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Common Causes of Daytime Sleepiness and How to Deal with it

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Causes Of Daytime Sleepiness

One’s mental and physical health can contribute to a sense of sleepiness at daytime. However, it always boils down to a lack of proper nighttime sleep. There are several causes to loss in sleep quality including various conditions from restless leg syndrome to sleep apnea. Two of the main causes of daytime sleepiness, their symptoms, and ways to improve sleep quality are as follows.

Restless Leg Syndrome

This is often considered as a type of sleep disorder, as restless leg syndrome affect the quality of sleep. Several things, from excessive caffeine to alcoholism and tobacco smoking, can cause the problem.

Generally, the condition is characterized by an urge to move the legs when lying or sitting on bed on evening hours or nighttime. However, the extent of symptoms varies from one patient to the other. In some patients, moving the legs can make uncomfortable sensations to lessen or go away.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is characterized by loud snoring and breathing cessations, which tend to last from a few seconds to more time than that when a person is deep asleep and not aware of the problem. These intervals, where one wakes up gasping for breath, are known as apnea episodes.

A non-invasive remedy for sleep apnea is to use a stop snoring mouthpiece, which is worn during sleep to advance the lower jaw forward and thereby avoid soft tissues in the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airway. The mouthpiece has no side effects, and is a clinically approved remedy for loud snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea.

Note that there are several other causes to feeling sleepiness at daytime besides these two. For instance, people suffering from chronic skin disease or other conditions are prone to falling asleep much earlier than standard bedtime as well as take a nap at daytime. Therefore, doctors specialized in oral appliance therapy recommend changes in lifestyle to patients as well for better results.

Some of such recommendations may include cutting back on alcohol consumption, tobacco, and caffeine. Such substances, especially caffeine, act as stimulants and can cause one to stay active for more hours than needed, thereby leading to poor sleep quality. If you feel sleepiness at daytime, limit the tendency to take longer naps and stick to power naps. Remember, naps that last more than 1 hour disrupts the sleep cycle, but power naps can make you feel refreshed.

The Link between Snoring and Diabetes

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Snoring And Diabetes

People who have diabetes often have sleeping issues, and snoring is one of the most common problems in such people. Snoring actually happens when the air passage is partially blocked during sleep, and the loud noise of snoring is caused when the uvula and soft palate vibrates in the throat while the air moves in and out.

Snorers usually have an irregular sleeping schedule and may tend to wake up very frequently while sleeping. Due to the sleep deprivation, the insulin levels are affected very badly, which means that regular snorers are at a higher risk of being diabetic when compared to those who do not snore.

The Change in Hormone Levels

Our hormone levels are greatly affected by our sleeping habits. When we get tired, our body produces high levels of ghrelin, the hormone that causes hunger. Furthermore, leptin, the hormone that signals the brain that you are full, will become low with sleep deprivation issues.

All this means that snorers are likely to overeat and will have more risk of obesity, which in turn, leads to insulin resistance. Some studies even say that people who face sleeping troubles have higher blood glucose levels.

Researches also say that sleep apnea disorder is very closely linked to blood sugar issues, insulin resistance, and related conditions. Sleep apnea is a condition where you may stop breathing for a few seconds and probably end up waking to gasp in a lot of air to sleep again.

Some people may even recurrent apnea episodes throughout the night. This leads to a lack of oxygen in the body, and as a result, a stress hormone (Cortisol) is released in the body. The increase in Cortisol eventually leads to insulin resistance and affects the blood sugar levels in the body.

Treatment

Lifestyle changes can reduce your snoring levels to a great extent. For starters, do not consume any alcohol before going to sleep; you also need to make your bedroom allergen-free and quit smoking. Apart from that, you can try to sleep on your side, so that it can reduces the pressure on your neck and lets you breathe freely.

You can also use over-the-counter snoring solutions to lessen snoring issues, and get a peaceful night’s sleep. Still, it is better to consult with a doctor as soon as you notice any snoring symptoms or have trouble sleeping. Getting proper medical attention would help to get your blood glucose levels and insulin levels back to normal.

