September 2018

What to Do if you Feel Sleepy during the Daytime

Mouthpiece For Sleep Apnea

Snoring Related Issues

Snoring can sometimes be a symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a serious sleep disorder that takes a toll on the physical as well as mental well being of the affected person. People who snore loudly at night feel sleepy during the day, but a sleep study is necessary to confirm whether a snorer suffers from OSA.

Sleep study for OSA involves monitoring one’s breathing patterns, blood levels and oxygen levels. This is generally done with the use of a specialized equipment on a subject in the assumption that he or she who feels sleepy during the daytime has OSA. If the study reveals the person subjected to it has the sleep disorder, then various snoring remedies are tried to improve his or her sleep quality.

A remedy or a combination of remedies for Obstructive Sleep Apnea is recommended to a person only based on the study’s results or severity of the sleep disorder. The main treatment option for mild to moderate apnea is an oral appliance. The type of oral device could also be helpful in dealing with the underlying reason behind snoring and sleep apnea.

For instance, if you were snoring due to a receding lower jaw or partial breathing obstructions in the upper throat, then a mouthpiece for sleep apnea will work to free the airway and allow proper breathing during the nighttime. Such a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD), as it is technically known, is a clinically proven and non-invasive remedy for snoring, which sleep specialists recommend for mild to moderate apnea too.

To bring about better results in the oral appliance therapy, doctors may also suggest conservative treatment options like sleeping on the sides, reducing weight, avoiding alcohol before a few hours of bedtime, and any other lifestyle changes. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy can be helpful too but it is usually used to treat more severe cases of OSA. In other words, that is recommended for people who snore loudly as an apnea symptom.

Sometimes, a combination of MAD and CPAP is also used to treat the sleep disorder. However, not all people who snore suffer from OSA. Besides, there could be other reasons for feeling drowsy at an inappropriate time of the day as well. In fact, it all starts with proper diagnosis, so if you feel sleepy and drowsy during the daytime very often, consult with a sleep specialist as soon as possible to figure out what is causing it, and how to deal with it.

Four Hidden Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Snoring Aids

Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Snoring is one of the most common sleeping disorders and this condition affects millions of people. However, several people have a misconception that their snoring issues will get resolved on its own. It is true that snoring can be mild, but in some cases, this sleeping disorder is associated with many other serious health conditions.

It is significant to note that most people who are suffering from snoring consider this sleeping disorder to be an embarrassing and annoying condition. This is because snoring does not just affect the patient but it also the ones sleeping next to the affected person. As a result, they are a little bit hesitant to approach a health care provider. This is not a good move though, as snoring may result in serious health complications if left untreated for long.

If your snoring is due to smoking, alcohol consumption, or obesity, then you will be able to reduce or stop snoring by making a few simple lifestyle changes. Yet if that does not work, then you will need to invest in effective anti snoring solutions to stop snoring that can help to resolve the snoring issue within a few months or even weeks.

On the other hand, if the condition of sleep apnea is the major culprit behind your snoring issues, then it is a sign of serious health problems. This considerably increases your chances of falling prey to diabetes, lung diseases, and heart problems. Individuals who are suffering from OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea will experience restricted or obstructed breathing when they are asleep. This sleeping disorder will repeatedly deprive you of breath for 10 seconds or more during a single sleeping cycle. Even that is not it – there are many other major complications of Obstructive Sleep Apnea too.

High Blood Pressure

If you are a person who is dealing with high blood pressure issues then sleep apnea will make it worse. Your body will get stressed when you wake up repeatedly during the night due to shortage of breath. This will elevate the blood pressure levels in your body. In addition to that, the amount of oxygen in your body will also get reduced when you are unable to breathe properly during the night. This will further trigger a number of dangerous health issues.

Heart Diseases

Snoring Solutions

Snoring Related Issues

A recent study conducted by experts in the field of medical science revealed that individuals who are suffering from OSA are at a greater risk of heart diseases. This might be due to the lower oxygen levels in the body of the patient or because of the stress that the patient experiences as a result of sleep deprivation. Another thing to note here is that the condition of sleep apnea also disrupts the way in which your body absorbs oxygen. This will in turn make it a lot harder for the brain to control the blood flows in the arteries.

Type 2 Diabetes

People with Type 2 diabetes are also at a greater risk of developing sleep apnea. In fact, several surveys have established that the condition of sleep apnea is common in approximately 80 percent of people who are suffering from Type 2 diabetes. It is significant to note that obesity raises the risk of both Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. However, the good news is that shedding a few pounds and making a few lifestyle changes will help you to stay away from both these diseases to a certain extent.

Weight Gain

Several people are not aware that gaining a few extra pounds may significantly increase their chances of developing sleep apnea. In addition to that, people who have gained weight might also find it a bit hard to lower the risk of sleep apnea. If you are overweight or obese, you will have large amounts of fatty acid deposits in your neck, which in turn blocks your breathing at night. Apart from that, the amount of ghrelin hormone present in people with sleep apnea will always be higher. This in turn makes them crave for sweets and carbs. In most cases, we will not be able to transform the food we eat into energy, which in turn leads to weight gain.

