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How To Sleep With Sleep Apnea

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Consider A Dental Appliance

How is Sleep Apnea treated? | CPAP | Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine | theSITREP

If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy is a good alternative to a CPAP. This specially made mouthguard shifts the lower jaw slightly forward, which tightens the soft tissues and muscles in the back of your throat to prevent obstruction while you sleep.

While CPAP is still considered the most effective treatment for sleep apnea, its not a one-size-fits-all therapy, Dr. Knobbe said. Consider an oral appliance if you have mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, have natural teeth and have a healthy body weight.

Dental devices do require a special fitting, so talk to your health care provider to learn about this treatment option.

What You Can Do To Support Someone With Sleep Apnea

Focusing on your self-care will help you get better sleep and keep a bad situation from getting worse. Youll have more energy to pick up the slack and help out around the house.

Youll also be able to give more emotional support than if you were strung out from lack of sleep.

Youre probably wondering what else can be done to help your sleep apnea bedmate.

This can be tough if therere in denial or are taking things for granted.

Everyone snores, right?

Or maybe, therere just overwhelmed and are doing the best they can.

Here are some practical things to focus on:

Have they been diagnosed?

Sadly, most people with sleep apnea havent been diagnosed and are living with the consequences. If they havent already, encourage them to go in and see a doctor.

Today sleep apnea is a treatable condition. Many people who start CPAP, the most effective sleep apnea treatment, are amazed by the over night difference when they wake up.

So, there is hope that they can get their symptoms under control.

Have they given up on CPAP?

If theyve tried CPAP and quit, theyre not alone. Some people have a hard time with the mask and blowing air.

The good news is that there are now plenty of alternatives they can try smaller less obtrusive masks, oral appliances, and new innovative therapies that dont involve a mask or blowing air.

Is it money?

If you dont have medical insurance and youre strapped for cash, you may feel stuck. Guess what, you still have options.

How Can Oropharyngeal Exercises Alleviate Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Performing oropharyngeal exercises can help tone and strengthen the muscles that are directly involved in keeping your airway open. Similar to working out other muscles in your body, different exercises target different muscles.

The specific mouth exercises recommended for you will depend on which area of your mouth is the weakest.

For example, if your throat muscles are collapsing during sleep, you should focus on oral exercises for your throat. If your tongue falls back into your throat when asleep, you should focus on strengthening your tongue.

Regular mouth exercises may help reduce your sleep apnea symptoms and can make your CPAP therapy more effective, so its important to know what parts you need to exercise and why.

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Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Device

In addition to lifestyle changes, the most effective treatment available is a mask worn at night that transmits increased air pressure into the airway to prevent the throat from collapsing. This is called nasal continuous positive airway pressure .

CPAP is the most common treatment for sleep apnoea. It is non-invasive and uses a small pump that blows air through tubing into a mask that is worn on the nose and/or mouth. This air pressure goes into the back of the throat holding it open, even if the throat muscles have relaxed too much during sleep.

The key to CPAP treatment is finding a mask and machine that match your needs.

Use A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Machine Properly


The most effective treatment available for sleep apnea is a mask worn at night called a CPAP that transmits increased air pressure into the airway to prevent the throat from collapsing. This air pressure goes into the back of the throat holding it open when your throat muscles have relaxed too much during sleep.

The key to CPAP treatment is finding a mask and machine that matches your needs, cleaning the CPAP components frequently and washing your face before putting it on at night. Talk to your health care provider or sleep specialist so they can tailor a CPAP unit for you based on your needs.

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How Do Canadian Sleep Habits Compare To The World

Better HealthKatrina StubbsTurns out sleep varies depending on where you live. Our sleep expert explores what those differences are.

Sleep is one of the most fundamental things we do, no matter where we live or what we do in our day-to-day lives. Most people spend one-third of their lives sleeping, approximately 25 years. Although that may seem like a lot of time, it starts to make sense when you break down your average day into your sleep and awake times.

While the average adult will require 7-8 hours of sleep, it will vary as you age. For example, the average child requires 10-12 hours of sleep, the average teen 8-11 hours, and the average senior needs 6-7 hours of sleep. Along with the need to have different amounts of sleep as we enter different life cycles, many of us spend about seven years of their lives trying to fall asleep.

What Are The Signs Of Sleep Apnea

The only way to know for certain if you have sleep apnea is to visit a specialist for an evaluation. Often, youll be referred for a sleep study. However, if you experience any of the common signs of sleep apnea, you should seek help. So, what are the signs of sleep apnea? The signs and symptoms include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air while asleep
  • Instances where you stop breathing while sleeping
  • Headache upon awakening
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Having a hard time staying asleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Problems paying attention

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A Why Sleep Upright With Sleep Apnea

Youre probably not the first to wonder about sleeping upright with sleep apnea.