How OSA Relates to Arrhythmia

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Arrhythmia is one of the many serious health issues, which result from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). It ranks right up there along other heart conditions like non-sustained ventricular tachycardia, heart block, and atrial fibrillation. Heart arrhythmia or cardiac dysrhythmia is a scary condition because of the fact that along with stroke, it causes the most number of sudden deaths during sleep.

What is Arrhythmia?

This heart condition involves a problem with the rhythm or rate of the affected person’s heartbeat. In patients who already have OSA, this rhythm tends to deteriorate when nighttime respiration is obstructed by episodes of apnea.

An OSA episode can last for up to several minutes, during which the person stops breathing. People who experience more than one episode in a single night are prone to have problem with their blood oxygen level.

  • When the oxygen level in the blood drop, heart rhythm problems can ensue, as can a rise in pressure to the right side of the person’s heart.
  • If the oxygen saturation goes down drastically in the night (such a condition is called hypoxemia), it raises the risk of abnormal heart rhythm.
  • CPAP, besides helping to stop snoring at night, has been found effective in treating patients with abnormal heart rhythm.

Your Heart and Sleep State

Sleep states heavily influence your heart, as well as how oxygenated your body stays. This has to do with changing brain activity while you cycle between NREM and REM sleep. Sleep apnea patients exhibit problem during REM sleep, characterized by the big disturbances in nerve activity. This can affect any pause in the rhythm of the heart.

Healthy people do not usually have a problem here, but a person with heart disease or OSA is in danger of being beset by cardiac dysrhythmia during REM sleep.

Improving your Heart

People with OSA can take some general measures to bring down the severity of arrhythmia and OSA, although recovery will not begin at once. These can also set them in a healthy lifestyle, which is a good thing from any perspective.

  • Undergo CPAP therapy, or any alternative therapy, as a way to avoid OSA episodes.
  • Reduce weight. This is a no-brainer on any given day, unless you are already on the underweight side.
  • Cut down on sedatives and alcohol intake, because either can lead to pharyngeal collapse, and that can lead to airway blockage when you are asleep.

How is Sleep Related to Cholesterol

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Cholesterol Affects Sleep

As you may think, cholesterol is not often a bad thing. You need to be aware of the fact that there are two types of cholesterol: LDL (Low-density Lipoprotein) and HDL (High-density Lipoprotein). LDL is definitely bad cholesterol that consists of more fat and less protein, has a negative effect on health, and even increases the risk of heart disease. On the contrary, HDL is a good cholesterol that is capable of removing harmful, bad cholesterol from the body.

Cholesterol and Sleep

Too much or too little sleep can have a bad impact on the levels of lipid in our body. If you sleep for less than 5 hours or more than 8 hours per day, you may have low HDL levels and high triglycerides. Many studies say that snoring is also related to low levels of HDL cholesterol, which in turn, leads to sleep deprivation and fatigue.

In addition, if you do not get enough sleep, it may cause an increase in craving for high cholesterol food. This can lead to increase in stress levels and decrease the drive to engage in physical activities.

Lifestyle Modifications

LDL cholesterol can be high for people who smoke, do not exercise regularly, or have poor diet habits. All this means that a few lifestyle changes can help to control bad cholesterols to an extent. In fact, you can do many things that can prevent you from having high cholesterol apart from having healthy sleep habits. One of the simplest things is to control your diet.

You need to avoid foods like butter, cheese, meat, and other food having high saturated fat content. Furthermore, try adding some food items that can help you lower the bad cholesterol, such as nuts, olive oil, avocados, and oats.

Another important aspect to follow is exercising. You can try moderate walking for 40 minutes, at least three times a week, or do other exercises like jogging, swimming, or cycling. You can also do meditation or yoga regularly to keep your health well.

When to Consult a Doctor

Following good sleeping habits can drastically decrease bad cholesterol levels. However, if you are having serious health issues related to cholesterol like extreme fatigue, nausea, breathing problems, numbness, or chest pain, you need to consult a doctor immediately.

