FREMONT, Neb. (WOWT) - If you snore loudly, have trouble sleeping, feel tired and irritable even after a full night's sleep and you have trouble concentrating - you could have Sleep Apnea. Serese Cole shows us how doctors can help you out.
"I was waking up - feeling like I hadn't been asleep."
Dan Ruffcorn was sleep deprived.
"I was just as tired as I got up when I went to bed," Ruffcorn said.
He couldn't get a good night's rest and during the day - he couldn't stay awake.
"I'd just sit down somewhere and I'd fall asleep," Ruffcorn admitted.
His snoring kept his wife up, too.
When it did, she discovered something even more concerning.
"She just started noticing that I stopped breathing," Ruffcorn said.
He went to the Methodist Fremont Health Sleep Center for help.
After a sleep test, Dan learned his diagnosis.
"Sleep Apnea means not breathing while you're sleeping," explained Dr. Jason Dinsmoor.
One in four men suffers from the disorder.
For women - it's about one in five.
"Severe Sleep Apnea people will wake up to 30 times an hour. And so if you're waking up that much of course you're going to be stressed, of course, you have increased inflammation," Dr. Dinsmoor said.
Sleep Apnea can add other risks - like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. But there is a solution.
Dan now wears a mask every single night.
Thanks to the mask - he's now getting a good night's sleep.
It's called a C-PAP.
The machine sends a constant flow of airway pressure to your throat.
"It puts pressure on to keep the airways open - so they don't get blocked- and so you can get sleep better at night," explained Dr. Dinsmoor.
The extra sleep is just the beginning.
"They are happier, they are well rested, their blood pressure is better, sometimes they have less swelling in their legs, their heart issues can get better," Dr. Dinsmoor added.
"I cannot even imagine not having it," said Ruffcorn.
For Dan - it's a simple solution to some much-needed shut-eye.
If you have signs of Sleep Apnea - you are urged to see your doctor. Also remember, Sleep Apnea can affect people of all ages and stages - from kids to seniors.
Those most at risk are men, people who are over 40, overweight and have a family history.