Why do I wake up exhausted even though I sleep 8 hours a night?

 November 7, 2017

sleep apnea DubuqueDo you feel persistently tired even after resting for what appears to be a full night? Even if you sleep eight hours, do you feel lethargic and foggy-headed? If these questions apply to you, it is possible that you could have obstructive sleep apnea. This is a common sleep disorder that can only be diagnosed with a professional sleep study.

Sleep apnea prevents a person from actually resting – instead they are in a semi-conscious state during most of the night due to repeated cycles of breathing cessation and slight wakefulness to resume normal breathing. This means that a person is not progressing naturally through each sleep cycle.  Since people are unable to sustain proper breathing throughout sleep, people will wake up feeling tired because they are sleep deprived. The reason this condition affects breathing is because of tissue obstructing the airways.

Why is a sleep study needed?

A sleep study is needed to confirm sleep apnea for an accurate diagnosis. Since the condition occurs when a person is sleeping, it cannot be diagnosed without monitoring a person’s breathing rates and other vitals during rest. A sleep study will collect the necessary data to confirm whether a person has this condition. With an accurate diagnosis, patients can then take the results of their sleep study to a dentist or oral surgeon for treatment.

What are symptoms of sleep apnea?

There are a few symptoms related to sleep apnea that the one suffering from the condition might notice. Some symptoms are also noticeable by a bed partner or roommate. Many patients with sleep apnea wake up with very dry mouth and headaches. This is because they resort to breathing through their mouths when possible. Breathing disruptions also effect oxygen levels and low oxygen can produce headaches. Other symptoms include gasping for air during rest, excessive snoring, and malaise.

How is sleep apnea treated?

Sleep apnea can be treated surgically and non-surgically. Non-surgical treatment includes oral appliance and CPAP therapy. Surgical treatment addresses the underlying cause of airway obstruction by removing excessive tissue or by repositioning the jaws for improved airway health.

Call us today to reserve a sleep apnea consultation with one of our oral surgeons.