Note that although snoring can be prevented by using one of the many snoring solutions, sleeping trouble is something that needs proper medical attention. In severe cases, it may even cause serious heart diseases. So consulting with a doctor before anything serious happens will be a wise choice for you; remember, prevention is always better than cure.

Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea That are Rarely Recognized

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Sleep Apnea Signs

Snoring is defined as the vibration of respiratory structures and the resultant sound due to a restricted air movement during breathing while sleeping. In most cases, people snore while sleeping and it is absolutely normal. However, you have to take care if it becomes unpleasant and louder, as it can be the sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

According to a recent study, around one out of every 15 people in the United States suffers from sleep apnea. In case of the sleep disorder, the patient will wake up multiple times while sleeping due to a short of breath. This is because of an insufficient oxygen supply to the brain as well as the rest of the body.

Note that if left untreated, sleep apnea can be fatal. One of the common solutions to stop snoring and sleep apnea is by the use of anti snoring devices such as apnea chin strap, stop snoring pillows, CPAP machine, etc. However, it is recommended to consult a doctor before using any such remedies, because using the wrong anti snoring solution may even worsen the situation.

Doctors usually decide the treatment methods based on the symptoms, and hence, it may vary in individuals. Some of the lesser-known symptoms of sleep apnea are given below; if you have any of these symptoms, make sure to take adequate treatment as soon as possible.

A Morning Headache

Most people suffer from a morning headache because of various reasons, so they often overlook it. However, morning headache can also be a symptom of sleep apnea. It is reported that approximately 75% of people who are suffering from sleep apnea wake up with a headache. Similarly, people with morning headaches are two to eight times more likely to experience sleep issues.

Dry Mouth

Snoring mainly occurs when the soft tissues and muscles in the mouth relax and interrupt normal breathing. A dry mouth is common in all snorers, especially if they breathe with their mouth open. In case of sleep apnea, the patient is two times more likely to experience a dry mouth in comparison to normal snoring episodes.

Nocturia

Nocturia is the tendency to urinate frequently at night; this can be awful for most of the sleep apnea victims. When people wake up because of short of breath as a result of the apnea episode, the brain will send inapt information to the body. To tackle this, the heart usually excretes a protein that tends the body to eliminate sodium and water from its system, which is to urinate.

How Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Affect Respiration?

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition where you may stop breathing for a short time while you are sleeping. Usually, these pauses, which are referred to as apnea events or apnea episodes, may last from 10 to 30 seconds. People having this health condition may stop breathing hundreds of times every night, and this may lead to low oxygen levels and sleep disruption.

It is seen that OSA leads usually to restlessness, and if not treated properly, it may reduce cognitive function and cause daytime sleepiness. Apart from this, it also heightens the risks of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Though sleep apnea mouth guard can be used to prevent snoring and limit the OSA symptoms to an extent, severe cases of sleep apnea needs to be treated. Therefore, it would be wiser to consult a doctor if you have the condition.

Apart from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, there are three more kinds of sleep apnea, namely sleep-hypoventilation syndrome, complex or mixed sleep apnea, and central sleep apnea. Regardless of which type of sleep apnea you have, timely intervention is mandatory to deal with the health issue properly. The following are the factors that may lead to higher risk of the condition.

  • Obesity
  • Having thick and large neck
  • Hereditary disease
  • If you are male
  • If you are 40 years or more
  • Presence of large tonsils
  • Recessed chin

In case of children, they may have this syndrome if there are large tonsils and adenoids.

How Sleep Apnea Affects Breathing?

At first, you will be breathing normally and sleeping quietly, and the air can flow easily to the lungs through the breathing tube. A little later, you might start snoring loudly; this means that your air passage is blocked partly. If the block worsens, it can affect the volume of air that enters the lungs, and hence, lead to a significant drop in the oxygen levels. This condition is referred to as hypopnea.

As time passes, your airway gets blocked completely, and when the brain gives the signal to breathe as normal, you couldn’t breathe in the air because of the blocked air passage. After a ten to thirty second pause, the brain realizes that you were not breathing, thus, it will force you to wake up. When you can wake up, you take a deep breath of air, and thereby, start breathing normally. However, the cycle may repeat, and this leads to frequent sleep interruption.

