Posts for tag: Sleep Disorders
Sleep apnea is a chronic and progressive health condition and sleeping disorder that is affecting millions of Americans every year. It is not something that should be taken lightly, as the repercussions of untreated sleep apnea can be severe and even life threatening. Fortunately, there are various treatment options that can greatly improve your quality of sleep and lower the risk of certain health complications. Before we move forward to discuss diagnostic and treatment methods, we would like to share with you some perspective altering statistics about sleep apnea.
- Sleep apnea is prevalent in as many as an estimated 18 million Americans alone. This statistic denotes that approximately 1 in every 15 Americans, or 6.62% of the total American population have a case of sleep apnea.
- Research conducted at the University of California’s San Diego campus studied 54 African Americans and 346 Caucasians for the presence of sleep apnea. The results showed that a full 17 percent of African American test subjects had a case of obstructive sleep apnea present, compared to 8 percent of the Caucasian subjects. This denotes a hypothesis that African Americans stand an increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
- Two to four percent of all Americans have an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea. This accounts for approximately 1 in 50 individuals being undiagnosed.
- People that are afflicted with sleep apnea face a steep increase in chances of being part of a traffic accident. Due to the sleeplessness and lack of ability to concentrate that are associated with apnea, sufferers are six times more likely to die in a car accident. As a matter of fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that drowsy driving is responsible for, at the very least, 100,000 car accidents, 40,000 injuries, and 1,550 deaths per year.
- More than 263,000 children per year undergo tonsillectomies. Most of these operations are performed due to the presence of sleep apnea in the children that is caused by the tonsils obstructing their air way.
- A bed mate of a person with untreated obstructive sleep apnea can lose a serious amount of sleep! Due to the breathing and gasping of the apnea sufferer, the bed mate loses up to an hour per night of sleep. This was discovered when a study was conducted that measured the effects of CPAP treatment in helping the bed mate to sleep.
- People that have an untreated case of sleep apnea face a risk of stroke that is four times as likely as those who are not afflicted. Untreated sleep apnea sufferers are also three times as likely to have heart disease.
- On the average night’s sleep, a sufferer of obstructive sleep apnea may experience 60 apneas per hour. This accounts for an average of 400 apneas per night!
- Roughly half of all hospital patients that have a case of hypertension are also afflicted with sleep apnea. Conversely, around half of all sleep apnea sufferers face a diagnosis of hypertension.
- According to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, approximately 38,000 deaths occur on an annual basis that relate to cardiovascular problems that in one way or another are connected to sleep apnea. These problems include high blood pressure, hypertension and stroke, among others. An estimated six million American residents suffer from sleep apnea that is moderate to severe and may necessitate a late night visit to the emergency room. Unfortunately a great many people do not, as previously mentioned, even realize that they suffer from sleep apnea. This number is somewhere around 500,000 individuals.
The more informed that you are, the better suited you will be to take control of your health in the best way possible. Your health is in your hands and we want to help you take hold of it.
It is estimated that nearly 18 million Americans or 1 in every 15 people suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious and chronic health condition that is also progressive, which means that it can get worse with time if left untreated. It is categorized as a sleeping disorder. Sleep apnea, in its simplest definition, is when one’s breathing is interrupted while sleeping. The cessation of breathing can last anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds and in severe cases can occur 400 times in a single night!
Sadly, a lot people go undiagnosed because they are unaware that they are even suffering with this condition. In a great deal cases, it is an outside party that realizes a loved one has a problem. The reason you have restless sleeps, groggy and tiresome days, and find yourself irritable, lacking energy, unfocused, and unmotivated might be linked to sleep apnea. It is such a common disorder that it is commonly overlooked as the culprit.
There are three main types of sleep apnea.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (mild, moderate, and severe)
- Central Sleep Apnea
- Mixed/Complex Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused when there is a partial or complete block in one’s airway while one is sleeping. When you go to sleep and your body relaxes, your throat muscles also relax, which allow your tongue and surrounding soft tissues to fall back. This can cause an obstruction and the restriction of airflow. Your brain sends out a signal that your body needs to breathe (thank goodness it does this!). Typically, one suffering some OSA will wake up grasping for air. Once sufficient air is circulating back through the body again, this vicious cycle will tend to repeat itself through the night.