In addition to these health conditions, individuals who are suffering from sleep apnea may also develop acid reflux and asthma if the sleep disorder is left untreated for long. Apart from that, you will always feel tired and sleepy in the morning, as you will be unable to enjoy a good night’s sleep. So it is better to consult with a sleep specialist as soon as you notice any symptoms related to OSA and treat the sleep health problem in due time.

How Snoring Affects Sleep Partners and How to Control it

Stop Snoring

Snoring Related Issues

Snoring occurs due to obstructions in the upper throat, especially when the lower jaw collapses or the tongue falls back blocking the airway. This leads to a vibration of tissues that occurs when the breathed air rushes past the throat portion.

Snoring is mild in its earlier stages, but when it becomes loud, it affects even bedmate of a snorer. Usually, people who snore do not know they have it. Even those who snore loudly perhaps do not realize the extent of it. That is when the role of a sleep partner becomes all the more important. Loud snoring can cause sleep disturbance to a bedmate and could even lead to hearing loss. So when it becomes loud, you actually have to find ways to reduce the noise level in your bedroom.

Depending on your requirement, you could try any of these things or a combination of any of them to achieve that, and sleep comfortably. Remember, sleeping apart is the last option.

Create White Noise

Several compact devices called white noise machines creates a low background noise, which can help to soften other sounds in a room. There are white noise fans too, which helps in masking the snoring sound. This way you can turn your attention away from your snoring partner.

Use Earplugs

These affordable and simple-to-use devices go a long way in improving your sleep quality, since they can effectively block out the surrounding noise. Make sure to look for a pair of earplugs that are comfortable to wear and fit well, so that they will not fall off even if you move on your bed.

Try Relaxation Exercises

Focus on breathing deep and other techniques for relaxation and meditation. These things are worth a try, as they can help you to calm down, relax, and get a relatively better sleep. Try them just before going to sleep so that you can reap maximum benefits out of it.

Use a Stop Snoring Device

The best way to sleep comfortably is to make your partner stop snoring. You can use anti snoring remedies or devices for that, such as a mandibular advancement device that advances the lower jaw and clears the obstruction in the airway for a free flow of air. Yet again, it is important to diagnose the actual cause behind the snoring issue before you recommend your partner any of the anti snoring solutions.

How are OSA and Snoring Different?

Snore Guard

OSA Vs Snoring

Occasional snoring is a normal thing; you could pass out from exhaustion or go to bed with a cold and start breathing heavily, and within the hour, start snoring audibly. This is not cause for alarm, but if it gets out of hand the way it does with most Americans, you would be dealing with a nightly habit that was not just annoying, but also dangerous in the long run. Snoring can lead to many different disorders as well as mask their presence – the symptoms of the latter can often get mistaken for snore-induced fatigue.

OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea is one of those problems that can manage to stay hidden for a very long time. Around 20 million people in the country suffer from this, and it has been shown to have links to other health issues like heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

How are OSA and Snoring Different?

It is not uncommon for snoring and sleep apnea to be confused for one another. The main thing to remember is that not all snorers have sleep apnea, even though untreated OSA sufferers snore as a rule. Snoring is a noise caused by the type of labored breathing that causes the soft tissue at the back of the throat to vibrate. This owes to blockage in the nose, mouth, or throat, any of which can disrupt normal breathing, which can be overcome through the use of a snore guard. The following are some of the causes these blocks can be attributed to.

  • Allergies
  • Colds
  • A deviated septum
  • Alcohol
  • Airway obstructions
  • Poor muscle tone

Snoring serves as a symptom of sleep apnea, but is otherwise a distinctly different issue. Sleep apnea acts up the form of the person pausing while breaching, sometimes for as long as 10 seconds at a stretch. This disturbs good sleep and can even preclude it, consequently inviting a long list of health issues like difficulty concentrating, daytime drowsiness, anxiety, and depression.

Diagnosing OSA

It is possible by yourself to figure out whether you have OSA, but the more definitive approach is to go see a doctor. Most regular doctors would either check you themselves or recommend seeing a sleep specialist. The following would be checked.

  • Symptoms
  • Current physical health
  • Medical history
  • Sleep study results

A sleep study is an account of how your body responds when something happens while you are asleep. These record your vitals to figure out how severe the condition is, and the specialist proceeds based on the results it gives.

The Symptoms Risk Factors and Diagnosis of CSA

Chin Strap For Snoring

Sleep Apnea And CSA

Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleeping disorders that affect millions of people from all over the world. People who are suffering from this condition will not be able to enjoy a good night’s sleep because their breathing will get automatically stopped when they are asleep. A series of repeated pauses, known as apneic events, is responsible for the sudden stoppage of breathing in the case of sleep apnea patients.

Sleep apnea can be divided into three categories: complex or mixed sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea and it usually occurs when the muscles in your throat relax due to snoring or other related issues.

Central sleep apnea is other commonly seen disorder that occurs when your brain does not send the right signals to the muscles, which control breathing. On the other hand, mixed or complex sleep apnea is a combination of both central and obstructive sleep apnea but they are not that common.