3 Reasons Why Snoring Should Be Treated Early

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People snore when the muscles of the throat relax during sleep, causing the airway constricted and forcing the air breathed to vibrate the soft palate in the throat. The first stage of snoring, which is classified as “simple”, does not necessarily lead to sleep apnea. However, mild snoring issue still poses the risk factors for the sleep disorder to happen.

Snoring can be classified as benign, but it is not gentle and kind. The health condition is not literally benign, and below are 3 reasons as to why it should be treated early with the right anti snoring remedies. Stop snoring mouthpiece is one such remedy used to treat mild-to-moderate apnea.

Snoring May Lead to Sleep Apnea

It is seen that if one snores during sleep, he or she has 35 percent likelihood of falling victim to Obstructive Sleep Apnea in the future. This is also a form of sleep-disordered breathing, the one that may last for a few seconds to up to an hour, making snorers wake up gasping for breath. If you have apnea, you have the same risk factors applicable to an obese person. In other words, if you do not treat it in time, you might have to undergo stroke, heart attack, or heart diseases during adulthood.

Snoring Affects Relationships

Snoring often gets portrayed in print or digital media with sarcasm or pun, but when it comes to real-life, people need to treat snoring with caution. This is not just to alleviate the uneasiness in breathing and the health risks associated with it, but also to make relationships last. After all, no one would want snoring to cause an annoyance to his or her bedmate. If a person who breathes through the mouth snores, he or she may even have bad breath. So, your daily interactions may even get hampered due to snoring, not to mention feeling sleep deprived and tired at daytime.

Snoring May Even Cause Hearing Loss

It is one thing to turn tone-deaf, and entirely different to lose the ability to hear even the tiniest of musical notes. Loud snoring ranges up to 60 to 80 decibels threshold, and it can lead to apnea, alongside the swelling of the throat tissues, cardiovascular concerns, etc. An American Thoracic Society International Conference’s study says that all these sleep disorder breathing symptoms may cause hearing impairment in the patient.

What is Gastroesophageal Reflux and How is it Related to Snoring?

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Gastroesophageal reflux, otherwise known as acid reflux or GERD, is associated with a burning sensation in the throat and esophagus, and it can cause difficulty in the digestion of food. Though a person may not have eaten for many hours before sleep, acid reflux can affect sleep in a number of ways. The most common symptom you may experience due to GERD is snoring, aside from the coughing, chest pain, and sinusitis issues.

Acid Reflux and Snoring

The cause of Gastroesophageal reflux is due to the backup of acid within the stomach. This is often associated with a bitter or sour taste that usually occurs within 30-60 minutes after eating. It is usually caused because of sleeping in the prone position, which makes undigested food particles and acid backup through the airway. As a result, the backup of acid weakens breathing and causes snoring.

Effects

Esophageal Damage: Severe or persistent acid reflux may damage the esophagus. Chronical bleeding due to esophageal ulcers might lead to anemia and lead to persistent tiredness and fatigue.

Sleep Disruption: Constant tiredness in the daytime occurs due to inadequate sleep at night. For the people who have acid reflux, poor sleep may be caused by repeatedly waking up at night due to a reflex-induced cough or heartburn pain.

If you have these symptoms, make sure to visit a doctor as soon as possible to cut down the possibilities of GERD becoming severe. The doctor may recommend a snoring solution to deal with the sleep disorder and let you have a peaceful night’s sleep. Besides, the health care specialist many also recommend a few lifestyle changes to counter the acid reflux problem.

Foods to Avoid

Acidic Fruits and Vegetables: Acidic foods with a pH of 6.9 or less do not usually cause acid reflux. Most of the acidic foods have a high pH than that of gastric juices, but the acids in food that have low pH can cause burning sensation in the esophagus.

Spicy Foods: Spicy foods might worsen hoarseness and acid reflux in some people. Therefore, it would be better to go with mild foods and seasonings. Try to avoid spicy foods like hot peppers, miso paste, salsa, peppermint, spearmint, chili etc.

