Sleep Apnea vs. Insomnia

Although sleep apnea and insomnia are both sleep disorders, they are caused by different complications in the body, some more serious than others. Learning which sleep disorder you suffer from is especially important to your health, as sleep apnea can require immediate medical attention.

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia affects 30 percent of the general population and is characterized by a difficulty with falling asleep and/or staying asleep. It can be exacerbated by anxiety over not getting enough sleep and is often unknowingly propagated by the habits you keep. Some of the lifestyle choices and actions that contribute to insomnia are as follows:

  • Too much caffeine
  • Irregular sleep pattern
  • Daytime naps
  • Exercising at night or lack of exercise
  • Persistent stress
  • Large meals right before bed
  • Heartburn
  • Alcohol
  • Watching TV in bed

Insomnia comes in three main categories: Transient, intermittent and chronic insomnia. Transient — or temporary — insomnia can last anywhere from one to several nights and is most often the result of stress or emotion. Intermittent insomnia occurs irregularly, and is most often caused by built-up stress of anxiety. People with chronic insomnia experience sleepless or restless nights most of the week, for periods of at least two weeks, as a result of varying medical conditions.

Chronic insomnia can impact your health and hamper productivity, often leading to depression, diabetes and daytime drowsiness. Left long enough, insomnia can cause you to become easily distracted, which makes you far more likely to become injured while at home, in your workplace or behind the wheel of a car. If you think you might be suffering from insomnia, get in touch with us today to learn how you can get back to a regular full night’s sleep.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Affecting up to 10 percent of adults, sleep apnea is most common among men and those who are overweight, middle-aged and/or diabetic. Sleep apnea comes in two forms: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). OSA has a strong correlation with snoring, while CSA is highly correlated with heart failure. OSA is particularly hazardous, as it causes you to stop breathing for periods of 10 seconds or more, resulting in a serious lack of oxygen. Both forms of sleep apnea are enough of a health concern that you should take immediate steps to ensure your health and safety.

If left untreated, sleep apnea puts you at increased risk of the following health issues:

  • Heart disease, including heart attacks
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS)
  • Weakened immune system
If you are male, obese or have a deviated nasal septum or a male shirt collar size of 17 or more, you are at a higher risk for obstructive sleep apnea. There are a variety of treatments and therapies to alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea, including changes in lifestyle, but the most critical step is to make sure that your body receives enough oxygen while you are sleeping. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is one such therapy that helps you breathe properly while asleep. Contact My CPAP Club today to learn more about sleep apnea and what you can do to sleep safe and sound, once again.
Allison Wrightenberry
Allison Wrightenberry