Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sleepwalking and Sleep Apnea Linked

According to a recent study, almost 1 in 10 people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea also suffer from some form of parasomnia. While obstructive sleep apnea may not cause parasomnia, it can make the condition worse if you are already predisposed to it. An experienced sleep dentist can help people determine if they are suffering from either parasomnia or sleep apnea.

Parasomnia is a sleeping condition many people suffer from that includes a few different symptoms like sleepwalking, sleep paralysis, acting-out dreams, hallucinations, and even eating or driving.

New research looked at the sleep records of 537 sleep patients and found that 51 patients who suffered from sleep apnea also suffered from one or more symptoms of parasomnia. This means that about 10 percent of sleep apnea sufferers may also be suffering from the symptoms of parasomnia. Parasomnia can be very dangerous, sleepwalking or driving while asleep can injure you or the people around you.

One of the reasons sleep apnea can put people more at risk for parasomnia is because the brain becomes active the going through a sleep apnea episode. During one of these episodes, the soft tissue in the throat closes and the body is momentarily deprived of oxygen; the brain is then aroused so that you can breathe again.

This brain arousal can cause the symptoms of parasomnia. Sleep apnea can have other hazardous affects on your health like an increased risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke. Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea include being tired during the day, snoring, depression, and weight gain.

If you believe that you or your sleeping partner is suffering from sleep apnea or parasomnia, there are solutions available to you. To put an end to your sleep problems, please contact Dr. Ira Shapira, Gurnee, Illinois sleep dentist today.

posted by Lynn at 2:25 PM