include daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, and memory or learning problems. Severe obstructive sleep apnea is diagnosed with an overnight sleep test.
For adults, obstructive sleep apnea, if left untreated, may cause poor-quality sleep, which can lead to daytime sleepiness and fatigue. Sleep apnea is a risk factor for serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes. If you think you may have sleep apnea, see your doctor.
Central Sleep Apnea Symptoms
If you have central sleep apnea, you may not be aware of it. Central sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which your breathing repeatedly stops and starts. It can occur when you are asleep or awake.
Central sleep apnea is often associated with a heart condition or stroke. Certain medications, such as opioids, can also cause it.
Symptoms of central sleep apnea include Breathing pauses that last 10 seconds or longer, Waking up gasping for air, Waking up with a dry mouth, Morning headaches, and Difficulty staying asleep
If you experience any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor. Central sleep apnea can be treated with lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol, and sleeping on your side. In some cases, you may also need to use a breathing device.
Breathing problems while asleep can be caused by a variety of factors, including allergies, sinus infections, and even anxiety. However, there are a few simple solutions that can help you breathe easier at night. By following these tips, you can get a good night’s sleep without struggling to breathe.