Health Conditions / Sleep Disorders / Sleep Apnea

9 Possible Reasons You Always Wake Up Soaked in Sweat

9 Possible Reasons You Always Wake Up Soaked in Sweat

Back to top3. Menopause“If someone is having night sweats, my first thought is to ask them about their periods to see whether they are menopausal,” Barrie Weinstein, MD, an assistant professor of endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York City, tells SELF.Menopause can happen at any point in a person’s 50s, 40s, or even as early as their 30s if they experience premature menopause, according to the Mayo Clinic. Thanks to fluctuating hormones—specifically, reduced estrogen and progesterone—menopause can cause a slew of unpleasant symptoms, including hot flashes that lead to night sweats, chills, irregular or absent periods, mood changes, vaginal dryness, a slower metabolism, and thinning hair, among others, per the Mayo Clinic.Menopause is a completely normal condition that doesn’t automatically require treatment (unless it starts too early, which can be a different story), but that doesn’t mean you don’t have options if symptoms like night sweats are interfering with your life. “If patients are having night sweats that are intolerable, they can discuss with their doctor whether hormone replacement would be a good option for them,” Dr. Weinstein says. Different kinds of hormone therapy can help relieve various menopause symptoms, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). But if that’s not something you’re interested in or your doctor doesn’t recommend it as a safe choice for you, there are other medications, including some low-dose antidepressants, that can help decrease those dreaded hot flashes, according to the National Institute on Aging.Back to top4. Obstructive sleep apneaObstructive sleep apnea, or OSA2, is a common sleep disorder that causes your breathing to stop and start briefly while you’re snoozing. If you have OSA, your throat muscles relax when they shouldn’t, which interferes with your airway’s ability to get enough oxygen while you sleep.And yes, it can make you sweat. “One of my colleagues says it’s like you go to the Olympics every night because you’re working so hard to breathe,” Rafael Pelayo, MD, a clinical professor in the division of sleep medicine at Stanford University and author of How to Sleep: The New Science-Based Solutions for Sleeping Through the Night, tells SELF. Besides night sweats, other symptoms of OSA include loud snoring, excessive fatigue during the day, abruptly waking up during the night while gasping or choking, morning headaches, mood changes, a lower sex drive, and more. If that sounds concerning, well, you’re right on target. OSA can be serious and requires prompt treatment.Treatment options include lifestyle changes like using a nasal decongestant before you sleep or avoiding sleeping on your back, sleeping with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to keep your airways open, using a mouthguard to do the same, and more intensive options, like surgery to remove the tissue that’s blocking your airways.Back to top5. Acid refluxAcid reflux happens when stomach acid travels back up into the esophagus, which commonly triggers the feeling of heartburn3. When this happens chronically—more than twice per week—it’s known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Anecdotally, some people who have acid reflux or GERD experience night sweats, which tend to resolve once the acid reflux is treated, Dr. Paauw says. There are very few studies exploring the link between night sweats and acid reflux, so experts aren’t 100% certain why the two are connected. However, Dr. Paauw believes acid reflux may trigger the autonomic nervous system4, which regulates bodily processes such as breathing, to increase heart rate. And an elevated heart rate may lead to excessive sweat, he says. When someone is lying down, they don’t have the benefit of gravity to help keep stomach acid from flowing into the esophagus, which may explain why people with acid reflux experience night sweats, Dr. Paauw says.