Fatty Foods: Fatty foods may slow the digestion and result in an increase of pressure in the lower part of esophagus and stomach. It will be better to avoid fatty foods including dairy products that are high in saturated fat, and linked to increased inflammation and cholesterol.

Loud Snorers May Suffer from Muscle and Nerve Damage in the Soft Palate

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Snoring And Nerve Damage

As you would probably know, snoring is a dangerous sleep disorder, and if left untreated, it can lead to serious health issues. If you are finding it really hard to sleep due to snoring related issues, it is best to get in touch with a health care provider and get medical assistance as soon as possible.

During your initial visit, the health care provider will ask you to make a few lifestyle changes and suggest a few snoring remedies, which might help you to stop snoring. If the snoring solutions suggested by the health care provider did not work out, then he/she will advise you to use an anti snoring mouthpiece. These medically proven snoring aids have helped several snorers to reduce or even stop snoring.

It is significant to note that some snorers have a misconception that their snoring will go away with the passage of time. As a result, they prefer not to undergo any treatment. This is a bad move because snoring can lead to sleep apnea and many other serious health issues.

In fact, a recent study conducted by experts in the field of medical science revealed that loud snorers and the ones who snore on regular intervals might have extensive tissue damage in the muscles and nerves of the soft palate. In addition to that, experts added that the extensive damage in muscle and nerve tissues will result in other serious sleep disorders and some snorers may even experience disturbances in their swallowing function.

One of the researchers who conducted the study said, “The nerve and muscles injuries seem to contribute to the collapse of the upper airway during sleep. Most likely, the damage results from the recurrent snoring vibrations the tissues are exposed to.”

The nerves in the soft palate of sleep apnea patients and snorers contain less number of nerve fibers and supporting cells, which plays a crucial role in the regeneration of nerve fibers. The researcher added, “Continued research is needed to see if treatment that prevents damage to nerves and muscles could cure or at least prevent further deterioration in snores and sleep apnea patients. It would be a big win because sleep apnea is a major public illness.”

Health care providers recently claimed that millions of people from all around the world suffer from sleep apnea and the numbers are expected to grow in the near future. So, if you wish to stay away from such dangerous health disorders, it is best to use snoring aids to stop snoring.

Study Shows Snoring Loudly Can Make your Skull Thinner

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A new study shows that snoring loudly can make your skull weak. It has been found that people contending with this sleep disorder have significantly less bone surrounding their brain.

One of the problems this can cause is spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leak (sCSF-L). When the results from the study were matched by weight, age, and blood samples, it was found that people with OSA or obstructive sleep apnea had had a characteristic thinness to their skulls. Experts have said that even an erosion of as little as 1mm would be enough to trigger the potentially fatal condition of sCSF-L.

Sleep apnea is where the airways of the affected person become obstructed while they are asleep, causing them to stop breathing for as long as a few minutes, and then settle back into loud snoring. It is found to be one of the most common sleep-related breathing disorders in adults, and has links to stroke, heart attack, and premature death caused by any number of reasons. Around 22 million people in the country suffer from sleep apnea, and more than three quarters of the cases go undiagnosed.

sCSF-L happens when the dura and bone of the base of the skull are defective. This issue has no roots in trauma, tumors, or surgery. Experts who conducted the study said more research is needed to see how sleep apnea can be a cause of the skull thinning, and how the risks of sCSF-L are raised by this. They also opined that patients who exhibit skull thinning in CT scans might be more prone to contracting sleep apnea, making it important that these people go in for screening.

People who are obese are markedly more vulnerable, which is another good reason for them to try and shed a few pounds if they have the chance. The rates of sCSF-L incidence in the US have gone up by more than double in the past decade alone, and this is highly consistent with the increase in obesity cases. People with sCSF-L get a colorless, odorless discharge from the nose, which results from a hole in the tissue around the spinal cord and brain.

While the use of snoring remedies can be very helpful in alleviating a basic snoring issue, severe sleep apnea condition requires care from a sleep specialist and customized treatment to be completely cured of. Get in touch with a sleep doctor to find out your snore stop options.