A lot of people who have sleep apnea don't realize it. You can live with this condition for years and not know you have it unless you get tested for it. One of the major symptoms is daytime sleepiness.
It's natural to feel sleepy during the afternoon after a hard day's work. You may feel like you want to have a short nap, especially if you woke up early or had a hectic day.
With sleep apnea, this sleepiness can be overwhelming. You may sit in your chair and fall asleep without much difficulty at all. This is what used to happen to me before I got tested. I'm a full-time writer, and I would literally be writing an article and start to fall asleep.
Falling Asleep When You Least Expect it
When you have sleep apnea, it's incredibly difficult not to fall asleep. It doesn't matter how much coffee you have; you'll usually doze off regardless. That’s because you're not getting high-quality sleep at night. You may sleep for 8 or so hours but still be extremely tired during the day and want to nap. You're going to be incredibly fatigued during the day no matter what you're doing.
Imagine the embarrassment of falling asleep in your office chair or beginning to get tired during a job interview. Sleep apnea sleepiness tends to come on without warning, so there’s an added danger of falling asleep while driving and having a serious accident. You can fall asleep at the wheel and not even realize it.
If Sleep Is a Problem, Get Checked
If you're already getting the required 6 to 8 hours of sleep that’s recommended for good health and still feel tired all the time, it's time to get checked. Excessive tiredness during the day and wanting to sleep all the time are big warning signs of sleep apnea.
Before I got checked for sleep apnea, I didn't even know that I had it. I used to feel tired all the time during the day. I would often need a nap during the day just to have enough energy to function. This would carry over into the evening, and I'd want to go to sleep right after dinner. I found that this fatigue was impacting my mood as I would become quite irritable since I needed sleep all of the time.
You Can Treat Sleep Apnea
If you're tired all the time, whether it's during the day or at night, you may have sleep apnea. It impacts your quality of life to a large degree.
Getting checked for sleep apnea and, if you have it, using a CPAP machine can drastically improve your symptoms. The CPAP controls your sleep apnea and allows you to get the sleep you need to function normally. I no longer feel that daytime sleepiness I had before, thanks to my CPAP, and I'm glad that it's a part of my life now.
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