33 Possible Reasons Why You Always Feel So Damn Tired

33 Possible Reasons Why You Always Feel So Damn Tired

Depression is a serious medical condition, so it’s important to seek help. If you have thoughts of self-harm or feel like you’re in a crisis, seek emergency medical attention or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.Or you could be dealing with anxiety.Depression isn’t the only mental health issue that can lead to feeling tired all the time. Things like everyday stress and worry can also contribute, but clinical anxiety is persistent and can lead to more prolonged fatigue. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it can leave you exhausted and plagued with sleep disturbances.Think about it: All of your energy is being channeled into feeling on-edge, which can really take a toll on your overall well-being. “Anxiety in particular can be draining,” licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy. D., tells SELF. If you suspect that you’re suffering from anxiety, it’s a good idea to reach out to a mental health professional if you can, as they will help you develop coping methods that can help you feel better.Sleep can also be an issue if you have an adjustment disorder, which basically means you feel 10 times the amount of stress as other people when experiencing difficult situations, like divorce, having a baby, or losing a job.You might have an autoimmune disease.Autoimmune diseases, conditions in which your own immune system mistakenly attacks parts of your body, can create a whole host of wildly different symptoms. One of the common ones, though, is fatigue, according to a 2019 study published in Frontiers of Immunology.8 These conditions can include but are not limited to:Rheumatoid arthritisLupusType 1 diabetesPsoriasisPsoriatic arthritisMultiple sclerosisIt could be a GI disorder.So, technically these are also autoimmune diseases, but they specifically affect your digestive system and can also cause constant exhaustion. Celiac disease is one possibility, where the immune system attacks the small intestine when you eat gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley (basically all the bread).Some studies suggest as many as 100% of all people with celiac disease name fatigue as one of their main symptoms.7 You probably already know that people with celiac disease can get diarrhea, gas, and vomiting if they ingest gluten, but it can also cause people to feel weak or fatigued even without gastrointestinal issues, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you notice you don’t feel great after having wheat, barley, or rye products, talk to your doctor about getting tested for celiac disease.Another possibility is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These affect the GI tract, causing open sores. Fatigue is a very common symptom of both conditions, according to the National Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, and could be due to a number of factors, including inflammation in the body.You could have another chronic condition.Autoimmune diseases aren’t the only suspects when it comes to your health and feelings of exhaustion. Other types of chronic health conditions can also cause varying levels of fatigue. Things like fibromyalgia (a condition that causes muscle pain and tenderness), type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, heart disease, and COPD can also be filed under energy-zapping conditions.It could be chronic fatigue syndrome.Chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition that affects up to an estimated 2.5 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, this condition causes severe instances of fatigue and exhaustion, especially after physical activity, that cannot otherwise be explained. Unfortunately, doctors don’t have a definitive test or treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome, meaning there’s still lots to be learned about diagnosing and treating this condition.You could have a thyroid condition.Your thyroid helps impact several important functions of your body, including how fast or slow your heart beats and how well your bodily movements flow, Piper says. Having an underactive thyroid, a condition known as hypothyroidism, can slow down your bodily functions and leave you feeling tired, she says. On the flip side, hyperthyroidism, which is when your thyroid is overactive, speeds everything up and can cause insomnia and an inner restlessness that makes it tough to relax—leaving you wiped out as a result.It might be anemia.Anemia happens when you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body’s tissues. The result can be shortness of breath, dizziness, pale-appearing skin, problems tolerating exercise, and—you guessed it—fatigue. People with uteruses are especially vulnerable to anemia because of additional blood loss from their period.9

