Lifestyle Treatments For Sleep Apnea
For mild cases of sleep apnea, lifestyle changes may be enough to treat the issue. Your doctor will let you know if thats the right starting point. But even if you are prescribed a medical treatment, the following changes can help reduce your sleep apnea episodes and improve your sleep.
Lose weight. If you are overweight, losing weight can have an enormous impact. While it is usually not a total cure, it can reduce the number of breathing episodes you experience, reduce your blood pressure, and decrease daytime sleepiness. Even a small amount of weight loss can open up your throat and improve sleep apnea symptoms.
Exercise. Even when exercise does not lead to weight loss, it can decrease your sleep apnea breathing episodes and improve your alertness and energy during the day. Aerobic exercise, resistance training, and yoga are all good choices for strengthening the muscles in your airways and improving breathing.
Sleep on your side. Lying on your back is the worst position for sleep apnea, as it causes the jaw, tongue, and other soft tissues to drop back toward the throat, narrowing your airway. Sleeping on your stomach isnt much better, since lying face down or twisting your head to the side both obstruct breathing. Lying on your side, on the other hand, helps keep your airway open. If you find side sleeping uncomfortable or you tend to roll on to your back after youre asleep, countered side pillows or body pillows may help.
How Often Is Snoring Associated With Sleep Apnea
Snoring is the most prevalent symptom of sleep apnea, occurring in approximately 8598% of patients who are diagnosed with sleep apnea. However, not all people with sleep apnea also snore.
The snoring associated with sleep apnea differs from other types of snoring. For example, while habitual snoring may sound raspy, sleep apnea snoring sounds more like gasping or choking. This gasping or choking results from a partial or complete blockage of the upper airway and can also cause low oxygen levels in the blood, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and poor cognitive functioning.
Why Are People Turning To Cbd For Sleep Apnea
As mentioned earlier, there are no direct studies on the effects of CBD on sleep apnea. That being said, research shows that CBD might be a promising therapeutic agent for this condition and for the management of its symptoms.
Heres why people are using CBD for sleep apnea instead of conventional medications.
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Getting Tested For Sleep Apnoea
If a GP thinks you might have sleep apnoea, they may refer you to a specialist sleep clinic for tests.
At the clinic, you may be given devices that check things like your breathing and heartbeat while you sleep.
You’ll be asked to wear these overnight so doctors can check for signs of sleep apnoea.
You can usually do this at home, but sometimes you may need to stay in the clinic overnight.
The test can show if you have sleep apnoea and how severe it is. This is based on how often your breathing stops while you sleep .
Do The Same Treatments That Work For Snoring Work For Sleep Apnea
This is a tricky question. Sometimes, the answer is yes because they are actually very similar problems. But sometimes, the answer is a no mostly because its actually a lot more difficult to treat OSA than it is to treat snoring.
There are also sometimes more factors that go into snoring. For example nasal blockage can contribute to snoring, so nasal strips might actually help to treat it, while nasal strips would never help with sleep apnea, because thats not where the problem is.
Sometimes, snoring isnt rooted in the nose at all and in those cases, nasal strips would be equally as useless as they would be for sleep apnea.
There are some devices that are actually built and tested for sleep apnea, that also work for snoring. One example is some different types of mandibular advancement devices. Most of these devices are not advertised for being treatment options for OSA though there are models that are, and those models can also help to treat snoring.
So really, it depends on the treatment.
Lifestyle changes can help with both snoring and sleep apnea. Losing weight, eating a healthier diet, working out, and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes can do a lot to help reduce your odds of snoring and suffering from sleep apnea as can staying hydrated. Even avoiding sleeping on your back can sometimes make a difference.
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Sleep Apnea Syndrome: What Is It
Apnea is an episode of interrupted breathing. So, sleep apnea syndrome is a disease of breathing and sleeping, which results from the repeated collapse of the upper respiratory tract. The result it produces are a series of pauses in breathing during sleep.
Sleep apnea can occur at all ages, although men suffer from it most often. Depending on the type of syndrome, it occurs more in cases of overweight and in the elderly .
Diagnosing and treating sleep apnea syndrome is essential for achieving a more restful nights sleep, staying awake during the day, and improving the patients quality of life.
Sleep Apnea And Other Health Conditions
As weve said, sleep apnea can affect other aspects of your health. Here are some common health risks which can develop if sleep apnea is not managed:
Sleep apnea and diabetes: Sleep apnea and diabetes commonly are found to coexist because they share a common risk factor: Being overweight. Another serious risk factor for diabetes is lack of sleep because sleep apnea disrupts sleep, it can increase the risk of developing diabetes as well.
