Researches show that over 12 million people in the U.S. could be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea and about half of them are overweight. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder implying that the airway passage gets blocked during night sleep at least 5 times per night for 10 seconds or more.
There are certain risk factors for sleep apnea. As mentioned before, excessive weight is the first. Also, it has been found that this condition is more likely to occur in men than women. In the U.S., for instance, a man out of 25 and a woman out of 50 could be dealing with sleep apnea. This research also shows that the condition is more common for middle-aged or older persons. Moreover, it has been found that a race can be a factor. Studies point out that African Americans, Hispanics, and Pacific Islanders are more likely to be affected by this disorder while Caucasians are less likely to suffer from it. People with small airways are also at risk as well as children with enlarged tonsils.
Sometimes sleep apnea leads to instant death, but most of the time this sleep disorder results in many health concerns. Of course, when there is a lack of oxygen level, the body increases secretion of stress hormones that can affect sleep quality and make the body feel stressed out the next day. It also has been proved that sleep apnea has close relation to health concerns like heart attack, hypertension, diabetes, irregular heartbeat, and stroke. This condition can be treated but very often the person can’t tell if they’re experiencing sleep apnea. Here, roommate or partner can call attention to the problem.