Here’s What It Really Means When You Talk in Your Sleep

Here’s What It Really Means When You Talk in Your Sleep

Stress is another contributing factor, according to Dr. Dimitriu. This is most likely caused by disturbing the natural depth of your sleep. “Whenever something wakes you, even slightly, you are prone to do something strange—as you are half asleep—sleep talking is one of those things, and sleep walking is another,” he says. Certain medications (either sedating or stimulating), anxiety, or just being really tired can sometimes trigger an episode of sleep talking in some people but not in others, Dr. Dimitriu adds.According to the Cleveland Clinic, depression, daytime drowsiness, alcohol, and fever can cause sleep talking, too. Underlying medical conditions could also cause sleep deprivation, leading to sleep talking. This includes sleep apnea, a sleep disorder where breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep.The good news in all of this? “There is no danger to random isolated episodes of sleep talking,” Dr. Dimitriu says. However, if it begins to occur frequently, or there are other symptoms, such as insomnia, waking up several times per night, or being sleepy by day, he says it may be worth speaking with your doctor, and considering a sleep study. For most people, though, sleep talking is a short-lived phenomenon and no treatment is really necessary.So, do sleep talkers tell the truth?Maybe it’s because we’ve seen too many movies or want to coax secrets out of our loved ones, but many nighttime conversationalists have one burning question: “When you talk in your sleep, are you telling the truth?”While sleep talking parallels awake talking for semantics, syntax, and turn-taking in conversation, according to a 2017 study published in the journal Sleep,6 it’s not a reliable method of getting someone to spill their dirty secrets. Partly because you are in an unconscious state simply expressing words and noises. However, researchers from the study did discover a few interesting tidbits: The most frequent word spoken during sleep talking was “No,” and an interrogation-type tone was found in 26% of speech episodes.How to stop sleep talkingIf you’re unsure about why you’re talking in your sleep, it might be a bit challenging to figure out how to stop. While no official sleep talking treatment protocol exists, eliminating or reducing the conditions triggering it is a good place to start. And your first order of business if you want to curb your nightly chatter is to overhaul your sleep hygiene (a fancy word for your pre-sleep habits).“With my patients, I increase their overall sleep and decrease things that are disrupting their sleep—so decrease caffeine, decrease alcohol, decrease stress before bed,” Dr. Breus says. “Those types of things can then really help make the situation literally go away by itself.”“Regular bed and wake times cannot be underscored in their ability to improve and stabilize sleep,” Dr. Dimitriu says. Also, make sure the bed is comfortable and cool, and the sleeping area is dark. “If anything bothers you at night, it could wake you or cause something strange to occur when you are half awake,” he adds. Being really tired or sleep-deprived can also cause sleep talking to occur, so make sure you get enough sleep (ideally seven to nine hours) consistently.

16 Tips to Help You Fall Asleep Faster

16 Tips to Help You Fall Asleep Faster

For example, you can try progressive muscle relaxation (which you can even do in bed!). This simply involves tensing your muscles and relaxing them one body part at a time, SELF previously reported. First, try scrunching and tensing your toes tightly for about 5 to 10 seconds. Then, release them and feel the difference in the sensations. Slowly move up your body, muscle by muscle, to your calves, thighs, and so on. (Find a full list of grounding techniques for anxiety here).9. Do some gentle bedtime yoga or stretching.Yes, vigorous exercise before bed might keep you up, but consider grabbing your yoga mat and doing some gentle exercises to help you relax before bed. Why? Static stretching encourages deep breathing, which encourages your relaxation response, SELF previously reported. Looking for a few ideas? We have a 5-minute bedtime stretching routine you can try tonight.10. Avoid dozing off during a TV show.Remember, as the sun goes down, your pineal gland begins to pump melatonin into your bloodstream. When you keep any lights on, even if it’s just a seemingly small bit of light emitted from your iPad screen while streaming your favorite TV show, it can interfere with this melatonin signaling and make it a little more challenging to fall asleep fast, SELF previously reported. And even if you do feel knocked out, there’s also some evidence that the variances in TV light throughout the night can keep you from getting quality sleep.11. Put an end to your “doom scrolling” habit.We’ve already discussed how light from your phone can interfere with melatonin production, but we haven’t addressed how scrolling through your phone, reading new coronavirus updates, checking email, or chatting with your friend in Hong Kong can keep your mind active.Dr. Malow suggests turning off your phone and other devices a full hour before bed to help you wind down. You can also set your phone to go into sleep mode or get a screen for your computer that blocks blue light, she says. Some people also find it helpful to wear blue light-blocking glasses in the evening to reduce eye strain, too.If you find that racing thoughts or mindless phone use is to blame, consider switching it out for a good book before bed.12. Eliminate other light, too.While you’re at, get rid of all light sources where you can. “If we have too much light at the wrong time, it can tell your body to wake up and stay awake,” Dr. Augelli explains. “So we have to be careful about the timing of our light consumption.”Perhaps you can get curtains that block street light or get a door stopper to prevent light from coming in through the gap. If you can’t control the amount of light in your room, think about getting an eye mask to help ensure it’s as dark as possible in your sleeping environment.13. Consider the sound quality in your room.Much like light can keep you awake, sounds—like from your TV or your loud neighbors—can keep you up longer than you’d like. If ambient sounds are an issue, try to use a fan or white noise machine to help alleviate that. The consistent whir of a sound machine can help soften the impact of other erratic noise that could keep you awake, the CDC suggests. If that doesn’t help, earplugs are another option to consider.14. Regulate the temperature in your room.Light gets a lot of credit for encouraging your circadian rhythm to do its job, but temperature also plays a role. As SELF previously reported, a room that’s between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit tends to be most people’s sleepy-time sweet spot. If you can’t regulate the temperature in your room, consider switching up your bedding or sleeping in lighter (or heavier) pajamas to get your ideal sleep temperature.15. Stop watching the clock.Even if you’re having trouble sleeping, quit checking the time. This will make you feel more anxious (and awake, if you’re using your phone), which only makes it harder to fall back asleep. If you find yourself doing this often, try turning the clock away from you or keeping it out of reach so you’re not tempted to watch the time pass, the Cleveland Clinic suggests.16. Do something calming if you find yourself tossing and turning.If you’re tired but can’t sleep, it’s natural to move around in bed to bide your time. But this isn’t very productive. More often than not, tossing and turning leads to frustration that works against falling asleep faster. Instead of huffing and puffing, try getting out of bed and leaving your bedroom for about 20 minutes to do something relaxing, the Mayo Clinic suggests. Read, listen to soothing music, or engage in another calming habit until you’re feeling more tired, then climb back into bed and give it another try.Do I need to see a doctor to figure out why I can’t sleep at night?There are so many reasons why you might have trouble falling asleep fast (and staying asleep once do nod off). But there’s a difference between tossing and turning due to lifestyle factors you can change and feeling tired or not sleeping because of a sleep disorder, like insomnia, narcolepsy, or sleep apnea.