Sleep apnea and hypertension: Research from University of Wisconsin Medical School, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, outlined the relationship between sleep apnea and hypertension. The researchers observed 700 participants for more than eight years to reveal that even mild sleep apnea was enough to cause hypertension. When breathing is paused, carbon dioxide builds up in the bloodstream, making the heart work that much harder.
Sleep apnea and heart disease: Because sleep apnea can contribute to hypertension and diabetes, the risk of heart disease also rises. The Mayo Clinic reported on research that people with sleep apnea are at greater risk of heart attack while asleep. The condition also has been linked to coronary artery disease if left untreated.
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What Are The Types Of Sleep Apnea
There are three types of sleep apnea:
During sleep, the brain instructs the muscles of breathing to take a breath.
- Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain does not send the signal to the muscles to take a breath and there is no muscular effort to take a breath.
- Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the brain sends the signal to the muscles and the muscles make an effort to take a breath, but they are unsuccessful because the airway becomes obstructed and prevents an adequate flow of air.
- Mixed sleep apnea, occurs when there is both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.
Why Use Cbd Oil For Sleep Apnea
- CBD has demonstrated potential benefits for the symptoms of sleep apnea in animal and human studies, as well as in clinical trials despite not being an established treatment.
- CBD has a great safety profile. You can use it without the risk of dangerous side effects, lethal overdose, or addiction.
- CBD is legal in all 50 states and can be purchased over the counter. You dont need a prescription for hemp-derived CBD products.
- CBD can influence our circadian system, which is a potential therapeutic target for sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Is The Most Common Subtype Of The Condition
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, sometimes referred to as OSA. With OSA, the throat muscles in the back of your throat, which naturally become more relaxed during sleep, collapse too much to allow for normal breathing.
The throat muscles support the soft tissues in the back of the throat such as the soft palate, the uvula, the tonsils, and tongue so when those muscles collapse too much, those tissues can fall back into the throat, partially or completely blocking the normal flow of air in your airway. When the airway is blocked partially the person may start to snore, which is why this symptom is common in OSA.
When your brain senses that you arent getting enough oxygen, it signals your body to wake up enough so that you can reopen your airway, and you may gasp for air during the night. Simply put, having obstructive sleep apnea means that not enough air can get into lungs at night, and your brain wakes you up to breathe, says Robson Capasso, MD, chief of sleep surgery and associate professor of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine in California.
Doctors diagnose OSA using a sleep test that measures your body and brain activity during sleep, which is conducted either at home or at a sleep lab.
Your doctor may also advise you to lose weight and to avoid sleeping on your back, to prevent gravity from further pushing your tongue, tonsils, and other soft tissues in your throat into your airway.
Things To Avoid If You Have Osa
- Alcohol may worsen Sleep Apneabecause it relaxes your muscles. Mild Sleep Apnea can become severe after a few drinks.
- Smoking this damages theupper airway and makes it more collapsible
- Sleeping tablets canreduce the drive to breathe
- Sleep deprivation thiscan compound the sleepiness already present because of Sleep Apnea.
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Types Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
OSA is classified into three groups: mild, moderate, and severe. Each group refers to the average number of times per hour the sleeping individual suffers from an interruption in breathing. Each one of those events counts as one event in the apnea-hypopnea index , which is then used to determine whether a person has mild, moderate, or severe sleep apnea.
Mild sleep apnea occurs if a person has an AHI score between 5 and 15 and moderate means their AHI is above 15 and up to 30. Those with severe OSA have an AHI score of more than 30. Its estimated that out of the nearly 22 million Americans with sleep apnea, 80% of those cases are moderate to severe.
Tracking your AHI can be a measure of how your sleep apnea treatment is going. The lower your AHI, the better, more restful sleep youre getting each night. If your sleep apnea treatment is working, you should see the AHI readings on your CPAP machine below five, and it may be as low as one. Your results will vary, but keeping an eye on your AHI is a good way to see how your treatment is going.
Sleep Apnea: Why It Happens
The most common form of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, occurs when muscles at the back of your throat relax to a point that they fail to keep your airway open interrupting breathing.
Your brain quickly notices youre not breathing, says Dr. Doerr. It senses the lack of oxygen and stimulates you to gasp or cough, helping to restore breathing.
But, this means your body is awakened numerous times throughout the night. In fact, in severe cases of sleep apnea, a person is roused out of sleep a few hundred times per night leading to very poor sleep.
A second type of sleep apnea, called central sleep apnea, occurs when the brain fails to properly control your breathing during sleep. This type of sleep apnea is much less common.
