Browsing: Sleep Snoring

Natural Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment – How to Tame Sleep Apnea Without Using Your CPAP!

When it comes to obstructive sleep apnea treatments, CPAP is known as the gold standard. The reason? Because people believe that its mechanism is designed to deliver oxygen to their lungs. And the obvious fact that says CPAP manufacturers dominate the “sleep apnea market.”

However, when people use it to cool down their sicknesses, they find it not that helpful. Some even have serious problems with either their machines or their facial skins. Only a small number can tolerate it.

So, the question is how to cure obstructive sleep apnea without CPAP? If that question is still your obsession then you'll feel happy because you have many of them. Let's take a closer look.

1) Alternative devices for CPAP's? What are they?

They are dental devices (oral appliances) and nasal devices.

Dental devices are used to widen your airway so increasing the amount of oxygen intake. They do so by adjusting your lower jaw to eliminate the airway blockage. Make sure to have a good contact with your doctor to forge the perfect device that fits your teeth structure.

What about nasal devices? They're like CPAP's in their mechanisms. Designed to bring in as much oxygen as possible, yet these devices do not use power sources. They use your own breath to create enough pressure to open your airway.

Interested thing is both of these devices have higher compliance rates than PAP machines!

2) Special mouth and throat exercises:

What is the main reason that makes your breathing hell while sleeping?

It's because of the soft tissues and lax muscles inside your throat. They tend to collapse together when you sleep because obstruction your airway.

These exercises will help you strengthen those muscles. By practicing some special exercises like “singing therapy” or “Didgeridoo therapy,” you will improve your condition significantly.

But these exercises are not an overnight solution. They require patient and persistence. Try to do them about 20 minutes each day in 3 months. You will see the difference!

3) Changing your sleep positions:

Perhaps the easiest way to improve your apnea condition.

When you sleep on your back, you will worsen your situation. Why? Because it will help those muscles to fall together even faster!

Try sleeping on your sides instead of on your back. The Earth's gravity will prevent that “deadly contact.” The trick is to put 3 to 4 tennis balls into a sock and pin it on your back. Then you can sleep on your side. It will prevent you from flipping up sleeping on your back.

Another simple technique is to elevate your head about 30 degrees while sleeping. By doing so, you will widen your airway so improving your breathing activity.

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea Sufferers: These 3 Healthy Foods Will Beat Sleep Apnea Up On Behalf Of You!

Who says you can not improve your sleep apnea condition just by eating the right way? If you are thinking about treating sleep apnea without CPAP, then you will find this therapy helpful!

And the best part is it's easy to implement. Once you are familiar with them, you will see a significant improvement with your overall health. Forget about unhealthy fast food, they will help you nothing but worsen your condition.

1) Walnut – the king of nuts for health benefits.

Walnuts are among the best plant sources of protein.

They contain a significant amount of fiber, B vitamins, magnesium and antioxidants such as Vitamin E. Moreover, they contain a resourceful amount of protein that can substitute meat. This is a good news if you're working with your diet plan.

Many researchers have shown us that consuming a small amount of walnuts (only 7) a day or peanut butter everyday can help you improve your sleep apnea condition, decrease the risk of heart diseases, cut out the chances of suffering from some types of cancers and diabetes type 2!

So, are you gonna give it a try?

2) Yams – how this ancient food can speed up your curing process!

By the way, do not be confused between sweet potatoes and yams. Yams are bigger and less sweet.

So how they can help you?

You will be surprised at how nutritious this food is. It contains a reasonable amount of B1, B6 and C vitamins. In addition, they contain manganese, potassium, phosphorous and a high amount of protein. Although it tastes sweet, it contains only a little amount natural sugar.

If you take only a small serving size of 100 grams yams everyday, you will see significant health improvement!

They are proven solutions to improving your overall health condition. That's a sure-fire way to reduce the effect of sleep apnea! In addition, it's a proven solution to reducing cancer risk especially in women.

3) Ginger juice – have you ever heard about it?

