Browsing: Sleep Snoring

Snoring and Sleep Apnea: What Are the Facts About Oral Appliances Versus CPAP?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing stops for a very brief moment during routine sleep as a result of a narrowing or blocking of the airway. Patients may sometimes be experiencing hundreds of these apnea episodes, or interruptions in breathing, through any one given night. Most people diagnosed with this medical condition, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), have a major problem with snoring. Snoring becomes problematic either for themselves or for a partner, spouse or other family member with whom they're sleeping.

There are several different common treatments for obstructive sleep apnea patients to get the condition under control, including snoring and apnea episodes. Oral appliances, or OAs, open the upper airway typically by pulling up while the OSA patient inhales and exhales. This makes the airways less narrow, which reduces snoring and, supposedly, apnea episodes as well. The other major treatment for OSA patients is with the use of continuous positive airway pressure machines. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines actually send forced air through the airways, holding them open to prevent apnea and reducing snoring.

Of course, there is much debate about the various treatments for obstructive sleep apnea and which yields the best results. In some cases, the patient may experience less apnea episodes (which is a good thing), but then experience more snoring or additional side effects. Research by scientists and professionals in the medical community has been conducted, especially over the past decade, to compare the effectiveness of CPAP versus other treatments like oral appliances.

CPAP Machines at Work

Before delving into the myriad of research scientists have performed with obstructive sleep apnea patients and CPAP technology, you must first understand how CPAP works to get sleep apnea and other symptoms, like snoring, under control. Most of the time in sleep apnea patients, the physiological cause of snoring and apnea episodes is because of the relaxation of muscles that occurs. This relaxation causes tissues in the back of the throat and the uvula to collapse, which extremely restricts the passage of air. In turn, this affects your breathing through the night.

When a CPAP machine is prescribed for a sleep apnea patient, he or she is given a large machine as well as a CPAP mask. What happens during the night is that the patient wears the mask, which is connected to the machine. The CPAP machine forces air – via the CPAP mask – using positive pressure that gets sent to the airway to prevent its obstruction and improve breathing. In addition to improving breathing, the CPAP mask and machine also improves snoring.

Research on CPAP Effectiveness

The research conducted on CPAP machines have greatly concentrated on their effectiveness for reducing snoring, apnea episodes and other symptoms associated with obstructive sleep apnea. When you consider the entire body of research, you may conclude the CPAP is perhaps the most effective treatment on the market for OSA patients. However, there are downsides as well.

Researchers at a university in Tokyo published a study in a 2004 issue of Internal Medicine in which they looked at the patient's quality of life, depressive symptoms and excessive daytime sleepiness before and after being treated with a CPAP machine. Before treatment with CPAP, researchers found that patients' quality of life was significantly associated with the responses on their self-depression scales. After treatment, however, self-depression scales significantly reduced as well as the excessive sleepiness scale scores. The researchers concluded that treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea with CPAP improves patients' quality of life by alleviating depression.

Being treated with a CPAP machine at home also has great implications for your relationship with a spouse or bed partner. Researchers at a university in Chicago, Illinois, published a 2007 study in the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in which they examined the sleep of married couples, both in the laboratory and at home. The researchers measured both the husband's and wives' quality of life (QOL) using a special self-report scale, and they also required the participants to take a sleepiness scale.

While the husband's adjustment to being treated with CPAP was positive and actually raised his QOL scores, the same was not true for the wives. Whether it was the noise from the machine or simply being conditioned to arousal, the wives' QOL scores were lower than the husband's after being treated with CPAP. In other words, the husband adjusted better to being treated with CPAP than the wives' did. However, researchers conclude that a long follow-up period is needed in further research to determine if similar effects are seen.

Research on Oral Appliances

A comprehensive review published in a 2006 issue of Sleep looked at over 150 studies by researchers who conducted experiments and surveys designed to examine the efficacy of oral appliances. Oral appliances that were studied include those that are designed to hold the mandible forward and in place during sleep. The idea behind these devices is that the oral appliance will allow unobstructed breathing. Other studies the researchers reviewed used “boil and bite” OAs that the patients could fit themselves. The majority of the rest of the studies, however, used tongue-retaining devices (TRDs) that required a dentist to first make impressions and then a custom-made device to adequately fit the patient.

The researchers in the review article found that oral appliances are effective for controlling snoring and obstructive sleep apnea for the majority, but not all, patients. Specifically, approximately 52% of treated patients achieved success in controlling sleep apnea episodes when being treated with oral appliances. The researchers also compared the use and effectiveness of oral appliances to that of CPAP machines for sleep apnea and snoring. What they found was that oral appliances are overall less effective in improving sleep apnea than a CPAP machine is. However, oral appliances appear to be used more and many patients prefer these devices over CPAP when there is a choice between the two.

Overall, it appears that oral appliances and CPAP do work to get obstructive sleep apnea under control. However, these techniques or treatments may not work at the same rates of success and whether you're treated with CPAP over oral appliances, or vice versa, depends much on your specific situation and medical recommendations. Researchers have demonstrated overwhelming success using CPAP treatments on serious cases of obstructive sleep apnea and, while there may be a few downsides, CPAP seems to be the treatment modality of choice that's recommended most of the time.

