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Week 5, 2013


Sleep Apnea vs. Frequent Awakenings  


North Branford, Connecticut, 2/3/13. Having frequent awakenings problem in night? The Sleep Apnea could be the root cause of the Frequent Awakenings


Apnea is a term of temporarily stopping breathing. Sleep apnea means temporarily completely stopping breathing for a series of short period of times in sleep.


Breathing brings oxygen into the lung exchanging with CO2 (Carbon dioxide) in the blood. The heart pumps oxygen rich blood to the body including the brain.


In the event of an apnea, the lung stops breathing and loss of its functioning, no oxygen exchanges with CO2 in blood. The heart continues pumping the CO2 rich blood to the body including the brain and heart itself. Lack of oxygen tires the heart muscles and slows down of the heart beatings. This further reduces the supply of oxygen to the brain. The brain senses the danger of the situation and takes emergency action to wake the body to resume breathings.


Each episode of apnea results an awakening in sleep. For a moderate sleep apnea with AHI (Apnea-Hypopnea Index) of 40, the patient awakes average of 40 times each hour in sleep. For a normal 8 hour sleep night, it is 320 times of awakenings in a single night.


The most of times, the sleep apnea patient does not remember the awakenings but may notice the body position changes such as sleep on their side changed to their back. The body positions won’t change unless there is an awakening or a dream to wake the patient up.


It is clear that sleep apnea is one of the root causes of frequent awakenings in sleep. The frequent awakenings in sleep are one of the indications of the sleep apnea. Therefore if you noticed you have a long night with a series of nightmare dreams and frequently awakenings, it is important to consult with your sleep specialist and seek an appropriate treatment.


The untreated sleep apnea and frequent awakenings could lead to serious results such as frequent urination, prostate enlargement or prostate cancer for men, and hypertension, heart related diseases, etc. and even trigger the rheumatoid arthritis.

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