Sleep Apnea May Rouse Other Critical Diseases

The oxygen starvation experienced by patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may lead to other severe diseases, like Type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Several studies indicate that the fragmented sleep and intermittent hypoxia – bouts of oxygen starvation – typical of OSA are associated with the development of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. As the research stacks up, the results are unsettling but informative.

According to Dr. Naresh Punjabi, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md., 70 to 80 percent of Type 2 diabetes patients also have OSA.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Will Ruin Your Night

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Do you have trouble sleeping through the night? Do you wake up feeling unrested and consistently drowsy?
Constant daytime drowsiness is one of the leading symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common type of sleep apnea according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. Sleep apnea is a condition occurring when a person’s breathing pauses or decreases during the night due to blocked airways. Extreme snoring and sudden gasps are other common symptoms.
Although sleep apnea isn’t particularly devastating or dangerous, it has adverse effects on one’s life and responsibilities. Someone suffering from OSA will often feel impatient, irritable, forgetful and listless. If untreated, the condition leads to hard-to-treat headaches, severe depression and poor performance at work or school.
The long-term consequences of untreated sleep apnea are significant as well. The sleeping condition may cause or worsen heart disease, heart arrhythmias, heart failure, high blood pressure and strokes.
Furthermore, research shows a connection between shift work and sleep apnea. Shift work is the opposite of a nine-to-five schedule, often consisting of late-night or early-morning hours. Since shift work interrupts an already-damaged sleep cycle, it only compounds existing apnea side effects.
The number of apneic episodes per night can increase significantly, and sleep-deprivation symptoms will only worsen.
It’s estimated that up to one-third of shift workers experience side effects severe enough to diagnose them with shift work disorder. Due to their interrupted sleep schedule, shift work disorder causes sufferers to struggle to stay awake, and to fall asleep.
Imbalanced biological clocks prevent workers from falling asleep when they actually have time, and they also disrupt digestive systems. These added complications make shift work and sleep apnea the Molotov cocktail of sleep deprivation.
For more information on obstructive sleep apnea or shift work disorder, visit www.sleepapnea.org.

Sleep Apnea May Cause You to Snooze on the Job

Do you have trouble sleeping through the night? Do you wake up feeling unrested and consistently drowsy?

Constant daytime drowsiness is one of the leading symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common type of sleep apnea according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. Sleep apnea is a condition occurring when a person’s breathing pauses or decreases during the night due to blocked airways. Extreme snoring and sudden gasps are other common symptoms.

Although sleep apnea isn’t particularly devastating or dangerous, it has adverse effects on one’s life and responsibilities. Someone suffering from OSA will often feel impatient, irritable, forgetful and listless. If untreated, the condition leads to hard-to-treat headaches, severe depression and poor performance at work or school.

Snoring Warrants More Than Earplugs

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Many couples accept snoring as an inevitable part of nightly life. But snoring warrants more than shrugging your shoulders and buying ear plugs — snoring may indicate serious health problems.

Snoring happens when the soft tissues in the back of your throat relax, so they vibrate as you breathe. If those tissues get too relaxed, they can actually block your airway, cutting off your breathing.

This condition, called “obstructive sleep apnea,” prevents quality sleep. The brain, not wanting to starve from lack of oxygen, wakes patients when they stop breathing, sometimes hundreds of times per night. According to the American Board of Internal Medicine, 50 to 60 percent of those who snore have sleep apnea.

Most patients are unaware of the problem, because they don’t remember waking up throughout the night. For this reason, it’s important to speak to a doctor if you experience loud snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, sore throat or high blood pressure.

Risk factors for sleep apnea include being male, being overweight, drinking alcohol and having a large neck or a history of nasal problems. The American Sleep Apnea Association provides a quiz that can help you determine your “Snore Score,” or the likelihood that you have sleep apnea. You can take the quiz at www.sleepapnea.org.

Obstructive sleep apnea isn’t just annoying. When you stop breathing, your heart beats faster, raising your blood pressure and increasing your chances of heart attack and stroke. Insufficient sleep can affect your job performance and ability to perform basic functions, like driving a car.

