Snoring Solutions

A Helpful Guide to Snoring and Apnea Chin Strap

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Snoring Related Issues

Snoring has become one of the main reasons for concern these days, as it affects a majority of the population. Snoring occurs because of the vibration of tissues within the throat and nose that blocks the airways, which are caused as a result of the turbulent airflow through the restricted airways. This will also create an unappealing noise making it hard for the snorer as well as their partners to sleep peacefully.

Most people overlook snoring mainly out of embarrassment. However, snoring may lead to many serious health issues like sleep apnea, mental health issues, insomnia, etc., in some cases. Sometimes, it can also be an indicator of other health issues such as heart problems, liver problems, migraine, and many more. Thankfully, there are many snoring aids available, which help people to alleviate their snoring issues. For instance, consider a sleep apnea chin strap. This is one of the easiest and comfortable snoring aids, which snorers may consider for a quick relief. Nevertheless, it is recommended to consult a doctor before using any kind of snoring aids.

How Apnea Chin Strap Works

An apnea chin strap is made using a fabric and is designed in such a way it can be wrapped comfortably around the head of a snorer by means of stretchable straps. The chin strap will also have holes on each side so that the ears of snorer are held perfectly in place. Note that there are chinstraps without holes as well, but the ones with holes for the ear are better, because it will also alleviate the chances of apnea chin strap falling off when the person is asleep.

Snoring chin strap is used to keep the mouth of the snorer shut while sleeping in order to prevent the jaw muscles from falling backward. According to a recent study, around 60% of the total population in the United States is suffering from snoring problems, and out of that, almost 80% breathes through their mouth. Hence, this will be a viable option to stop snoring.

Advantages of Choosing an Apnea Chin Strap

  • No particular care is required when it comes to the storage of chin straps. You can keep it in the drawer with your clothes, on your nightstand, or any other convenient place.
  • The set up of an apnea chin strap is really simple. You just have to put the strap around the head and secure its bottom part around the jaw.
  • Chin strap does not require any type of particular cleaning products, unlike other snoring aids. There is no need to worry about your chin strap getting damaged either.

About Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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Snoring Related Issues

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD) is a medical condition that affects the mental health of a person after the occurrence of an unfortunate incident. For instance, consider rape, assault, witnessing gory accidents, murder, serious injury, threats of death, etc. People suffering from PTSD must be treated as soon as possible as they tend to show suicidal tendency as well in extreme cases.

A health care expert usually analyzes the symptoms exhibited by the person in order to confirm the disorder. Some of the red flags that you can see in victims of PTSD include:

  • Recurring flashbacks of a traumatic incident
  • Frequent wake ups from sleep
  • Numbing a hurtful memory
  • Irritability and moodiness
  • Lack of concentration

It is quite common for such symptoms to occur in people who faced any traumatic incident and it will diminish with time. In case it prevails for more than a month, the person is more likely to suffer from PTSD. According to a recent study, prisoners who are subjected to harsh treatments will be victims of PTSD in most cases.

How PTSD Can Lead to OSA

PSTD patients are prone to sleep disorders that include nightmares, excessive sleepiness or lack of sleep, recurrent dreams, etc. It is even reported that Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common disorder in patients who are suffering from the advanced stage of PSTD.

As per a recent study, OSA is detected in more than 70% of people who are diagnosed with PSTD. Hence, it is appropriate to take PSTD patients to a health care provider and assess for OSA before taking additional medications for their sleep-related issues. In case a person fails to get effective treatment for OSA, it will negatively affect the treatment and recovery process for PSTD as well.

OSA or is sleeping disorder in which the throat muscles of an affected person relax intermittently and block the airway. As a result, the patient will experience a lack of breath during sleep and wake up with a gasp. Using anti snoring devices help to tackle the sleep disorder to a great extent, as such devices move the jaw forward during sleep to keep the airway open and allow uninterrupted breathing.

Commonly, a CPAP machine is used to alleviate the symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. However, people with PSTD do not respond to a CPAP therapy that well. This will make it even challenging to treat people who are victims of both OSA and PTSD. Consulting with a health care provider is the best line of defence against the health issues.

How OSA Relates to Arrhythmia

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Snoring Related Issues

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.

How Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Affect Respiration?

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Snoring Related Issues

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.

Why Do Apnea Patients Wear a Chinstrap in Combination with CPAP Mask

Apnea Chin Strap

Apnea Patients

Chinstraps are fastened around the lower jaw and the head’s top. If you are under continuous positive airway pressure therapy, the slightly pressurized air being supplied via the nose through a face mask will leak out if the mouth falls open during sleep. This is why apnea patients at times use anti snoring chinstraps to mitigate the side effects of CPAP.

