The National Institutes of Health estimates that sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages and socioeconomic classes. Sleep disorders are common in both men and women. One of the most common sleep disorders is obstructive sleep apnea or some variant of sleep disordered breathing.
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by obstruction of the upper airway. During sleep, the muscles in the back of the throat relax causing the upper airway to become smaller. This is especially true during the deepest stages of sleep called Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep. A hypopnea is a decrease in airflow, while an apnea is a pause in airflow. Apneas and hypopneas can occur due to blockage or if respiratory effort is not initiated. During a sleep study the number of apneas and hypopneas per hour are documented. This is called your apnea/hypopnea index or AHI. In some individuals the upper airway can actually collapse, causing a blockage of air movement into the lungs. When airflow is stopped for at least 10 seconds it is referred to as apnea. These apneas can occur many times each hour and hundreds of times each night.
1. High blood pressure
Studies have shown that sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, also known as “hypertension.”
2. Heart disease
Untreated sleep apnea is a risk factor for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Sleep apnea increases your risk for an irregular heartbeat, coronary artery disease, heart attack and congestive heart failure.
Sleep apnea increases your risk for stroke, the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the CDC.
4. Brain damage
The damage caused by sleep apnea affects brain structures that help control functions such as memory, mood and blood pressure.
Research shows that depression is common in people with sleep disordered breathing.
Sleep apnea is associated with impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance.
Obesity is a key risk factor for sleep apnea. But there is increasing evidence that sleep apnea also may promote weight gain. Sleep apnea can fragment sleep, reducing daytime energy and physical activity. It can also disrupt metabolism. Sleep apnea may alter the levels of hormones that regulate your appetite, which may lead you to eat more.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
- Loud snoring, which is usually more prominent in obstructive sleep apnea
- Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep witnessed by another person
- Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath, which more likely indicates central sleep apnea
- Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Morning headache
- Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
- Attention problems
4 Ways to Fight Sleep Apnea
- The most common treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea is the use of CPAP(Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). CPAP therapy works by creating positive air pressure within the back of the throat, preventing airway collapse and apnea. This positive pressure pushes out on the walls of the throat, creating an “air splint” within the airway in much the same way that water pressure within a garden hose pushes out on the walls of the hose preventing it from collapsing.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Dietary weight loss can lower a person’s risk and reduce the severity of OSA.
- Get a full seven to eight hours of sleep each night Sleep seems to play a role in helping the body manage its weight. People who sleep for fewer hours each night tend to have a higher body mass index (BMI) than people who sleep longer. Studies also have linked sleep to some of the hormones that help control body weight and appetite.
- Avoid drinking alcohol at night Alcohol disrupts sleep and can make episodes of OSA more frequent and severe.
If you are currently using CPAP therapy for your sleep apnea and need supplies, NBN Medical Boutique carries a full line of CPAP machines and accessories. CPAP therapy services are available through NBN Infusions.
Before starting any new health related plan, speak to your doctor to discuss the best options for you!
NBN Medical Boutique Specials for the month of March!
CPAP Cleaning Supplies – (mask wipes, spray, and concentrated cleanser to clean the mask and tubing)
Pur-Sleep Aromatherapy – (to help desensitize CPAP, claustrophobia, and anxiety when using the CPAP)
Visit www.nbnmedical.com or call 856-669-6442