Sleep apnea vs. insomnia

Sleep apnea vs. insomnia - Pittsburgh Dentist

Many people confuse sleep apnea with insomnia. They are two different conditions with similar symptoms. Though both issues stop you from getting a good night’s rest, insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay sleeping due to things like stress or anxiety while sleep apnea is the result of an airway blockage interrupting your sleep.

You can get help for both these concerns by visiting a medical doctor who deals with sleep issues and insomnia. For concerns regarding sleep apnea, you might even be able to get help from your dentist. If you live in Pennsylvania, there are plenty of options for sleep apnea treatment in Pittsburgh or sleep apnea treatment in Wexford.

What is sleep apnea?

There are various types of sleep apnea but the most common one is obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is usually tied to excessive snoring since your airways get blocked by your soft palate collapsing. A narrow airway that causes your breathing problems could be a result of excess tissue, larger than normal tonsils or a large uvula.

Signs of sleep apnea:

  • Morning headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Exhaustion after your sleep
  • Getting up to use the washroom several times during the night
  • Gasping for air during your night’s sleep which wakes you up

What is insomnia?

Insomnia might only last a night or two, or it could be something you deal with every day of your life. You might be experiencing insomnia due to consuming excessive amounts of caffeine, nicotine, alcohol or other forms of drugs. Other triggers for insomnia include hormonal imbalances or being extremely stressed and anxious.

Signs of Insomnia:

  • Waking up a lot during the night even if you went to bed for a good 7-8 hours sleep
  • Hard time falling back to sleep

Insomnia is often a result of underlying psychological disorders which can make it more difficult to treat than sleep apnea but not impossible. Psychologists can be a huge help when trying to find a treatment for your insomnia while treatment for sleep apnea can be as simple as seeing a dentist. Your dentist may recommend an oral appliance as part of your sleep apnea treatment in Pittsburgh or Wexford. Of course, every situation will be different depending on the degree of your sleep issues.

Final thoughts

Getting a good night’s sleep is extremely important for your physical and mental health. When your body doesn’t get enough rest, you may find yourself gaining weight, unable to function properly during the day due to being overtired, or you may experience more serious issues such as hypertension or depression. If you know or think you might have sleep apnea or insomnia, seeking out treatment options will help you avoid health issues associated with the lack of sleep.

Dr. Alexandra S. George

Medically reviewed by Dr. Alexandra S. George - D.D.S., L.Vl.I.F. on August 31st, 2021