Theyre currently 18 million sleep apnea sufferers in the US alone, all too many waking up exhausted day after day.

Its a miserable experience, so its no surprise people are desperate to figure out everything they can do to sleep better.

Personally, Ive only tried sleeping upright in a recliner a few times without much success. Luckily, CPAP seems to be working out for me.

I know this is not the case for everyone. Even with a variety of CPAP setups, many people still find CPAP uncomfortable and give up within the first year.

Out of curiosity, I did a quick survey of five sleep apnea sufferers I know. Only one had ever tried sleeping upright and told me it didnt help.

But this is all anecdotal, so lets take a more serious look at whether this simple trick can really help the millions of sleep apnea sufferers.

Health Consequences Of Sleep Apnea

Doctor explains how to prevent sleep apnea

The chronic sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea can result in daytime sleepiness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, and an increased risk of accidents and errors in your daily activities.

Sleep apnea also has a mental impact. It can trigger moodiness and irritability and cause anxiety and depression. It also increases your risk of other serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, and stroke.

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Cpap For Treatment Of Sleep Apnea

A CPAP machine is typically the go-to treatment for how to get rid of sleep apnea. CPAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure, is a machine that hooks to a hose and mask and is worn over the nose during sleep. The continuous pressure from the machine works to hold open your airway during sleep, allowing air to flow freely to prevent periods of apnea. In other words, it holds your airway open while you sleep so you can keep breathing.

The reason CPAP machines work so well is that generally, it is soft tissues in the neck, throat, and upper airway, along with the tongue, that relax during sleep and obstruct the airway. This obstruction is what causes you to stop breathing for several seconds or minutes while youre asleep. This type of sleep apnea is known as obstructive sleep apnea , and is the most common.

CPAP will not cure sleep apnea but can be an effective treatment if used properly.

What Happens During Sleep Apnea

There are different types of sleep apnea, the most common being Obstructive Sleep Apnea . This is when your upper airway is partially or fully obstructed as you sleep. The muscles in the back of your throat relax and cause the obstruction while your chest muscles work harder to open your airway. As the brain signals that your breathing is impeded, it can wake you up gasping for air, but as its usually so brief you most likely will not remember and may not be aware of your broken sleep.

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How To Spot The Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

Snoring may be the most well-known symptom of sleep apnea, but its not the only one. Other symptoms include:

  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • Experiencing pauses when you breathe at night
  • Mood issues
  • Waking up throughout the night to go to the bathroom

If you have any of these symptoms, or have newly-diagnosed atrial fibrillation and high blood pressure with or without daytime sleepiness, its important to talk to your doctor about the possibility of sleep apnea, says Mendez. Women often have insomnia but not snoring, and some people get tipped off that they might have a sleep problem because of an activity tracker like a Fitbit, he says. Bottom line: Be open to the possibility of sleep apnea, even if you dont think you present in the typical way.

If your doctor suspects you have sleep apnea, he or she can then order you an at-home sleep apnea test, which eliminates the need to go to a sleep center to be analyzed, says Mendez. Its far more convenient and accessible to patients. Getting this test could potentially be a lifesaving decision, he says.

Make Diet And Lifestyle Changes

Enjoying A More Comfortable Sleep Apnea Treatment

Another important step you can take to improve your condition is making healthy modifications to your diet and lifestyle habits.

Maintain a healthy weight:Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight is beneficial for many health conditions. Eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.

Your sleep apnea can improve significantly with weight loss and some people achieve resolution of sleep apnea through weight reduction, Dr. Knobbe said. An added benefit is that your CPAP pressure can usually be reduced to a lower setting as you shed the pounds.

Avoid alcohol and smoking: Alcohol intake is known to worsen sleep apnea and snoring. Even small amounts of alcohol can disrupt your sleep pattern and lead to unwanted early morning awakenings.

Similar to alcohol, tobacco use can worsen your snoring and sleep apnea. Quitting smoking may be one of the most difficult tasks your health care provider asks of you, but the health benefits are too many to list. Your breathing can improve within weeks to months and youre much less likely to need oxygen if you quit now, Dr. Knobbe said.

Need help kicking the habit? Read on to learn about stop smoking tools.

Regular exercise: Moderate aerobic exercise can benefit your heart, your waistline and help you sleep better. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

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Sleeping On Your Back

Generally considered to be the worst sleeping position. The reason for this is gravity again. Soft tissues in the upper airway, including the tongue, create upper airway resistance. As opposed to when youre sleeping on your belly when gravity pushes the soft tissues forward. If you are a back-sleeper, and you cannot kick the habit, consider elevating your head to reduce sleep apnea symptoms.

