Sunday, July 29, 2012

Can a Chiropractor help with your Sleep Apnea?

There are a few well known treatments for sleep apnea, the CPAP machine, or the various types of positive air machines such as bipap and apap. Some find relief with it but a lot of people just can’t get used to the feel of wearing a mask in bed and the noise is irritating too. Surgeries are usually considered a last option for sleep apnea patients due to the long recovery time and the fact that it isn’t always successful. There are also unconventional treatments and one of them involves seeing a chiropractor.

The chiropractic field is usually frowned upon by the medical community. But there is a large proportion of the population that has found their services invaluable and couldn’t do without them. I have known people who take their children to them at an early age to start treatments. So they do provide an important service to many people. But can they help with sleep apnea?

I have read where one person found relief from sleep apnea by having an adjustment to his neck curvature. Others have claimed that they can open up the mouth’s airway by stimulation of the nervous system. Another area that could be treated by a chiropractor is the muscles in the neck.

I haven’t read any conclusive evidence that a chiropractor can help with your sleep apnea but if you are interested you might want talk to a chiropractor yourself.

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Claustrophobia and the cpap mask

One problem about the CPAP mask that I haven’t heard much about is claustrophobia. The CPAP mask can be cumbersome for most at the beginning because it is so unnatural to have a mask on your face while you are sleeping. I wrote about my experiences in an earlier post. But for some the problems might be a little more frightening.

Claustrophobia is a panic disorder that causes anxiety from the fear of enclosed places. Most sufferers fear the lack of movement that a tightly enclosed place puts them in or they fear a lack of oxygen. Training the patients to identify their fears and change their behaviors is the most common treatments.

Sleep Apnea patients who are claustrophobic due to their cpap mask can find relief by wearing the mask during the day for a few hours to get adjusted to the feel and the sound of the machine. They can also try out nasal pillows where tubes are inserted into the nostrils without having any straps on their face. Relaxation exercises might also be tried to control the anxiety of the CPAP mask.

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sleep apnea and the immune system

There are some things that we just can’t do without, such as air, water and food (especially air!) but there something else that we have to have and that is sleep. Our bodies need to rest to recover our energy as well. In addition sleep also helps with our nervous system according to the National Institute of health.

 Too little sleep leaves us drowsy and unable to concentrate the next day. It also leads to impaired memory and physical performance and reduced ability to carry out math calculations. If sleep deprivation continues, hallucinations and mood swings may develop. Some experts believe sleep gives neurons used while we are awake a chance to shut down and repair themselves.”

Sleep deprivation can also have an effect on our immune system, which protects us from getting ill.  While we sleep our bodies not only grow cells but repair them as well.

A recent study has also shown that sleep deprivation affects the immune system much as stress does.  A study was done in the Netherlands and Britain where 15 young men had their blood count compared after normal and sleep deprived situations.  The white blood cells were affected under the sleep deprivation similar to the condition of stress.

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sleep disorders besides sleep apnea

Besides sleep apnea there are other sleep disorders. Like sleep apnea they can be dangerous if left untreated.
  • Insomnia is very common sleep disorder that affects millions of people. The inability to fall asleep even when you are tired is emotionally draining as well as hazardous to your health.
  • Narcolepsy can cause immense daytime drowsiness to the point of falling asleep at any point of the day and anywhere. Besides being embarrassing it could be life threatening if the narcolepsy patient is driving or operating heavy machinery.
  • Night terror unlike nightmares usually can’t be recalled after waking up. Nightmares are dreams of frightening events whereas night terror is the feeling of fear.
  • Restless legs syndrome is where the need to move your legs to stop uncomfortable feelings happens while you are trying to sleep.
  • Walking or engaging in wake time activities while one is still asleep is referred to as sleep walking. Stress, fever and alcoholism are known as triggers to sleepwalking.
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