{ Comments are closed }

Sleeping Techniques: Relaxation to Promote Sleep – No, Not Drinking Beer and Watching TV

If you find it hard to get to sleep at night then relax, help is at hand. There are simple, sleeping techniques that have been known about for ever.

Daytime presses.
Sleep is not simply about what happens or does not happen at night or when you go to bed. The quality and amount of sleep you get depends on the sort of activity that goes on during the day.

You may not be someone with a pressurized rush meeting from meeting to meeting, solving problems on the go with technology battering your senses, but even if you're not in a permanent state of hyperarousal during the waking hours you may still be ahead to the stresses and strains of daily life.

You're body's stress response system is pumping out stress and arousal hormones and your body is working harder and running hotter than normal. Your mind and body never reach a state of quiet repose and harmony that is important to recover from the daily grind.

Do not forget to relax hard too.
The maxim “work hard and play hard” is a common and popular one these days, when, even though we have technology working for us, we seem to have less and less time to accomplish our goals. (Or maybe our goals have just become too unrealistic.)

Working hard and playing hard is fine but what's missing is “relaxing hard” or maybe that should be “relaxing soft”.

Relaxing techniques have been known about and practiced for millennium and their overall benefits have been understood for as long, so why do we pay less attention to them these days?

Apart from getting more out of your waking lives, learning to relax properly can have a dramatic effect on your ability to get to sleep and stay sleep.

After activating your stress responses during the day, relaxation techniques such as meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and yoga can be affective ways to rebalance the systems of the mind and body.

Meditation comes and goes as a popular form of “activity”. It usually conjures up images of bald men in orange garb with legs crossed, quietly chanting but it need not be.

In fact the essence of meditation is breathing and focused awareness, something that does not need a lot of practice and for the beginners there is almost an immediate benefit. So not only should you start looking forward to sleeping better but you may be surprised to discover huge depths of peace and tranquility within you.

Yoga has claimed a more stable reputation as a relaxation technique that promotes strength, health, inner peace as well as combating insomnia.

There are classes available at most gyms these days the different styles of yoga available are extensive.

  • Hatha – promotes physical and spiritual harmony – is good for unwinding before bed but done during the day also promotes good quality sleep – is one of the best types for the beginner to join.
  • Lyengar – is very precise using 12 tightly controlled postures – excellent for muscle tone, posture and inner peace.
  • Kundalini – uses chanting, specific breathing as well as postures – good for prenatal women and those of us after a youthful look.
  • Sivananda – uses incense photographed rituals, concentrates more on the inner you – good for alleviating worries and negative thoughts.
  • Astanga – is energetic and includes a cardiovascular workout – is quite demanding but offers fat-burning and toning.
  • Bikram – uses a room heated to around 38c (100f) so the body becomes more flexible – gets rid of toxins while intercepting the body.

Breathing
For any relaxation technique it's important to breathe; yes, I know, it's important to breathe to stay alive but that's an innate reflex action for survival. By “breathe” I mean to focus on filling up your lungs on the intake and then actually feel the breath as you exhale. That does not mean to say that breathing should be an effort in any way, it should be LESS, that is; light, easy, soft and slow.

The fast paced lives we lead tend to disrupt our rhythms so that like events during the day our breathing becomes fast, disorganized, irregular and effortful. Like our appointments we hurry from one breath to the next making us feel anxious, rushed, intolerant and impatient.
This is not conducive to a peaceful life or a sound sleep.

So try this when you go to bed.
Lie on your back, arms and legs slightly apart. Instead of counting sheep imagine a favorite place of yours; it may be the sun-kissed shores of a South Pacific island (that's if you are lucky enough to have been to one).

It's a place of serenity. Imagine all the sounds and scents as well.

Then concentrate on your breathing; do not forget LESS is more. Now, as you breathe, feel all the trials and tribulations of the day leaving you. See you in 7.5 hours.

Restful sleep and well being.
There are other relaxation techniques and many other sleeping techniques that people use for effective sleep promotion. But as well as sound sleep, most people who use these relaxation methods find that they have a general feeling of well being and are better able to manage the trials, stresses and worries of everyday modern life.

{ Comments are closed }

How to Sleep Better – The Natural Way

Good sleep is very important for good health. Lack of sleep or disturbed sleep can lead to various health problems. Just the way food, water and exercise are important for a healthy body, a good sleep is also necessary. In today's hectic lifestyle most of us are not only sleep deprived but we ignore the importance of sleep in our overall well-being. We will discuss about various natural measures which you can take in order to get a better sleep.

Keep Stress at Bay

It generally happens that when the mind is not at rest or ease you are unable to sleep. You have to understand, and reduce your stress levels before going to bed. If something is bothering you in context to your work or home, overlook it or forget it. If you can not do so, then try doing some activity which would help you do so, like reading a good book or watching your favorite movie, or simply playing with your kids.

Do not Eat Heavy Dinner

In order to get a sound sleep you should eat light meals at night. This is because at night our digestion slows down and our body can not digest heavy food. You should finish off your dinner three hours before going off to sleep. In case you have to attend some party, you should refrain from heavy food items. Food that remains undigested can create trouble for you at night causing acid, heart burns or abdominal pain.