When sleeping, the lower jaw stays in a relaxed position and that can make you to breathe through the mouth. Mouth breathing often causes a sore throat or a dry mouth in apnea patients, especially when they wake up. However, patients can mitigate the side effects of CPAP by wearing an apnea chin strap. Wearing the anti snoring chin strap makes it tough for the mandible to relax while sleeping, which helps to keep the nasal mask securely in place and the mouth closed.

If you use a full face CPAP mask while sleeping, and find that air is leaking due to an open mouth, it is best to use a nasal mask instead and seal it with a chinstrap. Obviously, mouth breathing tend to cause snoring, so wearing a chinstrap in combination with a nasal mask is advisable to mitigate the symptoms of sleep apnea.

You might require a chinstrap if you snore even during the CPAP therapy, as that indicates you are breathing through the mouth despite wearing a nasal mask. So, even if you use that type of CPAP mask, using a chin strap for snoring in combination with that will give comfort to your sleep.

Even if you are not snoring, it will not be very comfortable to wake up with a sore throat or dry mouth. Such side effects are consequences of sleeping with an open mouth, which can be mitigated by using an apnea chin strap. Most of such chinstraps are made in a way they are compatible with a specific type of CPAP mask, so there is no doubt that you get a tight seal, especially if you wear it with nasal mask type. Further, most chinstraps are also made of soft fabric, which will not brush against the face rather uncomfortably, and stretchable material that contours to the shape of the face and ensures you of a tight fit.

Why Do Apnea Patients with CPAP Intolerance Choose Oral Appliances?

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CPAP Therapy And Sleep Apnea

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is commonly used as a treatment option for people diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The therapy involves using a CPAP machine, which pumps slightly pressurized air into the nasal airways via an elongated hose hooked to a face mask worn, while the person is asleep. This contraption is used to hold open the OSA patient’s upper airway, and prevent breathing difficulties which may last from a few seconds to a full hour.

While CPAP is a tried-and-tested method for treating sleep apnea, many people face hardships in sticking with the therapy. Most medical professionals term the difficulty to comply with it as CPAP intolerance. Often, the noise coming from the bulky CPAP machine, causing disturbance to apnea patients and bedmates, is found to be the main reason for intolerance, which leads to the failure of CPAP therapy. However, there are several other reasons for CPAP intolerance, including:

  • Air leaks in the face mask, which cause a dry mouth in the morning;
  • The person being allergic to the material of the oxygen mask used in CPAP, which often tends to be made up of latex;
  • Uncomfortable headgear and straps; and
  • Limited mobility during sleep, due to the contraption or the CPAP machine, and other connections.

If you feel that you cannot comply with the CPAP, it is advisable to look for alternative treatments for mild to moderate apnea, such as oral appliance therapy. In fact, oral appliance therapy may also serve as a remedy for loud snoring, even if you find it tough to get used to positional therapy. For instance, if you find it tough to change from a supine or prone position to a side-sleeping one on the bed – it’s best to wear an oral appliance used to treat mild to moderate OSA.

Side sleeping is suggested in positional therapy for treating apnea; most people do find comfort in opening the upper airway using a snoring remedy, but not all feel the same way. In fact, an oral appliance such as a sleep apnea mouth guard is considered as a noninvasive treatment for OSA. Such snoring mouthpieces do not cause any side effects, and work as per the same principle – of clearing the obstructions in the upper throat. Once worn, it advances the lower jaw and ensures free flow of air.

7 Easy Remedies to Stop Snoring

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Easy Snoring Remedies

Snoring is caused due to the obstruction in the air movement while breathing during sleep. Snoring is a serious issue, not only because it disturbs others’ sleep, but also because the people who snore may suffer from other serious health conditions such as sleep apnea and heart diseases. Apart from using snore guard and other snoring aids to deal with the problem, given below are some home remedies that may help you to stop snoring.

Lose Weight

Weight loss can help obese people to stop snoring to some extent. Besides, if you have gained weight in the recent past, and that is when you started snoring, then weight loss may be effective. When you gain weight around the neck, it will squeeze the inner diameter of the throat, which may trigger snoring.

Change your Sleep Position

Avoid sleeping on your back; sleeping on your side is known to be effective in preventing snoring. Using a full-length pillow will be an easy option, as it enables you to maintain sleeping on your side. Yet another alternative is to recline your bed with the head up.

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Having poor sleeping habits can also trigger snoring. If you work for too long hours without having enough sleep, you become overtired, which makes you sleep deep and hard. This is when the muscles in the throat and back of the mouth become floppier and lead to snoring issues.

Avoid Alcohol

Usage of alcohol and other sedatives may reduce the resting tone of the muscles present on the back of your throat and you are more likely to snore. It is said that people who do not snore normally, start snoring after consuming alcohol.

Change your Pillows

Allergic reactions may occur due to the presence of dust mites accumulated in your pillows and this leads to snoring. If you allow your pets to sleep on your bed, it causes you to breathe in animal dander, which is another common irritant that leads to breathing issues.

