Sleep apnea is a relatively common affliction, though most people are unaware they even have it. This sleeping disorder, caused by collapse of the airway, disrupts the sleeping cycle and interrupts normal breathing patterns. When the airway collapses, the brain is deprived of oxygen, forcing the brain to put the body into a more alert state, preventing the deep sleep necessary for a healthy body and mind. Several seemingly unrelated conditions can serve as symptoms of a disrupted sleep cycle due to obstructive sleep apnea. Upon waking up, you may experience a headache along with a dry or sore throat. These symptoms do not appear serious, but the headache is a sign the brain is not receiving enough oxygen during sleep, while a sore throat is a sign of interrupted breathing patterns. If left unchecked, this sleeping disorder may contribute to a host of health complications, including heart disease, diabetes, and depression. Children as well as adults can suffer from the negative effects of sleep apnea. The effects of ADHD can be worsened or even caused by obstructive sleep apnea. This can lead to poor school performance and even an increased level of aggression in a child. Mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea can be treated relatively easily. A mouth insert which holds the jaw and tongue in place helps prevent obstruction of airways. Severe cases of sleep apnea may necessitate the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), but for those who find this treatment uncomfortable medication and surgery are available as treatment.
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