Comfortable sleeping area

It is very important to have a comfortable sleeping area. It is often seen that if you shift your sleeping place, you do not get sound sleep. Sleep in your bedroom every day. Some people have the habit of watching television in their bedrooms, it is not advised. You can listen to some soothing and melodious music before going to bed. You should have comfortable mattress and pillows to make your sleep a good experience. Posture is very important, as it is seen that sometimes we end up getting up with pains and aches in the morning. Pay heed to correct sleeping postures as well.

Quality sleep rather than quantity

We often feel tired and lethargic after ten hours of sleep. This happens when you have not had quality sleep. It does not matter for how long you have slept, what is important is getting good quality sleep. Researchers recommend recommend getting good sleep from five to eight hours, for an adult. In order to get quality sleep, calm your mind, warm milk with sugar or honey does wonders to your disturbed sleeping patterns. Taking a relaxing warm water bath before retiring to bed is also a very good option to attain good sleep.

With these simple and natural ways, you can get a good night sleep and get charged up for the fresh start in the morning.

{ Comments are closed }

Treating Sleep Apnea Without CPAP: ‘Painless’ Ways To Kill That Illness And Win Back The Real You!

If you're like many people who are living with their sleep apnea, you will know how hard it is to make your CPAP work for you. It's too inconvenient and makes too many problems. Although it's highly recommended, it's simply not the best.

So, what about treating sleep apnea without CPAP? Is that question still flying around? Then you'll feel happy to know that you have many helpful treatments that work! Let's take a closer look at some of them.

1) Dropping out some extra pounds for good:

There is a strong bond between obstructive sleep apnea obesity.

When you're obese or overweight, you'll increase the chances you get sleep apnea. And when you have sleep apnea, it usually comes with weight gain. Therefore it's a sound advice to lose some extra pounds. Because it helps!

And in order to make this treatment work, you should draw a good diet plan and take more exercises. Be patient and stick with them to see the results you want.

2) Healthy meals and foods – excellent allies to have on your side!

Because they play important roles in improving your overall health condition and curing your sleep apnea.

Some special kinds of foods and juices such as ginger juices and yam are proved to cure your obstructive sleep apnea gradually if you take them daily.

And, are you working with your weight loss program? Then this tip will make it easier for you!

3) Taking special kinds of mouth and throat exercises:

You know the reason that leads to your airway obstruction, right? It's because of the soft tissues and lax muscles inside your throat. They tend to fall together while you're sleeping.

This therapy is aiming to strengthen those muscles thus improving your breathing activity. And the 2 most common exercises are singing exercises and blowing the Didgeridoo.

In order to see real results you should do them at least 20 minutes a day in 3 months!

4) Just try other devices! CPAP sucks!

Do you know why the CPAP is so popular? Although it's not that great?

In my opinion, it's simply because CPAP manufacturers dominate the “market!”

However, it does not mean you do not have any other choice. In fact, you still have dental appliances and nostril devices. They are great substitutes for that machine. Some of them, especially dental devices might make some small problems at first but they are great in the long run!

And an interesting fact says that these devices have higher compliance rates than CPAP's!

{ Comments are closed }

Obstructive Sleep Apnea And Weight Loss: The Secret To Be Healthier And Finally Cure This Illness!

There is a strong bond between OSA and weight gain. Your sleep apnea situation gets worse when you're overweight or obese. And when you have obstructive apnea, it seems to come together with weight gain. Therefore, successfully losing your weight is an effective way to cure sleep apnea.

However, do not be confused about obesity and being overweight! As you know, both of them refer to a state where your body is “bigger” than normal. But obesity is about body fat, while overweight may refer to bone structure and / or body water. But there is one thing you should know. That's losing your weight will only help you build a healthy body and prevent illnesses. Those include sleep disorders, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and some cancers.

So how you can lose extra pounds and control your weight?

Well, there is a simple rule for this. It says in order to lose weight and keep it, you must burn more calories than what you take in! Easier said than done, right? So how you can do so? There are some tips that can help:

  • Eating low-fat, low-calorie foods: because you're aiming to a smaller amount of calories you take in. Some kinds of vegetable like spinach, salad greens, tomatoes, or some fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, or some foods like cereals or brown rice are excellent choices!
  • Eating smaller portions: but eat many times throughout the day. The main aim of this tip is to make sure that you do not take in too much calories. And to make sure that you burn them out with your daily activities before taking in another meal.
  • Drinking water instead of sugary drinks: because sugary drinks, as the name implies, contain too much sugar for your diet program! They will help you nothing but increase the amount of energy you must burn out. And in many cases, they will make you feel more thirsty. So, stick with water, it's the best.
  • Taking physical exercises: I know it's hard to be physically active. Especially when you're suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. You feel tired and sleepiness all day long. But this one is the best route to lose your extra pounds and cure this illness. The good news is, if you stick with healthy foods and a good amount of physical exercises everyday, you will improve your condition drastically! The key is to be patient and be self-disciplined.

{ Comments are closed }

The Best Stop Snoring Exercise Program

Millions of people all around the world snore and when asked why they snore, they can not answer. These same set of people, when asked if they would love to stop snoring will say yes. The question is, how can you stop snoring when you do not even know the reason why you snore? Knowledge of your problem automatically partnerships solutions. Looking for solutions without understanding the problem is like looking for a needle in a haystack; the chance of success is zero.

