When you’re not getting enough or quality sleep, it can cause a host of physical and mental health issues. However, two different types of sleep disorders can lead to either insufficient or poor-quality sleep: insomnia and sleep apnea. These two conditions are very different from one another and require different treatment methods. Let’s take a look at how they differ.
Sleep apnea and insomnia are very different conditions
Insomnia is a disorder that affects your ability to get enough sleep, while sleep apnea is a disorder that affects the quality of your sleep. Both disorders are serious and should be treated by a medical professional as soon as you notice symptoms.
The causes of insomnia can be many and varied, while the causes of sleep apnea are mostly related to the way you breathe.
Sleep apnea is a condition where the throat muscles relax and block the airway. This can lead to gasping for breath, waking up in the middle of the night, or even loud snoring. The causes of sleep apnea tend to be related to how you breathe.
Insomnia is a symptom of many different conditions—it could be caused by stress, depression, anxiety, pain from an injury/illness/surgery (or other chronic illnesses), medications like antidepressants and antihistamines, and much more. Insomnia often occurs with other symptoms such as fatigue during waking hours and disrupted sleep patterns.
Insomnia can generally be treated with medication, supplements, or non-medicated lifestyle changes, while sleep apnea requires more drastic interventions like surgery or a CPAP machine.
Insomnia is a lot easier to treat than sleep apnea. If you have insomnia, there are plenty of options available to you that don’t involve surgery or medical devices. You can take sleeping pills and supplements, or try some non-medicated lifestyle changes like switching up your bedtime ritual or getting a better mattress.
However, if you have sleep apnea then treatment options are very different. You’ll need either surgery to remove a blockage in your throat, a CPAP machine, or an oral appliance.
If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, consider booking a free sleep consultation with the Marx Sleep practice. You might find that your condition is easily treatable with an oral appliance or lifestyle adjustments.