There Are Many Oral Medications To Treat Sleep Apnea
FALSE. You cant take a pill to cure sleep apnea. Treatment consists of a device such as a continuous positive airway pressure machine, which is a mask on the face that delivers pressurized air to keep the airway open. CPAPs are the gold standard, but there are other options, such as dental devices that adjust the position of the jaw or tongue. In some cases, surgery can help to reduce the bulk of structure in the upper airways or place implants that stimulate the tongue. But for people with sleep apnea who are overweight, dropping weight is crucial as well.
Weight loss has the potential to cure sleep apnea, Dr. Pervez says. It can at least make it better.
Different Types Of Apnea
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which happens when the airway is blocked and causes pauses in breathing and subsequently loud snoring. Central sleep apnea is a less common kind of sleep apnea that involves the central nervous system. It occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles that control breathing. People with central sleep apnea seldom snore. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
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Common Causes Of Snoring
Almost everyone snores occasionally. Habitual snoring occurs in around 40% of adult women and 57% of adult men, and some people snore regularly without any other sleep-related symptoms. However, snoring can be caused by a sleep disorder called sleep apnea, which disrupts sleep and can lead to other health issues. Snoring may also be the result of a persons natural anatomy and weight, or behaviors such as drinking alcohol or sleeping in a certain position. Understanding the varied causes of snoring can help you determine whether your snoring is something you should be concerned about, and what steps you can take to address it.
What Is Central Sleep Apnea And What Causes It
Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain does not send the signal to breathe to the muscles of breathing. This usually occurs in infants or in adults with heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, or congenital diseases, but it also can be caused by some medications and high altitudes.
Central sleep apnea may occur in premature infants or in full-term infants. It is defined as apneas lasting more than 20 seconds, usually with a change in the heart rate, a reduction in blood oxygen, or hypotonia . These children often will require an apnea monitor that sounds an alarm when apneas occur. Central sleep apnea in children is not the same thing as sudden infant death syndrome .
Under normal circumstances, the brain monitors several things to determine how often to breathe. If it senses a lack of oxygen or an excess of carbon dioxide in the blood it will speed up breathing. The increase in breathing increases the oxygen and decreases the carbon dioxide in blood. Some people with heart or lung disease have an increase in carbon dioxide in their blood at all times.
Central sleep apnea usually occurs in adults with other medical problems. In infants, it usually occurs with prematurity or other congenital disorders. In both patient groups it is usually suspected by the primary care doctor. Central sleep apnea can be diagnosed with a sleep study or overnight monitoring while the patient is in the hospital.
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Cbd Dosage For Sleep Apnea
Due to the lack of FDA guidelines, CBD has no standard dosage recommendations. If you want to figure out the best CBD dosage for you, then you should increase the amount of CBD oil intake gradually. Patients with sleep apnea are encouraged to start with a low amount and gradually work their way up to the dosage when they reap the most benefits without adverse reactions.
As mentioned before, high doses of CBD might act as sedatives, while low doses might promote alertness.
Its a good idea to write down how you feel after each dose of CBD so that you can monitor the effects and adjust the dosage accordingly.
If you have sleep apnea and are considering adding CBD to your daily routine, its best to consult a doctor. Properly treated sleep apnea by a qualified professional is important to protect you against long-term complications.
Other Positive Airway Pressure Breathing Devices
In addition to CPAP, there are other devices that a sleep specialist may recommend for sleep apnea treatment.
Expiratory positive airway pressure single-use devices fit over the nostrils to help keep the airway open and are smaller, less intrusive than CPAP machines. These may benefit people with mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
Bilevel positive airway pressure devices can be used for those who are unable to adapt to using CPAP, or for central sleep apnea sufferers who need assistance for a weak breathing pattern. This device automatically adjusts the pressure while youre sleeping, providing more pressure when you inhale, less when you exhale. Some BiPAP devices also automatically deliver a breath if the mask detects that you havent taken one for a certain number of seconds.
Adaptive servo-ventilation devices can be used for treating central sleep apnea as well as obstructive sleep apnea. The ASV device stores information about your normal breathing pattern and automatically uses airflow pressure to prevent pauses in your breathing while youre asleep.
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Snoring Or Sleep Apnea What Are The Differences
Sleep apnea is a common medical condition. Snoring is one of its main characteristic symptoms. However, not everyone who suffers from sleep apnea starts snoring. Its also important to remember sleep apnea is not the only reason people snore.
Sleep apnea is a condition. Snoring is not. Its a symptom. Furthermore, its a symptom that can be caused by a number of different factors.
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