Snoring is caused by an obstruction of the upper airways. This blockage can be due to a couple of reasons but in most cases, it is because the muscles of the throat are over relaxed, which cause them to rest over the passageway that air is supposed to flow in and out through. Here is a brief description of what happens when a person snores. As a person sleeps, the upper airway and jaw are relaxed. This causes a collapse on top of the upper airway. The lower jaw often falls back a couple of millimeters when a person sleeps too. The tongue base, which is attached to the lower jaw also drops back a few millimeters further while a person sleeps. All these events make the air passage very narrow for air to flow through. At times, this passageway may become closed up completely, restricting inflow of air for up to a minute. Such case is known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Many homes have been broken because of snoring. By snoring, you will defrive others of quality night rest and this may cause severe problems in your home. While some people can bear it, some can not bear it for a minute.

Stop Snoring Exercise Program

You can use a stop snoring exercise program to strengthen the muscles of your throat so that they are firmer. This will reduce the chances of these muscles falling back on the airways to cause blockage whenever you sleep. There are several stop snoring exercise programs that you can try but I am going to introduce you to one method that is effective. It is my favorite because it works like magic.

Make sure you spare some time during the day for this. About 30 minutes should do daily. You should take about 15 minutes to do basic exercise like jogging, running, skipping and whatever gets your heart beating faster. After about 15 minutes of exercise, get yourself in an upright position for the magical stop snoring exercise program.

Open your mouth wide and sing out La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la. If you have seen the movie, Sister's Act, this was used as a voice training exercise. The only difference is that you are using this to sharpen and strengthen the muscles of your throat. After each la, hold your breath over the syllable for about 3 seconds before going to the next one. You should be able to sing the nine “las” with one breath. Then move on to the next syllable, the Ka syllable. Sing Ka just like you sang the La. Then move on to Ba and to Ma. By the time you get to Ma, you should have used about 15 minutes on this exercise.

Now this can look really stupid but it will help a great deal to strengthen the muscles of your throat. Even when they relax, they will not relax completely to prevent passage of air through your throat when you sleep. You can make this more interesting by playing nice jazz music along.

Keep doing this for about a month and I bet you would have lost enough body weight and enough throaty weight to stop snoring.

{ Comments are closed }

Effective Stop Snoring Home Remedy

If you are snoring, chances are that you have been embarrassed, humiliated and disgraced by people around you. I was once in those shoes so I know exactly how it feels. I remembered my blood brother waking up in the night to give me a heavy blow because I will not allow him sleep in the night. I am someone you would call a heavy snorer but interestingly, I was able to stop snoring. I do not remember using any drug or device, I just used a stop snoring home remedy, one that was designed out of hatred for the humiliation I get for being a snorer.

There are many snorers out there today who have suffered severe losses because of snoring. Marriages are broken and relationships are on the verge of breaking down because someone snores. How much evil do you think snoring will do to you before you get mad and look for how to stop snoring? Do not read this article like “just one of those” articles you have read before. I am sharing with you how I was able to get rid of snoring at home and I believe it will help you. Even if this method does not help you, there are so many effective snoring remedies out there that have already proved highly successful in stopping snoring. Yes, you may be confused about which one to choose but there is nothing wrong with trying a couple of them.

Just in case you do not even know why you snore, snoring is not only caused because you had cold and catarrh and your nose got blocked; it is mostly caused because the nasal passage way or airways are blocked up by the muscles of the throat and tongue. Weighty people suffer from this most. If you are overweight, chances are that you snoring because of that. The muscles of your throat and tongue are probably so thickened that they relax to block the airways, causing you to snore. If you will stop snoring as a weighty person, you must first get real; you will have to shed some weight first.

If you have catarrh and its making you snore, a simple stop snoring home remedy is using mentholated rub. You can rub it around your nose before going to sleep. It will cause a flow out of the mucus blocking your nose, giving you a free airway for breathing. Now let me talk about how I was able to get rid of my snoring.

* I sleep with consciousness – I go to bed each night with the consciousness that my brother is there, ready to pounce on me whenever I snore. While this was not what worked the miracle, it helped me to wake up as soon as I start snoring.

* I sleep on my side – I found out I mostly snore when I am lying on my back so I switched to sleeping on my side. This helped to create a passageway for breathing by preventing my throat muscles from over-relaxing on the airways. This helped me a great deal.

* I guide against getting myself stressed up – If you work too late into the night, you may get stressed by the time you sleep and chances are that you will snore because you will be thrown into heavy sleep. You can prevent this by sleeping earlier.

The above were my secret and I found out that suddenly they are remedies that have been recommended in the past for those who want to stop snoring. You too can use these tips to stop your snoring. You will not only help your roommates and partners get a good night rest; you too will be getting a better rest for your body.

{ Comments are closed }

Learn What A Snoring Mouth Guard Is And How It Can Help You

People always want to know if these machines work and or if they are effective. In order to address these issues, we need to find out how snoring is caused and what roles these devices play to stop it.

Snoring is produced by the collapse of the soft tissues of the throat, which produces narrowing of the airways. These devices are also called dental devices work by stopping the throat tissues from collapsing thus preventing the blockage of airways. They are quite efficient in preventing snoring and they are also beneficial for the people who have obstructive sleep apnea.