There are treatments for sleep apnea, ranging from simple lifestyle changes to breathing machines to surgery. Speaking to your doctor about snoring will not only improve your quality of life — it may help your partner get a good night’s rest, too.

For more information, visit www.sleepapnea.org.

10 Tips for Better Sleep Hygiene

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Between office meeting and errands, sports practice and studies, many people sacrifice sleep for a few more hours of productivity. According to the National Sleep Foundation, fewer than half of Americans report getting adequate sleep every night.

But sleep deprivation results in more than just yawns. Inadequate sleep has been linked to depression, weight gain, hypertension, poor concentration and memory retention, and accidents.

Take driving, an activity that most Americans perform daily. In a recent National Sleep Foundation poll, 54 percent of respondents said that they have driven while drowsy. Twenty-eight percent confessed to falling asleep at the wheel. People know that alcohol impairs driving, but too few consider sleep deprivation’s effect on their motor skills. Drowsy driving causes thousands of accidents each year.

Setting aside seven to eight hours for sleeping isn’t a luxury -; it’s a necessity. The American Sleep Apnea Association offers 10 tips for better sleep hygiene:

1. Set a sleep schedule, and stick to it.

2. Don’t nap for more than 45 minutes a day.

3. Avoid excessive alcohol intake within four hours of bedtime. Do not smoke.

4. Avoid caffeine six hours before bedtime.

5. Avoid spicy food six hours before bedtime.

6. Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.

7. Use comfortable bedding.

8. Keep your room at a comfortable temperature.

9. Block out noise, and eliminate as much light as possible.

10. Do not use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room.

If you feel tired even after sleeping eight hours, an undiagnosed sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, may be to blame. In sleep apnea, the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep, blocking the airway. Sufferers wake up for a few seconds every time they stop breathing, sometimes hundreds of times a night. Visit www.sleepapnea.org to find out your “Snore Score,” or the likelihood that you have sleep apnea. The disorder can be treated, so it’s important to speak to a doctor if you experience excessive daytime fatigue.

Stop Counting Sheep, Get Some Sleep!

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Americans lead busy lives — and the overscheduled often cut back on sleep. But sleeping five or six hours a night can carry severe health consequences. Studies suggest the adults need at least seven or eight hours of shut-eye — getting less can interfere with job performance, not to mention contribute to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

But what if you’re trying to sleep, but can’t fall asleep, or wake up still feeling tired? Stimulants like caffeine or nicotine, large meals or exercise right before bed, and disruptive sleep environments can all contribute to poor sleep. For as many as 12 million Americans, as estimated by the National Institutes of Health, the problem may be a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea.

In obstructive sleep apnea, the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses into the airway during sleep, cutting off oxygen to the blood. When patients with sleep apnea stop breathing, the brain rouses them, sometimes hundreds of times a night. The result? Fragmented, poor-quality sleep.

Sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, and most cases go undiagnosed. If you often feel tired, get your Snore Score at the American Sleep Apnea Association’s Web site (www.sleepapnea.org). If you answer “yes” to any of its six questions, you should ask your doctor about sleep apnea. Treatments are available and can greatly improve your quality of life.

If you’ve ruled out an underlying sleep disorder, like sleep apnea, but still find yourself counting sheep, try the following tips:

– Avoid stimulants. The caffeine in that cup of coffee will remain in your body for six to eight hours, so stop drinking coffee after lunch. If you really need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, try taking a brisk walk outside. Thirty to sixty minutes of sunlight exposure per day can help you sleep more soundly.

– Don’t take naps after three p.m. Late-afternoon naps will make it more difficult to sleep later.

– Take a hot bath before bed. The water will lower your body temperature, mimicking what happens during sleep. Keeping your bedroom at a cool temperature may also help.

– Lessen distractions before bed. Give yourself time to wind down with a book or relaxing music. Keep televisions and computers out of the bedroom — they provide too much stimulation. If you find that you can’t fall asleep, don’t lie awake in bed. Find a quiet activity to do for 20 minutes, then try again.