What is obstructive sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which you stop breathing spontaneously at night. After a few seconds, then begin to breathe again, although often not as deep or even as in normal sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is slightly different because the airway actually closes. Often, this closure of the airways occurs after the throat or tongue relaxes, closing or covering the airways.
Sleep apnea is difficult to diagnose since there are no obvious signs when you are not sleeping. Doctors can not perform any diagnostic tests to determine if you have sleep apnea. Instead, the only way to get a diagnosis for sleep apnea is to stay during a nighttime observation where doctors will control your breathing.
People with obstructive sleep apnea have difficulty falling asleep, which puts them at risk of serious health problems. These include chronic fatigue or mental fog and high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attacks or strokes. That’s why getting an early diagnosis is so important.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Fibromyalgia
We know that people with fibromyalgia are also more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea. However, we do not know why that is the case. There are a series of theories. For example, some doctors have suggested that the brain may play a role, and that patients with fibromyalgia have more active brain activity during sleep, which leads to sleep disturbances.