These guards are made of clear plastic and are also known as mandibular enhancement devices or dental splint or dental orthotics. When fitted inside the mouth they bring the lower jaw in a somewhat forward position and also lift the soft palate a little. This will prevent the throat from collapsing and becoming blocked and this will either eliminate the snoring completely or decrease it to a great extent.

These mouth guards can either be specially made by a dentist after taking measurements of your mouth etc, but those will really be expensive or they can be bought ready made, which may not be that effective, but are much cheaper.

If you are buying a ready made appliance you should put it in the hot water for the prescribed length of time then place it inside your mouth and bite on it to mold it to the shape and size of your mouth and teeth.

Once you have done this, they can be used after that without trouble. In order to get the best out of them adhere strictly to the product guidelines.

If there is an indication that you need a mouth guard then my advice is that you should start with a ready made product, and if it proves effective then after consultation with your sleep specialist or dental specialist you should go ahead with a custom made one.

Now the second question is whether they really work or not but the studies actually prove that they do.

A study carried out in Switzerland determined that the use of these devices was efficient in treating the sleep apnea. The undesired effects were limited to a little tooth discomfort and mucosal dryness in a few individuals.

Always look at what your doctor has to say about the situation before making any drastic moves.

{ Comments are closed }

Do You Want To Sleep Better – Here Are Some Tips

It is necessary to have a good night sleep if you want to be alert and active the next day with a sharp mind and alert reflexes. Sleep will replenish the energy consumed during the day and will restore the muscle damage.

Babies, as they grow older their sleep requirements decrease and an adult will on the average need eight hours of sleep and some elders can go with five hours of sleep. Sleeping less than that is not good and if someone gets four hours or less than that of sleep during the twenty-four hours, they must consult their doctor. Here are a few things I think will help you sleep a bit better.

Try and relax by reading a book, listening to soothing music or watching a movie that can make you feel relaxed. This can make your mood calm. It can relieve you from stress and worries.

Go to bed at the same time every night. Change into your night clothes, brush your teeth, have a drink, but avoid caffeine. All of this will send a signal to your body that it is sleep time and by going to bed at a fixed time your body will adjust biologically to a sleep and wake routine.

Try your best not too sleep at the day time. If you feel excessively tired during the daytime then just take a very fast nap, but it should be no longer than thirty minutes. Otherwise it will disturb your sleeping pattern and you will have difficulty falling asleep at night.

Try to make the things around your room comfortable. If you are easily disrupted by noises like a passing car or barking of dogs, or loud music, you may have to move your bed to a more quiet place inside your room away from the windows, or if possible move to another room. Did you know that you can also use something that is known as ear-buds?

Do not eat or drink too much before sleeping. Especialially avoid eating fatty foods. It will take longer to get digested and that may cause stomachache and other discomforts. Drinking too much liquid before sleeping will make you go to the bathroom frequently at night and can disrupt your sleep.

Finally do not take your work to your bed. If you are working at home then do your work in a place other than your bed. This is to avoid associating your bed with work. Your bed should be a place to relax and rest.

{ Comments are closed }

Finding Help to Stop Snoring

Snoring is not only something that annoys anyone who happens to be near you when you are sleeping, it is also something that can be dangerous. Many people try a number of techniques to stop snoring. Some find that just by making some lifestyle changes that their snoring has stopped. Other people have tried the lifestyle changes, not to mention a whole lot of other things, and they still have snoring problems. Is there anything else left that they can do to alleviate the snoring and actually start getting sleep at night?

The problem could be medical or even dental, so if you are snoring heavily, you should make an appointment with your physician or your dentist. There are many different reasons why people snore, and sometimes, when the snoring starts to get out of control, it is necessary to pinpoint the cause of it. A doctor or a dentist can do an examination of your mouth to see if they can find the cause of your snoring, and once they figure this out, it will make it a lot easier to find a way to get the snoring to stop.

Snoring May Be a Sign of Something Far More Serious

Snoring is often a sign of a more serious health problem or a sleep disorder. Sometimes, doctors will suggest that patients visit a sleep lab to find out the reason for their snoring. While their studies are conducted while you sleep to see what your body is doing during this down time. Most of the time, these studies will show the reason why you snore, and then you will be able to start finding ways to stop snoring.

There are many things that can cause snoring. Many people with sleep apnea are heavy snorers. Those who have this condition will stop breathing in their sleep for as long as a minute and a half, and when they do breathe, it is with a loud snore. This can be a very dangerous condition, and needs to be closely monitored. Something else that can cause snoring is insomnia. Then there is narcolepsy, which makes it difficult for people to stay awake, even while they are involved in activities.

When you visit a sleep lab, many things will be looked at to determine the source of your snoring. Do you work shift work? This could be why you snore, because you do not have a normal sleep pattern. Do you have RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome)? Everything that happens to you while you sleep will be studied, and the results should give doctors an idea of ​​what is causing your snoring, and how to go about treating you so that you stop snoring.

If you have a snoring problem, do not give up … Know that there are ways that you can help solve this problem.

