Everyday Fatigue Isn’t Normal
If you feel tired every day, it’s time for a change. There are many potential causes of sleep disturbances, including physical, mental, and environmental issues — most people have experienced some difficulty sleeping before. But constant sleep deprivation can be a cause for concern, even being linked to physical and mental health issues.
Learn about the importance of sleep and how sleep apnea can affect your energy.
The Sleep Cycle
When you sleep, your body circulates through several stages of sleep. These four stages are classified into non-REM (NREM) and REM stages. The first three stages are NREM stages that lead up to REM sleep. These sleep stages are:
- As you drift off, you’ll enter into the first stage, lasing only a few minutes. This stage, referred to as N1, is light and easily disturbed. If you make it through N1, you’ll move on to fall deeper asleep.
- In stage N2, your body prepares to move into more complex sleep tasks. Your entire body slows down and it becomes more difficult to be awoken. This stage usually lasts for 10 to 25 minutes, and you spend about half of your entire night of sleep in N2.
- N3 is referred to as deep sleep. It’s more difficult to wake someone in N3 sleep, as they’re very relaxed. This stage is crucial for restoring energy and aiding in recovery.
All stages of sleep are essential to restore your body’s energy and process memories, but it’s argued that the fourth stage, REM sleep, is perhaps the most important.
REM sleep is the deepest stage of sleep, but your brain is incredibly active during this time. REM stands for rapid eye movement, the signature trait of this stage of sleep. Your brain processes memories and releases important chemicals that can help with emotion regulation as well as hormones during this time. It’s also vital for restoring your body’s energy.
But you have to cycle through the other stages of sleep before you can reach REM sleep. If your sleep is disturbed, you may not reach REM sleep and you’ll lose out on these very important functions. This can affect your ability to concentrate, recall memories, maintain emotional balance, and more.
Why Does Sleep Apnea Make You Tired?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that results from your airway being blocked while you sleep. The most common cause is excess tissue in the throat relaxing and causing the airway to narrow or collapse. Sometimes, the tongue can also fall back into the throat while asleep and cause breathing problems.
When your airway is blocked, you’ll experience a lack of oxygen that’ll trigger your brain to wake you up briefly. People with sleep apnea can experience these apneas many times every night and not even realize it’s happening. The apneas can be so brief that you’ll forget it, like a vague dream.
While brief, apneas keep your body from reaching REM sleep. Once you fall back asleep, you have to cycle through the other stages of sleep again. If you experience another apnea, you’ll have to start over and preventing you from reaching REM again.
The Dangers of Fatigue
Besides feeling tired all day and not having the energy to do things you love, fatigue can lead to serious mental and physical consequences. A lack of sleep has been linked to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Feeling tired is also related to a higher risk of being in an automobile accident. Not only is falling asleep behind the wheel possible, but your reaction times are slower when you’re tired. A delayed reaction time can prevent you from getting out of the way in time when someone else makes an error.
How You Can Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Your sleep solution depends on the source of your troubles. If you’re having difficulties getting enough rest, the best course of action you can take is to undergo a sleep study. This test can help determine the cause of your sleep problems. From there, medical professionals can guide you towards the best treatment options for you.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
If your sleep test shows that you have sleep apnea, there’s no need to worry. This disorder is often easily treatable, even without the use of CPAP. While CPAP is effective, many people stop using it due to discomfort or inconvenience.
Luckily, there are other options. Dr. Iregui provides comfortable and portable oral appliances that are usually just as effective as CPAP machines. These mouthpieces are custom-created for each patient and help keep the airway open during sleep. That means you’ll stay asleep and can cycle through all the stages of sleep, restoring your energy.
You Can Feel Energized Again
Don’t let sleep apnea sap your energy and take your life away. Dr. Iregui can help you regain control of your waking hours instead of losing them to fatigue. Oral appliances change the lives of many people and empower them by restoring their ability to sleep soundly.
To learn more about how Dr. Iregui can help you, contact our office by calling 253-204-2643 or by filling out our online contact form. We’ll be happy to speak with you about your sleep troubles and find a solution that works for you.