How Does Hypersomnia Relate to Sleep Apnea?

Jane, a 40-year-old working mother, has struggled with daytime sleepiness and fatigue for the past year. Despite getting what she thinks is sufficient sleep at night, she often finds herself struggling to stay focused at work or nodding off during meetings. Her family has also noticed that she snores loudly at night and sometimes even stops breathing briefly before gasping for air.

Concerned for her health, Jane decides to see a doctor, who diagnoses her with sleep apnea and hypersomnia. While Jane’s case may be unique, the relationship between sleep apnea and hypersomnia is more common than you think, impacting four to six percent of the U.S. adult population. Also, men have a higher prevalence than women.

People suffering from hypersomnia opt to buy sleeping pills online U.K. to handle their lack of sleep. While the sleeping pills do help, understanding how hypersomnia relates to sleep apnea goes a long way in helping you handle the situation. So, let’s dig in!

What are Hypersomnia and Sleep Apnea?

The first step of understanding how hypersomnia relates to sleep apnea starts with a definition. What is hypersomnia? This is a medical condition in which an individual feels excessively tired throughout the day, which causes them to fall asleep during the day. People suffering from hypersomnia tend to also sleep longer than usual at night. It’s important to note that the fatigue from hypersomnia is utterly different from feeling tired because of interruption or lack of sleep at night.

What is Sleep Apnea? This is a disorder that causes one to stop breathing as they sleep. The brain protects you by helping you wake up long enough to breathe. But the constant interruptions prevent you from getting a healthy, restful sleep.

The Relationship Between Hypersomnia and Sleep Apnea

People diagnosed with sleep apnea have a higher risk of developing hypersomnia. It could also be the direct instigator of hypersomnia, as most patients with hypersomnia symptoms reveal a likelihood of sleep apnea.

However, for a doctor to determine if sleep apnea is the primary cause of your hypersomnia, they must ask you a series of questions. These questions help the physician determine if you have more serious underlying issues or require a lifestyle change. This is why one of the first lines of action is a sleep test, which helps the doctor gain a prognosis.

The Impact of Sleep Apnea on the Quantity and Quality of Sleep

Your brain constantly monitors your body, and depending on its current status, it adequately adjusts your blood pressure, heart rate, and other aspects of the body. With sleep apnea, you stop breathing, and this causes your blood oxygen levels to drop significantly.

This, in turn, causes your brain to react to the blood oxygen drop by triggering a failsafe-like reflex. This reflex is instantly waking you up from your sleep. Once you are awake, you immediately start breathing again. With regular breathing back, your brain tries to help you resume your sleeping cycle automatically.

The more severe sleep apnea is, the more interruptions. It eventually limits the average hours you sleep, affecting your sleep quantity and quality. However, the quality and quantity of sleep you get depends on the severity of your sleep apnea.

You get between 5 and 15 apnea events every hour for mild sleep apnea. For moderate sleep apnea, you get between 15 and 29 events every hour, waking up between 120 and 239 times in an 8-hour sleep. In severe sleep apnea, individuals can get up to 30 or more events in an hour, meaning they can wake up 240 times during 8 hours of sleep.

Treatment Options for Hypersomnia and Sleep Apnea

Before discussing treatment options, it’s crucial to find out if your hypersomnia results from sleep apnea. Some of the common symptoms between the two include:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Snoring
  • Feeling exhausted or even tired when waking up
  • Waking up in the middle of the night multiple times
  • Mood changes
  • Insomnia

If you are diagnosed with either one or two of them, some treatment options your doctor may recommend include:

Medicine: Sometimes, a doctor may recommend medication depending on the severity of your condition. The commonly prescribed ones for such conditions include stimulants like amphetamine.

Natural methods: Your physician may recommend treating your hypersomnia without medication. They may advise you to change your diet or adopt healthy sleep hygiene. You may also be advised to incorporate more sleep into your schedule. If you also have sleep apnea, your doctor may prescribe CPAP therapy. CPAP is a machine that uses a hose connected to a nosepiece or mask. This machine helps deliver steady and constant air pressure to help you breathe while sleeping.

Sleep is an integral part of our everyday life as humans. You can wake up rejuvenated and ready to start the day by addressing your sleep apnea.