{ Comments are closed }

What You Need To Know About New Treatments for Snoring

Snoring is an issue that affects millions of people across the globe. In the United States alone, snoring affects around 25% to 50% of individuals who either have mild to moderate cases of snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea is also a condition of which snoring is a component, but sleep apnea also involves brief interruptions of breathing during your sleep.

The reason snoring occurs, for most people, is because of a floppy soft palate that teeters back and forth and vibrates at night while you sleep, which is especially troubling for mouth-breathers. For others that have trouble snoring, obstructive sleep apnea is the culprit or a condition like allergies or an enlarged tongue base. The individuals for whatever the primary cause of snoring is the soft palate and its floppiness as they sleep, there are some relatively newer medical treatments that can be just as effective, if not more so, than traditional or laser-assisted surgery.

From LAUP to RAUP

A new treatment that's essentially a twist on the laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty is one that's performed with radio waves. Radio frequency assisted uvulopalatoplasty, or RAUP, works in a similar yet different fashion than the laser-assisted procedure. With RAUP, the surgeon uses thermal energy after you've been given a local anesthetic. The surgeon applies microwave energy to the soft palate through the use of a small needle. This procedure essentially creates scar tissue in the soft palate, stiffening it so that it vibrates less while you're sleeping. Since the entire cause of snoring is a soft palate that flaps in the back of the throat, stiffening the palate makes it much less likely that you'll snore.

Compared with its laser-assisted procedural counterpart, radio frequency assisted RAUP is actually less-invasive and carries less procedural risks as patients typically do not experience as much discomfort following the procedure than they do with LAUP. Like the laser surgery, however, RAUP for snoring involves several outpatient treatments. Many patients must go in for as many as three or more separate treatments before they'll experience the full benefits of the procedure and realize that the snoring problem has been corrected. Costs for the RAUP procedure range anywhere from around $ 1,800 to $ 2,500, on average.

Palatal Implants

Another procedure that can work for snoring individuals who primary concern is their soft palate is palatal implants. This is a very different treatment option from either laser-assisted or radio frequency-assisted surgery as no surgeon will be cutting at the back of your throat. Instead, three small polyester inserts are carefully placed in the back of the throat after you've undergone a local anesthetic. In addition, palatal implants are also different because this type of procedure focuses on stabilizing the front of the soft palate directly under the nasal passages instead of the area in the back of the throat, which is where LAUP or RAUP is concentrated.

The polyester inserts are essentially placed in the soft palate in an attempt to stiffen it, which has the same end-result as the RAUP procedure. Compared with surgical options for snoring, palatal implants carry even less of a risk, are reliably easy to insert by the surgeon and the patients who get them are able to return to normal activities soon after the procedure is finished. In addition, the insertion of palatal implants can also be reversed should major side occur or there is some other reason that they need to be removed. Also unlike surgical procedures, the three palatal implants that most patients require can be placed all at once instead of requiring multiple visits to an outpatient center or doctor's office. Palatal implants cost anywhere from around $ 1,000 to $ 2,500, on average.

Snoreplasty Injections

A third major option for snoring treatments are snoreplasty injections. This is a more recent snoring treatment option that's so new, as of 2011, that not all doctors may have access to it. Neverheless, snoreplasty injections use a specific substance called Sotradecol that is designed to chemically scar the soft palate tissues in an effort to stiffen them.

Compared with other new treatments for snoring, snoreplasty injections are even less-invasive and cost considerably less as well. Spread out over around five to six months, the injections cost around $ 300 each. While Sotradecol may not always be available to your specialist, there are structural-similar compounds and injection agents that work similarly and just as well, that is, if you're willing to forgo the original snoreplasty agent.

Which Treatment is Best?

Whatever your snoring problem gets resolved through the placement of palatal implants, with radio frequency-assisted uvulopalatoplasty or snoreplasty injections with a special substance, the treatment option of choice strongly depends on what your medical doctor recommends. Before you have the option to choose any of these new snoring treatments, most doctors want patients to undergo a complete sleep study so that your issue can be properly and thoroughly evaluated. In some cases, it may be found that you're experiencing sleep apnea episodes during the night instead of simply snoring.

If this is the case and you do have obstructive sleep apnea, a whole range of other options are typically available and recommended rather than treatments designed to stiffen the soft palate. In fact, a much different treatment option is usually recommended, such as oral appliances and sleep apnea masks that are designed to either keep the airway open or force air while you sleep, effectively reducing snoring and your sleep apnea symptoms.

After your sleep study, your doctor will review the results with you to determine the best course of action to take. If you're not diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, the options for treating your snoring typically expand and there are a variety of options you can try. Treatment options range from the new treatments that have developed over the past decade to traditional solutions designed to improve the nasal passageways and keep them open. For example, you could wear snoring mouth guards, anti-snore strips or even try specialty nasal sprays. Whatever the case, your snoring should be treated in short order with any of these options that your doctor can recommend and discuss.

{ Comments are closed }

Do You Want To Learn How To Beat Insomnia?

If you are not able to sleep properly at night it will soon lead to problems with your day's work. You will feel more tired and make more mistakes in your daily work. You may start to develop headaches, body aches and other physical symptoms, but unfortunately all this can be avoided if you take care of a few simple things.

