Thursday, January 21, 2010

Are you sleeping good?

As I stated before a good bed can approve you quality sleeping time. There is one thing that can steal it from you, Sleep Apnea. The term Apnea means Without Breathe. The causes can be a few things; Overweight, weakened throat muscle, fat deposits in the neck region and some times just aging. It can also be hereditary, who know that family they all snore and laugh about it. The percentage of people with Sleep Apnea has risen in this decade. Perhaps the main reason is our lifestyles. We will look as the symptom and treatments for sleep apnea.
There are several symptoms for sleep apnea. To list a few;
  • (hypersomnia) You find yourself sleepy throughout the day more and more.
  • Snoring loudly, this is a clue for sleep apnea caused by weakened throat muscles.
  • Observed episodes of no breathing or quiet, no breath sounds, this is always seen by a mate.
  • Waking up with shortness of breath or can't seem to catch your breathe, this is more likely with central sleep apnea
  • Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Morning headache
  • Insomnia and difficult staying asleep
  • Having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, Your body trying to get rid of fluid. The brain is trying to reduce pressure in the body.
As you can see there are several signs. some are more severe than others. My thought is in early decades people died in their sleep and the cause was documented as natural causes. In today's medical community we know much more. Now we have sleep clinics set up all over the nation to help in diagnosing this deadly condition, known as Sleep Apnea.

Let look at the treatments. Currently there are four treatments. Continuous positive airway pressure also known as CPAP,Adjustable airway pressure devices know as BiPAP,Oral appliances and Surgery.
My dad has Sleep Apnea and has used a CPAP for years. This device delivers a continuous air pressure to your throat, to keep the airway opened. In my fathers situation it is causing a dry throat. There are ones that also deliver moisture with the air. The air it uses in the home air. No added oxygen, so in my mind a house filter is a must and maybe a humidifier. The CPAP is the most common machine used for Sleep Apnea.
The BiPAP is another type of breathing device that delivers a different type of airway pressure. It automatically adjusts the pressure while you're sleeping. Providing more pressure when you inhale and less when you exhale. If one is having trouble with the CPAP, this is another alternative to try.
If you have mild sleep Apnea, the Dentist can make an Oral appliance that can bring the jaw forward and prevent the collapse of the airway. These are molded just for your mouth. In some cases these will work well while you are changing your lifestyle. For example if your is caused by a weight issue.
The fourth is surgery, this is a more invasive method. Sometimes removal of the epiglottis, tonsils and adenoids can help with the snoring. However, it may be less successful in treating sleep apnea because tissue farther down your throat may still block your air passage. Moving the jaw forward is another surgery. This one can be a success but requires several doctors working together and is a most costly one. The more permanent option is a tracheotomy. You may need this form of surgery if other treatments have failed and you have severe, life-threatening sleep apnea. In this procedure, your surgeon makes an opening in your neck and inserts a metal or plastic tube through which you breathe. You keep the opening covered during the day. But at night you uncover it to allow air to pass in and out of your lungs, bypassing the blocked air passage in your throat.

However you view Sleep Apnea it is rising in the world. Knowing that fact and seeking treatments is a healthy choice for longer life. Being tired can contribute to many more life's problems with work, home and fun. Let's get our quality rest we so much need.

informational source The Mayo Clinic


  1. My uncle has sleep apnea, severely. We used to joke when he fell asleep at family gatherings before we understood what was going on. It's a miserable thing to have. I don't have sleep apnea but I have a cat who like to wake me up at 4 am and meow for something. I have no idea what she wants since I don't speak cat.

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