It's not only a favorite spice of the world but also an effective medicine that can help you beat up many illnesses!

A small ginger contains a huge amount of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. In addition, it contains vitamins C, B3, protein, calcium, phosphorous and many essential acids. These ingredients are your vanguards when it comes to preventing illnesses.

Even better, it can help you reduce many dangerous symptoms of sleep apnea such as fatigue and gradually improve your health condition. Ginger juice can also help you digest better and reduce muscle pain!

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The Main Cause of Insomnia? What Is It and What Is Insomnia Anyway?

Understanding why we need sleep and knowing the root cause of insomnia is the first step in coming to terms with and treating it.

How do we define insomnia?
Insomnia is the term used to describe a lack of quality sleep; either taking ages to get sleep, difficulty in staying asleep or waking up too early and being unable to get back to sleep.

What are the effects of insomnia?
People who suffer from poor quality sleep tend to be irritable, inattentive, lacking energy and accident pron.

They are more likely to suffer from depression, heart disease and strokes.

Continued sleep deprivation marriages about changes in the activity and timing of important hormones such as melatonin, cortisol, leptin, thyroid hormones and prolactin. It has been shown in studies that this pattern of hormonal changes has also been witnessed in sufferers of depression and in age-related chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

This is just a taste of the negative effects of insomnia and that's without indicating the adverse effect it has on our immune systems or the incredible impact from daytime fatigue on the occurrence of “accidents”; remember Chernobyl or Exxon Valdez.

What is sleep for anyway?
Nobody really knows exactly how sleep works. For centuries it was believed that sleep was just a neutral state of mind and body but modern science is beginning to identify the many positive affects a natural, good night's sleep has.

Moods
The brain's metabolic rate and temperature is reduced allowing the mending of certain brain cells which would otherwise have difficulty in regenerating.

In our deepest sleep, during the rapid eye movement (REM) phase we do most of our dreaming. It's at this stage when the receptors of the essential drugs serotonin, histamine and norepinephrine take a rest, restoring them to the appropriate level of sensitivity. This restrictive measure is believed to be important in regulating our moods during the waking hours.

Weight loss
If you're trying to lose weight and believe that sleep loss will not adversely affect weight loss, think again. In childhood, human growth hormones (HGH) are responsible for tissue production, but as we grow into adults HGH becomes responsible for, among other things, weight regulation. HGH is only released when we sleep.

Sleep to learn
Many studies have been conducted and they have shown that whatever we take in and learn during the waking hours needs to be processed and consolidated before it is put to memory and reflected in our abilities. The process of sleep advances this in an inestimable way.

So what is the main cause of insomnia?
There may be many reasons why we do not sleep well but the main cause of insomnia is simply stress.

Our lives, like that of any other organism, are kept for the most part at an optimum state of balance. Our hormonal secretions, fluid levels, temperature and so on are kept in balance so that the mind and body can perform at its peak.

The “flight or fight” response when being confronted by a predator is the most common example of a stress response but it can also be triggered by much less substantial events such as crowding, noise or darkness. But even less obvious is that a stress response can happen to events such as fear, anger and even extreme pleasure.

Sometimes we can live in a permanent state of stress response and prolonged states of stress can leave the body in a constant state of alarm and imbalance.

The process of sleep runs contrary to the effects of stress response. Falling to sleep involves the gradual shutting down of systems, a decrease in metabolism and the cessation of the readiness for action.
Going to sleep makes us less alert and decrees arousal. The stress response increases arousal and makes us more alert.

Stress is the main cause of insomnia.
The hormones secreted as a result of stress responses excite the body's systems. When stress is chronic we are hyperaroused. When we are hyperaroused we can not sleep.

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The Best Mattresses for Overweight People

For those carrying a few extra pounds, the thought of a purchase for the home, particularly furniture, may intimidate. Regardless of your budget, you want to buy a sofa or chair that supports your weight and is also comfortable and easy to get in and out of on a daily basis. Same goes with buying a new mattress for your bed – since you spend (hopefully) at least eight hours a night in bed, you need a mattress that works with your body so you rest well.