The condition of sleep apnea can bring serious health disorders and diseases to the patient if left untreated. For instance, people who are suffering from sleep apnea are at a greater risk of heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, stroke, and more. In addition to that, some people with sleep apnea also fall asleep during the daytime, as they are unable to sleep at night. This in turn increases the chance of accidents while driving.

Central Sleep Apnea

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Central Sleep Apnea

The condition of central sleep apnea is very much different from obstructive sleep apnea. In the case of CSA, the breathing of patients is disrupted when they are asleep due to the way in which their brain functions. This is because the brain will not send signals to your muscles that are responsible for breathing.

This type of central sleep apnea is typically several serious illnesses. The lower brainstem of patients who are suffering from central sleep apnea will not function smoothly. The pause in breathing due to central sleep apnea may last for about 20 seconds in just infants.

The Risk of CSA

The condition of central sleep apnea is reported to be a lot more common in older adults, particularly the ones who are above the age of 65. These people suffer from CSA because of their other medical conditions and due to their sleeping patterns. Another important point to remember is that men are at a greater risk of central and obstructive sleep apnea than women.

It is true that being overweight is considered as a risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea by both sleep analysts and health care providers. However, several experts in the field of medical science claim that being obese is not a risk factor when it comes to central sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea is generally associated with a number of health conditions and disorders. However, one particular form of CSA is not associated with any diseases and its cause is still unknown to healthcare providers. Some of the most common conditions that are associated with central sleep apnea are the following.

  • Neurological diseases like Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Kidney failure
  • Hypothyroid diseases
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Brainstem damage due to stroke, injury, or encephalitis

Symptoms of CSA

Diagnosing CSA

Blood Oxygen Levels

Even though snoring is one of the mainly reported symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, it is usually not present in individuals who are suffering from central sleep apnea. However, sudden and short stoppages of breathing when you are asleep are common in patients with both OSA and CSA. Some of the lesser-known symptoms of central sleep apnea are as follows.

  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty to concentrate and poor memory
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Waking up at regular intervals at night
  • Feeling tired during the daytime

Diagnosing CSA

If you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms or if you are unable to sleep properly at night due to snoring or other sleeping disorders, it is best to get in touch with a health care provider as soon as possible. The health care provider will initially assess your medical history and run a few tests to see if you are suffering from any form of sleep apnea or not.

In some cases, health care providers may also ask you to undergo an overnight sleep study, which is known as polysomnogram. This test is usually performed under the supervision of expert technologists or sleep analysts. During the test, the healthcare provider will monitor the following body functions of your body.

  • Blood oxygen levels
  • Airflow
  • Breathing patterns
  • Heart rate
  • Muscle activities
  • Eye movements
  • Brain’s electrical activities

Once the test is completed, healthcare providers will count the number of times your breathing is impaired to identify the severity of your sleep apnea.

The Relationship between Snoring and Dementia

Chin Strap For Snoring

Snoring And Dementia

Snoring can be defined as “the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping”. It has become one of the common issues among the people of the United States. In fact, a recent study revealed that one out of every four person in the US snores on a regular basis, and most of those snorers are prone to sleep disorders like sleep apnea. The potential risks of other health issues due to snoring cannot be disregarded either.

Snoring and Dementia

Dementia is a medical term that is used to indicate memory loss and other mental impairments, which will affect the ability of a person to lead a normal life. Studies say that around 75% of dementia patients suffer from Alzheimer’s disease; yet another common type of dementia is Vascular Dementia and it occurs if a person encounters a sudden stroke.

An important thing that you must note here is that there are certain health disorders like vitamin deficiency, thyroid, etc., exhibit almost the same symptoms as that of dementia. Hence, it is recommended to consult a doctor immediately if you encountered any memory related issues, and do not simply assume that snoring is the reason behind the problem.

The Relationship between Snoring and Dementia

Dementia or memory loss is one amongst the long-term after effects of snoring. In fact, many recent studies claim that snoring or sleep apnea is linked to the early stage of long-term memory loss and dementia. In case of a person suffering from sleep apnea, he/she may wake up more than a hundred times while sleeping because of lack of breath. This is because of the inefficiency of your body to deliver oxygen to the brain.

As a result, the blood flow to the brain will become low, in turn lowering the level of oxygen. This irregular delivery of oxygen and blood to the brain may trigger memory loss, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and all in a person.

It is advisable to use anti snoring devices like mouth guards, chinstrap for snoring, etc., to tackle the snoring problem. For a person suffering from advanced stage of sleep apnea, a CPAP machine will be the best option. However, it is recommended to consult a physician before choosing any kind of sleeping aids; a good doctor will suggest treatment methods that ensure proper oxygen and blood supply to the brain in order to rule out the chances of dementia in future.

You can also try some simple remedies like essential oils, yoga, exercises, etc., at home to curb the intensity of the health issue. Ultimately, the key point is to treat sleep apnea in an early stage in order to prevent memory loss or dementia in future.