You must not have any caffeine before going to sleep or otherwise it will cause difficulty with your sleep routine. If you are already having trouble with sleep you must not have any caffeine after the noon. If you are working shifts and you have a different schedule than a normal person, then as a general rule there should be eight hours of interval between your caffeine and take your sleep time.

Physical exercise releases relaxing hormones, which help you fall asleep, but beware if you exercise too close to bedtime, it will make it difficult for you to fall sleep. Ideally you should do some light exercise, rough 4-6 hours before your bedtime. This will help you to get a more relaxing sleep.

If used correctly and judiciously, herbs can go a long way in producing a peaceful sleep. Chamomile and lavender are the two herbs with minimal effects and they also have fewer interactions with other drugs or other herbs. Passion flowers and Jasmines are stronger.

Before going to bed turn off the TV and shut the book which you were reading. Let your body get adapted to the idea that bed is for relaxing and sleeping and once the lights are turned off this should be your signal for your mind to go to sleep.

Developing a sleep routine can help train your body to recognize that it is bedtime. You can do many different things, like having a glass of hot milk or herbal tea, checking the windows and doors, taking care of the various personal hygiene chores and changing into your night clothes. All these things actually send a message to your body that it is sleep time.

If all of these and other natural methods are tried and they do not work, then there might be a physical reason which can be preventing you from falling asleep. Since that is the case make sure you contact your doctor who will give you a thorough checkup and may do some tests like a sleep study.

{ Comments are closed }

What’s the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers?

If you are like me and sleep mostly on your side, congratulations, you are doing what comes natural. Problem is most people can not stay on their sides for an extended period due to pressure points and one ends up tossing and turning all night. So what's the best mattress for side sleepers?

Buying a new mattress should be more like buying new golf clubs; you must get properly fit to get the maximum advantage of your new purchase. Spring type mattresses will not conform to your body enough to prevent pressure building up in your shoulders and hips. Memory foam mattresses do work well to relieve pressure points but they do not hold up well over time, they are hot to sleep on, and they stink of toxic fumes. The best mattress for side sleepers is one that is made of latex foam.

What's so special about latex foam?

Latex foam mattresses Do everything memory foam does without the side effects. No nasty smell, incredibly durable, and are cool to sleep on due to their open cell construction which allows air flow. Latex mattresses also come in a variety of firmness choices which is what makes it the best mattress for side sleepers since we like softer mattresses. Softer mattresses will allow our shoulders and hips to sink in and with latex foam you still get support for your lower back.

When choosing the best mattress for side sleepers you need to consider your weight. Because latex foam mattresses come in different firmness choices you need to be aware of what works best for your weight. Typically my customers who choose the “soft” version are under 180 lbs as I am. Most latex mattress manufactures offer a variety “ILD's” which is a number rating for firmness. A latex core with an ILD rating of # 28 or lower is typically considered “soft” by the mainstream and usually comes with an even softer topper. The higher the ILD number, the firmer the feel.

What's the Best Mattress for a Side Sleeper who is Heavy?

This is a loaded question because everyone is different. Again, getting back to mainstream, most customers who are between 180 and 230 lbs choose a latex mattress with an ILD rating in the mid 30's coupled with a latex mattress topper in the low 20's. This selection will not only provide support for a slightly heavier person but also provide pressure relief in the shoulders and hips mostly due to the softer topper.

For those searching for the best mattress for side sleepers who are much heavier you will have no choice but to go with one in the upper 30's ILD range but again, get the added soft latex mattress topper and hip circulation issues you are probably having right now. All the choices I have recommended are based on over 14 years experience selling latex mattresses online and are in fact what customers have reported back works best for them based on weight classification. It is important to put yourself in the hands of a “true” sleep expert when shelling out the dough for one of these premium latex mattresses. One thing you want to be sure of is the trial period for the mattress. Although the above recommendations work best for most people, it still comes down to personal choice and you want to be sure you can return or at least exchange the mattress if it's not working out for you.

The last thing I can tell you is that I sleep like a baby on my soft latex mattress and in fact get such a deep relaxing sleep that I wake up every morning fully refreshed after only 6- 6 h hours sleep. In effect I get an extra hour and half everyday for what I call “me time” and I owe it all to the best mattress for side sleepers, a latex mattress.

{ Comments are closed }

Could a Simple Procedure Be the Key to Treating Snoring?

A relatively new in-office medical technique is being touted among snoring specialists as a successful treatment for snoring in many patients.

A reliably painless procedure that can be performed in a doctor's office in about 20 minutes, using only local anesthetic, is giving hope to snorers everywhere. More than 40,000 snorers have been treated with the Pillar® Procedure worldwide, and lasting, positive results are being realized.

The Pillar Procedure is a minimally invasive, simple and safe treatment for snoring and mild to moderate snoring, including snoring caused by Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in many patients. Snoring is caused by the fluttering of the soft palate when the muscles in the back of the throat relax while sleep. The relaxed muscles obstructive airflow, which causes vibration as the air flows out while breathing, and creates the snoring sound.

Although snoring may seem like just an annoyance, it keeps snorers from getting the appropriate amount of restful, recuperative sleep they need for their body to function properly. The sleep loss associated with snoring can affect a person's ability to concentrate, learn and reason. It causes memory loss and irritability, and impairs motor skills such as driving. It can even lead to depression.

