Are You A Sleep Apnea Patient? You’ll Want To Read This
Trouble sleeping comes in many forms, some people have a problem finding a nice place in the bed, others have nightmares, while a troubled few suffer from a lack of breath while resting. They’re usually not aware of it at all, but their partner or a parent, who is sleeping beside them, will maybe even start to panic once they realize they’re not breathing at all. As if that is not trouble enough, sleep apnea leaves an unrested and cranky feeling in the morning.
This illness is known for a long time, and although it is still relatively rare, a growing number of people are suffering from it. Whatever the cause, a permanent cure has not yet been developed, though many successful and easily applicable solutions exist that help alleviate part of the consequences of sleep apnea. And if you are considered a patient, you should find out about them.
Causes and Symptoms
Two things cause sleep apnea (literally translated from Greek as “breathless”): a physical obstruction of the breathing system or a reaction from the nervous system. One is, therefore, called obstructive sleep apnea, usually a consequence of the throat muscles being too relaxed, and central sleep apnea, caused by the brain not sending proper signals to the breathing system. A combination of the two can sometimes occur but is rather rare.
Several common symptoms follow this disorder, none of them pleasant. Loud snoring, long pauses in breathing during sleep, gasping for air, difficulty falling asleep, not being well-rested when you wake up, etc. As we can see, all of these things can substantially lower one’s quality of life and must therefore be dealt with.
A Futuristic Solution
Before we even get to teas, prayers, and other old-timey remedies, let’s see what modern medicine has to offer. The standard, so far, is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP for short) device. These CPAP machines work by sending a flow of oxygen down your mouth and nose, thereby preventing any collapse that might occur. Not perfect when it comes to central apnea, but has a great success rate with the obstructed one.
The device usually looks like a plastic or metal box that is connected to your face via a mask and tube. The more sophisticated examples feature an integrated computer that can analyze and store data about how you sleep and how your breathing looks, though the simpler ones do the job just as well, just without any excess electronics.
Alternative Medicine – Is It Worth It?
Same as in many other cases, alternative medicine aims to answer when classical modern medicine cannot, with varying results. Here, the solution is mostly to tackle not sleep apnea directly but to change the underlying problem. Some of the solutions that can be heard here and there are:
- losing weight
- practicing yoga
- finding a better sleep position
- using herbs
Excess body weight can severely affect your organism in many ways, not to mention sleep. The lungs have a hard time lifting a heavier chest than a lighter one, so if you are considered overweight – this is one more reason to stick to a diet. Also, in several studies, it has been proven that sleeping on your back can cause, or worsen, sleep apnea in adults, and that should be enough to consider starting to sleep on your side.
Why Sleeping Atmosphere Matters
This topic has been extensively covered by many professionals, and it is well known everywhere – there is a key difference in how well we sleep depending on what our surrounding feels like. Much of it has to do with psychology, where being in a crowded or unknown space makes us feel too insecure to sleep well, but there are certain physical aspects as well.
Cooler room temperatures help us sleep better. Resting at temperatures of around 15 degrees, as opposed to 25, is proven to be much better, not only for apnea but for feeling rested too. This can be achieved by having an AC unit installed in the sleeping room, or positioning the bed and curtains to lower the surrounding temperature as much as possible.
Sleep apnea is not deadly, but troublesome either way. And as there can be many causes of similar symptoms such as that, it is worthwhile going to a clinic to get your sleep checked. Or, if you have the opportunity, have someone you know watch over you while you sleep so they can report on what they see – how does your breathing look, how are you positioned.
For some people, it is just an impediment and for some, it takes a serious monopoly over their everyday life and the quality of it. Whatever the type you’re dealing with and the consequences it leaves, one can rest assured a little bit knowing that this sleep disorder can be kept under control.