Make Sure Your Mask Fits Correctly

When it comes to CPAP therapy, one size does not fit all. Its very important to get a mask that fits correctly and is comfortable for you.

There are many different types of masks available, including ones that cover the full face and ones that cover only the nose. Masks also come in a range of sizes, to accommodate different face shapes. There are also options that allow you to sleep in any position, accommodate glasses, and stay on if you toss and turn.

Be sure to discuss your options with your doctor and schedule follow-up appointments to check the fit, evaluate your treatment progress, and adjust or switch your mask if necessary.

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Choosing The Best Sleep Position

When you curl up under the covers at night, you probably settle into yourfavorite position without thinking much about it. But could one sleepposition be better than another?

We could argue that some are better than others, says Rachel Salas, M.D. , an associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins Medicine. But there are caveats. Salas explains when and why position matters.

Reevaluate Your Treatment Plan

How to Treat Sleep Apnea?

If youre actively treating sleep apnea and continuing to battle fatigue, youre not alone. In CPAP users, this can happen in 5 to 55 percent of patients, according to a study published in September 2016 in the journal Sleep Medicine Clinics. The researchers suggest sticking to CPAP therapy, if youre using it improving your sleep habits, which are worth another look asking your doctor if any of your medications are interfering with your sleep and figuring out if you have another underlying condition thats contributing to your fatigue, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism. You should also consider being evaluated for other sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy or restless legs syndrome.

Together, youll get to the bottom of it and feel energized in the future.

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Build Better Drinking Habits

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Change your sleeping position: Sleeping on your back can cause your tongue and soft palate to position themselves against the back of your throat, blocking your airway. Therefore, experts suggest side or stomach sleeping.

Try nasal decongestants: Nasal obstruction and sleep apnea are linked, research suggests. Decongestants or antihistamines may be helpful in relieving congestion, but you should speak with your physician before using a decongestant on a regular basis.

Surgery: If none of the other treatment methods are effective, there are a few surgery options. The first is a surgery to open up the airwaylike a tonsillectomy or jaw advancement surgerybut only for people with obvious signs of anatomical airway obstruction, says Dr. Won. There is also the option of implanting an upper airway stimulator, which is like a pacemaker for the tongue thats implanted in the chest wall. This stimulates the tongue during sleep so it doesnt collapse onto and obstruct the airway, she says.

F How Else Can I Change My Sleep Position

Dont limit yourself to sleeping upright in bed or on a chair.

Check with your doctor to see if other sleep positioning strategies might work better for you.

Have you given side sleeping a fair try?

A number of sleep aides have been designed to encourage the body to sleep on its side, ranging from simple low setups to high tech devices:

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How Is Sleep Apnoea Diagnosed

If you think you or someone you know has the signs and symptoms of sleep apnoea, see a GP. If your GP suspects you may have sleep apnoea, you may be referred to a sleep specialist.

Depending on their examination and assessment, your GP or sleep physician may arrange for you to have a sleep study.

A sleep study is a medical test used to diagnose a range of sleep disorders including sleep apnoea. A sleep study looks at what you do when you go to sleep. Most sleep studies measure:

  • brain signals
  • oxygen levels in the blood
  • sleep position and limb movements
  • heart rate
  • breathing and snoring.

You will be attached to a portable machine and monitoring leads will be placed on your body to track your sleep throughout the night.

Sleep studies can be done at home or by staying overnight in a special sleep clinic and are provided in public and private health services.

Home Remedies For Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a common sleeping problem among the older ones in which your sleep disturbs by the interruption of breathing or even stopped involuntarily while sleeping. This problem lasts for a maximum of 10 seconds or more than that and it may occur hundreds of times at night.

The cause of sleep apnea is the blockage or narrowed airways of your nose, mouth or throat. It also occurs when the brain is failed to respond and transmit the signals to your breathing muscles. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it may be seen that sleep apnea affects more than 18 million Americans and it can affect anyone, in fact, the children too. Mostly the men are victims of sleep apnea as compared to the females, especially African-American and Hispanic males.

Other factors that are responsible for this problem are being older than 60, thick neck circumference, obesity, heart diseases, narrow throat, family history, sedatives or tranquilizers, regular intake of alcohol, nasal congestion and excessive smoking.

The signs and symptoms of sleep apnea are poor quality of sleep, loud snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, and episodes of breathing cessation during sleep. Other symptoms are waking up puffing for breath, dry mouth, headaches upon waking up, attention problems and insomnia.

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