Snoring does not just affect the one who snores. Relationships suffer when a bed partner's sleep is also disturbed because it causes the same symptoms of daytime fatigue to the body as the offending party's snoring. That means both can be suffering from irritability, lack of concentration, and drowsy driving. Depending on how loud the snoring is, one's whole family can be affected.

However, when snoring is caused by Obstructive Sleep Apnea, it's the snorer who needs to be concerned about even more serious health issues. OSA causes a person to stop breathing many times through the night because the muscles in the back of the throat relax so much that tissue actually blocks the airway passage. People who suffer from sleep apnea stop breathing dozens of times during sleep and may not breathe for as much as three quarters of the time that they're sleep. It can be potentially life threatening because repeated stops and starts in breathing can cause a drop in the amount of oxygen in your blood. Apnea is particularly severe when there are more than twenty or thirty events per hour. It is known to be linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, lung disease and stroke.

For many years, the CPAP unit was considered by doctors to be the “gold standard” in treating snoring. It is a machine that delivers a continuous flow of air through the upper respiratory tract and keeps the throat muscles from collapsing. The CPAP unit consists of a small air pressure generator that rests on a night stand near the bed that is connected by tubing to a snug-fitting nasal mask that is worn while sleeping. Although extremely effective, getting patients to comply with using it has been extremely difficult. Many snorers report that it is uncomfortable to sleep with the nasal mask, and they describe feeling claustrophobic and that the noise from the machine keeps them from falling asleep.

Since there is a high rate of non-compliance of the CPAP and there are some cases when it does not work, surgery has also been an option.

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) has been a common surgical procedure for obstructive sleep apnea for many years. It is performed under general anesthesia, and involves removing the uvula and a small portion of the soft palate which can have a painful recovery. Another surgical technique to treat OSA is maxillofacial surgery which reduces airway obstruction at the base of the tongue, below the level of the palate and tonsils. There are additional forms of surgery that involve moving or repositioning muscles and bones in the jaw that have been used to treat apnea, with the most drastic being a tracheotomy which involves creating a surgical opening in the windpipe, and placing a tube through the hole.

Sometimes that is why doctors and their patients are so encouraged by the success they are seeing with the Pillar Procedure. It can be done in a doctor's office in 10 to 20 minutes, there is little pain reported and there is a very high success rate. The procedure stiffens the soft palate and by offering structural support, reduces the vibration of the tissue that is causing the snoring. During the procedure, three small polyester implants are placed into the soft palate and over time, the implants, together with the body's natural fibrotic response, providing support to the soft palate.

The Pillar Procedure was approved by the FDA in 2004, and so far more than 40,000 people have been treated with it, according to Pillar manufacturer, Medtronics. Physicians have found that afterwards, most of their patients' snoring was treated completely, or reduced significantly. Once snoring stops, serious daytime sleep deprivation symptoms that their snoring was causing are also eliminated. Hopefully so too are their relationship difficulties, and the whole family can enjoy peaceful, restful sleep.

{ Comments are closed }

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

Once a diagnosis has been made, sleep apnea treatment becomes an instant priority. The patient may have been suffering for many months or years with the side effects of the disorder and may even have become so used to their symptoms that they no longer notice them, but claiming back the ability to get proper, restorative sleep must be an absolute priority of both doctor and patient. This is not to mention reducing the risks of stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease which are elevated in sufferers of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea treatment may not actually be uncomfortable or invasive, as some patients fear. The pauses and interruptions in the breathing are caused when the tissue and muscle surrounding the windpipe relax too much and create an obstruction. Sleep apnea treatment therefore aims to eliminate the blockage or reduce the likelihood of a blockage occurring. The appropriate treatment depends on the individual patient and the severity of their sleep apnea.

The simplest form of sleep apnea treatment is sometimes called 'positional therapy.' Whilst this name seems quite elaborate, this literally only relates to changing the sleeping position. When sleeping on the back, there is more chance of the tongue slipping back down the throat encouraging blockages to form around the windpipe. Patients are there afore advised to sleep on their sides. Whilst this may seem simple, for some it is easier said than done and many patients find that they fall asleep on their side but soon roll back onto their backs. An obscure but effective idea to rectify this is to place a tennis ball in a sock and pinning or sewing the sock onto the back of the patient's nightshirt. Rolling onto the tennis ball is enough to wake them and they soon became conditioned to stay on their side.

Weight loss is not strictly considered a form of treatment, but because being overweight or obese is such a risk factor in the disorder any overweight patient will be asked to try and increase exercise and watch their diet to lose weight. Other lifestyle factors include avoiding alcohol and relaxant drugs such as sleeping tablets as these further encourage the muscles to relax which can cause more apneas.

Sleep apnea treatment may involve the use of oral appliances which are worn to bring the lower jaw forwards and reduce the likelihood of blockages occurring. They resemble rugby mouth guards and may be uncomfortable at first however they do have the added bonus of reducing or even stopping snoring.

Finally, there is CPAP, the highest standard of sleep apnea treatment for the most severe conditions. The machines are expensive and often uncomfortable, taking a good deal of time to become accustomed to. They work by pumping a continuous flow of high pressure air into the windpipe to hold it open.

{ Comments are closed }