Central sleep apnea is different from OSA in that there is no obstruction of the airway, but rather a lack of signal from the brain instructing the muscles that are responsible for breathing to perform properly. This is related to an instable respiratory center. CSA is much less common than OSA, but nonetheless dangerous. Oftentimes, other medical conditions are responsible for central sleep apnea.
Mixed/complex sleep apnea is when one suffers from both obstructive sleep apnea AND central sleep apnea.
In the coming weeks, we will dive deeper into this common sleep disorder by looking at symptoms and causes, shocking statistics, diagnostic methods, treatment options, and the consequences of not receiving proper and timely treatment.
Last week, we examined the risks associated with insufficient quality sleep. Shockingly, a lot of us are sleep deprived for one reason or another. Why is this? Why are so many of us getting into bed, but not finding the peaceful release from our daily lives and those important hours to properly recharge? Unfortunately, this is not a question that has a simple answer. However, with a little inward reflection and an analysis of our daily routines, general health, and emotional state, we can figure out the culprit(s). It’s time to take control of our sleep; it is highly valuable and even more imperative to our health and overall wellbeing.
Why can’t we sleep? There are so many different distractions/sleep faux pas, mental/emotional, health/medication, and sleep disorder related reasons why we can’t drift away to that magical and rejuvenating place in the back of our minds at night.
- Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for sleep, not an addition of your office or living room space. Our devices (phones, tablets, computers, alarm clocks, etc.) emit light that can affect our sleep. Also, unless your devices are silenced, it is likely that one will make some sort of notification noise at some point that can disrupt your sleep. You should stop using electronic devices at least thirty minutes prior to going to sleep. Break the technology addiction!
- Our eating and drinking habits play a big role in our sleep quality. If you eat too much, especially heavy food, too close to going to bed, you can expect to have trouble sleeping. On the flip side, if you restrict yourself from eating enough during the day and or at dinnertime, your body will continue to send signals that it needs food even when you are trying to go to sleep. Alcohol and caffeine can greatly affect your sleep quality, as well.
- There is such a thing as “too quiet.” White noise is very helpful when shutting down for the night. This noise can come from the barely audible sound of your fan spinning, the air conditioner running, or maybe even a noise machine that produces peaceful ocean sounds or a gentle rainstorm.
- While naps are truly wonderful, be careful when and for how long you nap. If you nap too late in the day, or take too long of nap, you might find yourself unable to shut down at your normal bedtime. This cycle can mess up your biological clock. Try to avoid late in the afternoon naps and ones that are longer than 90 minutes (if you are so lucky enough to score 90 minutes of mid-day sleep time!) A 10-30 minute nap is perfect for a mid-day break and rejuvenation, and is unlikely to affect your sleep later at night.
- Your mental and emotional state plays a major role in your sleep quality and quantity. Depression, anxiety, chronic stress, grief, and worry can greatly affect your sleep. It is important to address your issues and work toward resolving the things that are bothering you. Sometimes, this is more complicated than simply addressing the issues, however, you have to start somewhere and the process will be different for each individual. We are complex human beings, which is awesome, but sometimes that complexity can be a bit too much to handle alone. An overactive mind (making lists, constantly thinking about the future, weighing out what if’s, etc.) is a common culprit to sleep deprivation. *In the next article, we will discuss some helpful tips to getting better sleep and dealing with the assortment of sleep inhibitors.
- Certain medications have a history for affecting sleep. Over the counter cold, flu, and pain relievers sometimes contain caffeine. Also, some beta-blockers and antidepressants have a side effect related to trouble sleeping.
- Medical conditions, such as asthma, acid reflux, heartburn, musculoskeletal disorders, and diabetes, among other conditions can greatly impact our quality of sleep.
- Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea (which we will go into great detail about later), contribute to our sleep problems.
These are just a few common reasons why some of us can’t obtain the sleep that we need. Once you know your problem, it is easier to seek a solution. Next week, we share some helpful tips for shutting down at night and getting the rest your body and mind deserves.