How OSA Affects Your Sleep Cycle

Of all the cycles that your body undergoes, sleeping offers the maximum benefit with the minimal effort. The simplicity of sleep, however, does not mean that it is negligible. If your mind and body did not get enough rest, then they would soon burn out and shut down. Many issues can interfere with the vital sleep process, including outside influences (i.e., loud noises), excessive stress, physical illness, or any number of other factors. When your sleep is severely affected, regardless of the reason, it doesn’t take long before you begin to feel exhausted. To help determine if your sleep cycle is being interrupted by a disorder such as sleep apnea, take a moment to ask yourself a few questions about the quality of your sleep.

Do you snore louder than normal, and in specific patterns?

When you sleep, the tissues in your mouth and throat relax. Snoring is the sound of air escaping the tight spaces between these tissues. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when these tissues relax too much and completely block your airway, preventing you from breathing. Apneic episodes, the silent period during which you stop breathing, can last ten seconds or more until your body panics and starts breathing again, restarting the cycle. Patients do not typically regain consciousness during these episodes, but the disturbance prevents them from falling into much-needed deep sleep.

Are you fatigued during the day, despite a full night’s rest?

Humans sleep in stages, and one of the most important of these stages is known as Rapid Eye Movement, or REM sleep. This deep-sleep stage is critical for your mind and body to rejuvenate, replacing old cells, resting and conserving power like an intricately designed machine. When sleep apnea diminishes your REM sleep, your mind and body grow weary fast, leading to common symptoms of sleep deprivation, even though you are unaware that you are losing sleep.

Do you experience other symptoms of sleep deprivation?

Other symptoms of sleep deprivation that may warn you of sleep apnea’s influence include, but are not limited to;

  • Memory problems
  • Weakened immune system
  • Increased pain perception
  • Trouble focusing your eyes
  • Excessive yawning

Find Out How to Correct Your Sleep Cycle with OSA Treatment

If OSA goes untreated, the continued disruptions to your sleep cycle can have devastating consequences on your overall wellbeing. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in Des Moines, IA, today at (515) 244-9565.