There are many men who are unable to get quality sleep even though they spend enough time in bed each night. It may take them a long time to fall asleep. Their sleep may be disrupted and broken. They may sleep through the night but still feel tired the next day.
These are all signs of sleep disorders that are common to men. Most men who have a sleep disorder are unaware of it. Even when they are aware, many times they will not seek help for it. Detecting and treating a sleep disorder can cause a dramatic improvement in your sleep. This will allow you to sleep your best at night and feel your best during the day. The most common sleep disorders that affect men include the following:
Sleep apnea occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep. This keeps air from getting into the lungs. This is very common, because the muscles inside the throat relax as you sleep. Gravity then causes the tongue to fall back and block the airway. It can happen a few times a night or several hundred times per night.
These pauses in breathing briefly wake you up and disturb your sleep. This can cause you to be very tired the next day. Men are twice as likely as women to have sleep apnea. Being overweight and having a large neck size also greatly increase your risk. These men have more fatty tissue in their throat that can block their airway.
The primary signs of sleep apnea are daytime sleepiness and loud snoring. Snoring is due to a partial blockage of the airway during sleep. It tends to increase as you age. There is a range of snoring from simple to severe. Simple, primary snoring is “normal” and is mostly harmless. But loud, severe snoring with gasps and snorts is a cause for concern. Many men do not even know that they snore. It is often a spouse or bed partner who detects the loud snoring problem.
Sleep apnea may make it hard for you to think or concentrate during the day. If left untreated, it may also put you at risk of heart or lung disease, high blood pressure or diabetes.
Talk to your health care provider if you snore loudly and are often tired during the day. She may refer you to a sleep specialist to find out if you have sleep apnea. Losing weight and sleeping on one’s side may help in some mild cases of sleep apnea. Severe sleep apnea requires medical treatment.