Do you wake up every morning feeling just as — or more — tired than you did when you went to sleep? If so, then you understand just how debilitating sleep deprivation can be. You may have trouble concentrating and can’t perform daily tasks efficiently anymore.

Many people in New Jersey suffer from sleep deprivation for a variety of reasons, but yours may result from a medical condition called sleep apnea. If your spouse or partner constantly complains of your incredibly loud snoring, you may want to consult with your doctor to see if you suffer from this condition, which can have serious health consequences.

Symptoms of sleep apnea

In addition to snoring, the following symptoms could indicate that you suffer from this condition:

  • You may wake up with a dry mouth.
  • You may wake up with a headache.
  • You may meet the medical definition of obesity.
  • You may find yourself fighting off sleepiness throughout the day.

If you feel as though you frequently experience these symptoms, you may want to see your doctor.

Types of sleep apnea

An examination and sleep study may reveal that you suffer from one of three types of sleep apnea:

  • In central sleep apnea, your brain doesn’t signal your body to breathe.
  • The most common form of obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat closes off your airway while you sleep. This constitutes the bulk of sleep apnea cases.
  • It may not come as a surprise to know that mixed sleep apnea combines elements of the other two types.

In any form, sleep apnea wakes you just enough to start breathing again. In fact, you may not even remember waking up, even if you experience hundreds of events during the night. This explains why you don’t understand why you stay so tired all of the time.

Risk factors of sleep apnea

Even though anyone, adult or child, can suffer from sleep apnea, the most common risk factors include being 40 years of age or older, being a man and being obese. Unfortunately, men over the age of 40 can only control their weight, which may help reduce their chances.

Consequences of sleep apnea

The consequences of leaving your condition untreated include the following:

  • You could suffer from serious health consequences such as:
    • Heart disease
    • Stroke
    • High blood pressure
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
  • Your condition could cause serious life events such as car accidents and the inability to perform your job duties.
  • You may also experience memory problems, headaches, impotence and weight gain.

As you can see, treating your sleep apnea is vital to your health, and in some cases, to enjoying a long life. If you find that the health consequences of sleep apnea keep you from working, you may consider determining whether your condition qualifies you to receive Social Security Disability benefits so that your financial situation doesn’t keep you up at night.