The 3 Types of Sleep Apnea to Know

The 3 Types of Sleep Apnea to Know

Central sleep apnea can arise for a number of reasons, including congestive heart failure, stroke, or even from sleeping at high altitudes or taking a heavy dose of opiates.The central sleep apnea symptoms can be similar to those of obstructive sleep apnea. According to the Mayo Clinic, they include:What are some central sleep apnea treatment options?Central sleep apnea treatment varies, depending on why the sleep apnea is occurring. For example, if central sleep apnea is caused by congestive heart failure, it would be treated by treating the congestive heart failure, Dr. Becker tells SELF. Other treatments include supplemental oxygen, CPAP, reducing the dosage for opioid medications, or a therapy called bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP). BiPAP is a form of airway pressure therapy that delivers pressure when you breathe in and a different amount of pressure when you breathe out.What is mixed sleep apnea?Mixed sleep apnea is a form of sleep apnea that combines obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Sometimes one form will be more predominant than the other, meaning someone may have a bit more of the obstructive sleep apnea component or a bit more of the central sleep apnea component, Dr. Becker says.What are some mixed sleep apnea treatment options?Typically, CPAP is used to treat mixed sleep apnea, because in many cases, this therapy can effectively address the presentation of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. There are rare cases where treating obstructive sleep apnea with CPAP therapy can trigger something called complex sleep apnea (also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea), physicians say. This is when someone with obstructive sleep apnea develops central sleep apnea because of the CPAP treatment. Sometimes this resolves with continued CPAP treatment, but in other cases, additional treatments are necessary10.Here’s what you should know about a sleep apnea diagnosis. Sleep apnea can vary in severity from one person to the next. “Sleep apnea affects everyone differently,” Dr. Holfinger says. “While some people may have severe symptoms with very few sleep apnea events, others may not be able to tell that their sleep is affected at all in the presence of severe sleep apnea.”Research3 shows that upwards of 80% of people with obstructive sleep apnea go undiagnosed. This may be due to a lack of awareness of sleep apnea risk factors and low screening rates among people with comorbidities like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension.Doctors use a bunch of different assessments to screen for and diagnose sleep apnea. These can include a sleep history that looks at your typical sleep patterns and habits, symptoms, a physical exam, and a polysomnogram, which is a sleep study that can take place at home or in a sleep center to collect data on measures like air flow, carbon dioxide levels, oxygen levels, eye movement, and heart rate. These measures help your doctor understand whether or not you have sleep apnea, and what type of sleep apnea you have.These days, home sleep studies are becoming more and more common, allowing people to undergo this testing from the convenience and comfort of their own home, Dr. Becker tells SELF. If you suspect you or a loved one may have sleep apnea, it’s important to see a doctor, because sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment are important in preventing future complications. Getting treatment can not only help you feel better, but it can also help you be proactive in caring for your overall health.  Sources:1. Nature and Science of Sleep, Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Current Perspectives2. Journal of Thoracic Disease, Obstructive Sleep Apnea Is a Common Disorder In the Population3. Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy, Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction with Sleep Apnea Treatment4. Chinese Medical Journal, Treatment-Emergent Central Sleep Apnea: A Unique Sleep-Disordered BreathingRelated:

Here's What You Should Know if Sleep Apnea Runs in Your Family

Here's What You Should Know if Sleep Apnea Runs in Your Family

“However…studies have provided some evidence for a link between obstructive sleep apnea and genetic factors—it is thought that approximately 40% of obstructive sleep apnea is attributable to genetics,” Dr. Hutz tells SELF. Here are some of the risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea.Various genetic factors, like the structure of the facial bones, tone of the upper airway muscles, and the distribution of body fat, all may increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea, physicians say.“Because family members [can be] shaped similarly to each other, facial features such as a larger tongue, set-back jaw position (overbite), large neck size, or other body shapes that crowd the space at the back of your throat can be seen from generation to generation,” Steven Holfinger6, M.D., a sleep medicine physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF.Obesity is another significant risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea. While somewhere between 2 and 5% of adults have obstructive sleep apnea, that number rises to 30% or higher among adults with obesity7.According to the National Library of Medicine, it’s believed that excess fatty tissue in the neck and head may constrict the airways, and abdominal fat may interfere with the ability of the lungs to fully expand and relax, contributing to sleep apnea3.Nicole Aaronson8, M.D., who is an assistant professor of Otolaryngology and Pediatrics at the Thomas Jefferson Sidney Kimmel School of Medicine, mentions that in a physical exam, a large neck circumference is the primary physical finding that correlates with obstructive sleep apnea9.Sex is another risk factor, as obstructive sleep apnea is more common in men than women, according to the Mayo Clinic11. (However, the risk goes up for people assigned female at birth after they experience menopause.) Other risk factors include drinking close to bedtime, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, stroke, older age, chronic nasal congestion, sleeping on your back, and a family history of obstructive sleep apnea11. If you have a mild case of obstructive sleep apnea, then your doctor might recommend making some lifestyle changes that address these risk factors, such as giving up smoking, exercising, and using decongestants10. Is central sleep apnea genetic?Central sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where someone’s breathing repeatedly stops during sleep because of an issue where their brain fails to send the correct signals to the muscles that control breathing, the Mayo Clinic12 explains. Central sleep apnea is less common than obstructive sleep apnea, and also can be a bit more complicated to understand, physicians say.While certain underlying causes of central sleep apnea—such as heart issues—may have an underlying genetic component, central sleep apnea is not typically hereditary, Phillip LoSavio12, M.D., Section Head of Sleep Surgery, in the department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (ENT) at Rush University Medical Center, tells SELF. Here are some of the risk factors for central sleep apnea.According to Dr. Holfinger, there are several common causes for central sleep apnea. For example, changes in oxygen at higher altitudes can lead to breathing irregularities, so you may develop central sleep apnea when you’re at a higher elevation11. And taking certain medications, such as opiates, or having medical conditions such as heart failure or stroke, can make you susceptible to developing central sleep apnea11.In some situations, central sleep apnea can arise when someone with obstructive sleep apnea is being treated with a continuous airway pressure (CPAP) machine. When this occurs, it’s referred to as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea or complex sleep apnea.

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