Stay Hydrated

If you are dehydrated, the secretions in your nose become stickier and this creates more snoring. Women should have around 11 cups of water per day, while men need to drink about 16 cups. Apparently, drinking plenty of fluids is very necessary not only to fight snoring but also to stay healthy.

Keep the Nasal Passages Open

When you have a cold, your nose will be clogged and narrowed. The narrower the path is, the faster the air you breathe moves in, and most likely cause snoring. Taking a hot shower before going to bed or rinsing your nose with salt water would help you to keep the nasal passage clear. Using nasal strips is another alternative.

Complications Related to Sleep Apnea

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Sleep Apnea Related Complications

Sleep apnea is a serious health disorder where breathing repeatedly stops for a while when the person is asleep. The main symptoms of this disorder are loud snoring, abrupt awakening, morning headache, insomnia, hypersomnia, irritability, and sore throat. There are three main types of sleep apnea: Central Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and Complex Sleep Apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax; Central Sleep Apnea occurs when the brain does not send information to the muscles, which control breathing; while Complex Sleep Apnea happens when someone has both the apnea mentioned above. Given below are the complications you may experience if you have sleep apnea.

Fatigue

People having sleep apnea may experience daytime fatigue, irritability, and drowsiness because of repeatedly awakening from sleep. One may find difficult to concentrate or may fall asleep while working, watching TV, or even while driving.

Surgery Complications

After major surgery, people with sleep apnea may be more prone to breathing problems when they are sedated and lying on their backs. So it is advised to notify the doctor about the problem before surgery.

Metabolic Syndrome

Sleep apnea patients may experience some metabolic syndromes like high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol, high blood pressure, and an increased waist circumference.

Liver Problems

For those who have sleep apnea, it is likely that they may have abnormal results on liver function tests, and their livers might show signs of scarring as well. This condition is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop in people who have sleep apnea when compared to those who do not have the sleep disorder.

Heart Problems

Due to a sudden drop in blood oxygen level during sleep apnea, blood pressure increases and causes strain in the cardiovascular system. This means that the risk of stroke is high for those having Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Behavioral Disorder

Sleep apnea may result in a decrease in concentration, vigilance, attention, visuospatial and verbal memory, and even lead to dementia in older people. Children diagnosed with sleep issues may also experience learning disabilities.

Stroke

Stroke in patients having sleep apnea is said to occur mostly between 06:00 am and 08:00 am, as it is the time when a person wakes up normally. A deprived sleep may be the reason for that.

Obesity

Obesity leads to narrowing and sporadic obstruction of the airways, which in turn, worsens snoring and sleep apnea. Excessive weight gain also leads to overstretching of the diaphragm or less contractility of chest wall muscles, which all further complicate the health issue.

How the Biology of Women Contribute to Sleep Disorders

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Sleep Disorders In Women

A good night’s sleep is necessary for both men and women in order to feel comfortable and energetic throughout the following day. According to studies in the field, the quality of sleep is more likely to be poor in women when compared to men. This is because of their hormonal structure, genes, and some other biological factors. Hence, it is quite common if a woman complained about her sleep quality or morning tiredness more often when compared to men.

Two of the main reasons for this difference in the sleep quality for women are the unique physical changes during their menstrual cycle and pregnancy. During the menstrual period, women experience various hormonal changes in their body throughout the month. These changes can contribute to the poor sleep cycle in women, which may eventually lead to health issues such as snoring and sleep apnea.

Sleep Disorders and Menstrual Cycle

The changes that happen in the body of a woman during the menstrual cycle can have a huge impact on her sleep quality as well as the quantity. According to the reports of the National Sleep Foundation, half of the women who encounter sleep disorders are going through their menstruation period. Usually, the sleep of women is disrupted mainly during the first three days of the menstrual cycle. As a result, most women snore more during these initial days of their periods.

Impact of Hormones on the Sleep Cycle

Around the menstrual cycle, the hormone levels in the body of women may rise or fall, which in turn, can affect their sleep cycle. The hormone called estrogen is associated with the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage or deep sleep phase, so a fluctuation in the estrogen levels can disrupt proper sleep. On the other hand, the hormone called progesterone that is linked to ovulation may cause excessive sleepiness and fatigue. There are also many other hormones that cause mood swings in women during their menstrual periods that eventually affect the sleep quality.

Hormones and Sleep Disordered Breathing in Women

The fluctuating hormone level in the body of the women is linked with SDB (Sleep Disordered Breathing) that cause snoring and sleep apnea. The tone and strength of the muscle tissue are also related to the hormone levels. During hormonal fluctuations, the muscle tone will become weak and the upper airway will become collapsible, which may gradually lead to snoring and sleep apnea issues. Furthermore, variation in hormonal levels can also contribute to the weight gain, which is another potential cause for snoring.