Sunday, July 21, 2013

Heat and cpap users

If you are using a cpap mask then you probably know how hot they can get especially in the summer. Even if you have the air conditioning cranked up high wearing a cpap mask can be uncomfortable in hot weather. You add humidity to that excessive heat and you may have a dangerous problem.

With a cpap mask regardless of the weather the sleep apnea patient may feel discomfort from where the cpap mask touches the skin. If you add in the heat and humidity it will only aggravate the problem.

There are things that you can do to help alleviate this problem. The first thing is to make sure that your mask is comfortable. The cpap machine and mask have been around quite awhile now and there have been substantial improvement to not only the machine but also the mask. If you don’t feel comfortable with your present mask there are many others to choose from.

And of course there are humidifiers that are connected to the cpap machines. They keep the air that is going into your mouth moist which is very important. With out the humidifier you might wake up with a sore throat.

If the temperature outside is hot and humid make sure that your bedroom is cool not necessarily cold but cool enough to be comfortable.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Nightmares and Sleep Apnea

When we go to sleep each night our bodies are supposed to go through 5 stages of sleep. The most important stage is the Rapid Eye Movement stage or REM. At this stage there are a lot of things going on that are beneficial to the body and mind. It helps learning development and it also helps with your memory. Dreaming is also done at this stage of sleeping and of course sleep apnea disrupts this stage. Nightmares also occur during this stage.

Everyone has had a nightmare at one time or the other while they were sleeping. While nightmares in general aren’t harmful they can certainly give you quite a scare. They aren’t to be confused with night terrors, where the dream that you are having is terrifying and you seem to have an inability of waking up.

According to Wikipedia, nightmares“are not common in children under 5, but they are more common in young children (25% experiencing a nightmare at least once per week), most common in adolescents, and less common in adults (dropping in frequency about one third from age 25 to 55).”

Sleep apnea along with other sleep disorders (parasomnias) can cause nightmares. However there are some studies that suggest that folks with OSA actually have fewer nightmares because of the lack of REM time. Personally I don’t agree with that because I still have nightmares and sleep apnea.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sleep apnea and adrenal fatigue

Sleep apnea has many side effects like day time drowsiness, potential risk of heart disease, diabetes among other things. The lack of sleep makes your tired and less alert; your overall mood is probably down also. Well there is also something called adrenal fatigue that causes much the same symptoms.

What is adrenal fatigue syndrome?

At the top of our kidneys sit the adrenal glands. They produce hormones and adrenal that is needed by the body for stressful time and for infection. Needless to say they are very important. The adrenal glands also produce something called cortisol which helps fight infection and stress, but too much cortisol can cause Cushing syndrome. The symptoms of this disorder are excess weight gain, high blood pressure, skin problems, feeling weak, and many other symptoms. However if you don’t get enough cortisol your problems will be even be worse, they could be fatal. So it is very important to have the right amount of cortisol produced.

Sleep apnea certainly interrupts your sleep which would have an effect on the functions of the adrenal glands. As anyone who has sleep apnea can tell you this disorder can produce stress in a big way, which in turn makes works the adrenal glands too much (fatigue) causing them to be less effective in fighting stress.

It is important to note that sleep apnea isn’t the only sleep disorder condition that causes adrenal fatigue. Other sleep disorders like insomnia can also play havoc on your adrenal glands.

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