Sunday, December 25, 2011

Family support and sleep apnea

It is tough to face any problem alone, whether it is health related or one of the many situations that life puts us through. Of course it can be done alone and for a lot of folks that don’t have any support system there really isn’t any choice.  Sleep apnea is one of those health related problems that can be greatly helped by understanding and supportive friends and relatives.
Most folks don’t like to ask for help or even support from others, maybe they feel they don’t need it or maybe they think it is a sign of weakness. They are wrong on both accounts. Most folks wouldn’t hesitate to help others then they shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help from others.
What kind of support is needed for sleep apnea?
Before you even know that you have sleep apnea your sleeping partner probably knows that something is wrong because of the strange and intense snoring that they hear at night. If they urge you to go to the doctor about it listen to them! A sleep study will show whether you have it or not.
If your treatment is using a CPAP machine, and that is common for most folks with sleep apnea, then you will definitely need help and encouragement to use the mask and to continue using the mask. Using  a CPAP mask can be frustrating to use at first and it is much easier when you have help putting it on and keeping it on.
Sleep apnea if left untreated can be dangerous to your health so try to get as much help and support as you need to conquer it.
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Can you have sleep apnea without snoring?

One of the biggest signs of sleep apnea is snoring, but not just any kind of snoring, the snoring that sleep apnea sufferers have is a kind of grunting and then gasping for air.  Which is exactly what happens because your air way is blocked and when you grunt you wake yourself up to breathe, If your sleep apnea is pretty bad than this happens frequently through the night. That is why a sleep study is so important because the results of the tests will tell you whether you have sleep apnea or not. Lots of folks snore but not everyone has obstructive sleep apnea. But can you have sleep apnea without snoring.
I guess that would depend on what you would consider as snoring, whether it is the regular rhythmic snoring that goes without stopping or the grunting that I had earlier described. While I have read that it is possible to have sleep apnea with snoring I would think that it would be very rare and very dangerous. The loud grunting noise of sleep apnea is a great warning to you or your partner that something is definitely wrong.
But also keep in mind that there are other symptoms of sleep apnea such as daytime drowsiness which can be very dangerous especially if you do a lot of driving. Being unable to concentrate and to keep things in your memory can point to sleep apnea as well.
So if you feel that your sleeping (with or without snoring) is a problem have it checked out by a doctor who may want you to go for a sleep study.
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sleep apnea, sleep disorders and behavioral therapy

Of all the sleep disorders obstructive sleep apnea has to be one of the worst to correct. A blockage in the back of throat causes you to stop breathing many, many times each night and when you find out that you have sleep apnea you are then told by your doctors how to eliminate it. Which is usually by CPAP machine or surgery, the choices really aren’t that good.
 Of course that’s not to say that it is easy to cure insomnia, excessive snoring, restless leg syndrome and others. But with sleep apnea not “fixing it” could lead to serious health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. and to make it really bad if you have sleep apnea you may also have other sleep disorders like insomnia where being able to rest is nearly impossible. Luckily there are things that you can do to alleviate the other sleeping problems, mostly through behavioral therapy.
Behavioral therapy in this type of situation doesn’t have much to do with a therapist mostly it is changing your bad sleeping habits. While these wouldn’t help much with your sleep apnea they will certainly have an effect on sleep issues like insomnia. Sometimes this type of advice is referred to as sleep hygiene.
For more information on how to change your sleeping habits go to this post on sleeping habits.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sleeping too long on the weekends

Most folks take the opportunity to sleep late on the weekends in an attempt to catch up on rest that they lost during the week. Taking a little nap on Saturday or Sunday also is great way to rest up for the upcoming week. Of course if you have sleep apnea or some other sleep disorder your sleeping in or napping might go a little overboard which is probably an indication that you need to receive more rest during the week.
What besides sleep apnea causes us to oversleep?
According to webmd 2 of the biggest reasons for oversleeping (hypersomnia) are socioeconomic reasons and depression as well as alcohol and certain prescription drugs. They also state that oversleeping can lead to big health problems like heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
What prevents oversleeping?
  • Going to bed at the same time each night as well as getting out of bed the same time every morning, even on the weekends.
  • Relax or meditate before going to bed.
  • Don’t eat before you go to bed.
  • Everybody knows what caffeine does to you
  • If you exercise in the evening give yourself plenty of time to relax before trying to sleep.
  • Don’t drink alcohol late at night.
It is also good to remember is that sleeping longer on the weekend doesn’t necessarily make up for your sleep deficit. After staying in bed for long stretches you probably find that it is difficult to get moving and motivated to do anything but get back in bed. The feeling that you get is usually classified as “groggy”.

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