Deep, uninterrupted sleep is a key to a healthier lifestyle, and can actually help you lose weight. Therefore, it is in everyone's best interest – regardless of your size – to own a mattress that promotes healthy sleep. You should not have to spend endless downtime hours tossing and turning to get comfortable. The combination of a good mattress with a pillow that supports your head and neck and keeps air passes clear will bring you a lifetime of healthy sleep.

Many sleep experts may suggest a natural mattress, one consisting of organic components, which is the best choice. Organic cotton and wool, and the latex mattress that makes up the mattress core is less likely to receive chemical treatment in a plant. This in turn means your body does not absorb fumes from the chemicals and therefore you are less likely to have an allergic reaction or other irritation while you sleep.

Will a memory foam mattress work for you if you are overweight? While the top brands of this model tout the benefits of memory foam – in particular the ability to sleep undisturbed if your partner shifts – you should note that memory foam does not necessarily mean the components are organic. Check with the manufacturer of any mattress to learn what is used on the mattress for preservation and stain resistance.

Ultimately, you will want to test potential mattresses with a visit to your bedding shop. Lay down on the models that most appeal to you to discern how they will hold up during the night. You may also wish to compare shop online through customer feedback sites that offer unbiased reviews of bedding and similar products. Social review sites are also a good resource of reviews that can help you find what you need for a good night's sleep.

Regardless of your size, you need to sleep well at night for a productive day. When you find the right mattress, sleep health begins.

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Top Stop Snoring Tips

According to studies 40 percent of men and 25 percent of women are affected by snoring. The raspy, rattling, snorting sound you make while you breathe during sleep not only affects your health but also your bed mate's sleep. Snoring is a sleep disorder that can have both social and medical consequences. If you are a snorer who is looking for useful tips to stop snoring, here are a few to try.

Sleep On Your Side: When you sleep on your back , the tongue and muscles in the throat collapse, constricting the airway and causing snoring. Try sleeping on your side and see whether it helps your snoring.

Higher Pillows: Using higher pillows can help you keep the nasal airways open by supporting your neck. This will help you lessen throat congestion and then snoring.

Stop smoking : It seems self denial is sometimes the best way to getting yourself a good night's sleep. Cutting down your cigarettes or giving up completely can help stop snoring.

Avoid alcohol near bed time: Giving up your drinking habit can also help you stop snoring. If at all you are consuming alcoholic drinks, it is better to take them at least four hours before you go to bed.

Avoid dairy products close to bed time: Dairy products can cause mucus build-up in people forward to colds, so it is also worth trying to avoid these before you go to bed.

Avoid being overweight: If you are overweight, losing some weight can make a difference to your snoring.

Throat and nasal sprays and strips: There are a variety of sprays to help reduce snoring. Some lubricate and tone the soft tissues at the back of the throat that vibrate and make you snore. Others claim to shrink the lining of the nostril, offering more space to breathe, or to reduce congestion in the throat or nasal passes.

Snoring aids: Depending on the type of snorer you are, you may find some relief from some of the snoring aids available. They range from plastic devices inserted in the nostrils, to mouthpieces that bring your lower jaw and tongue forward to make more space for breathing.

Not everything will work for everyone who snores, but it is worth trying out some of these tips to see which will work for you. If nothing works and your snoring continues to adversely affect your sleep, then you should probably consult a medical professional. However a combination of the above suggestions will probably help most simple snorers to get some relief.

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Can’t Sleep? Dealing With Insomnia

Whether we like it or not, we need to sleep. Sleep allows our body to repair and heal, to fight illness and injury, and gives our brain the chance to sort through and cope with its daily tasks. While most of us regularly enjoy a good night's sleep, for some, sleep is a thing of the past.

As one of the world's most common medical conditions, the spectrum of sleep problems range from nightmares and the occasional night shift tossing and turning to extreme night terrors, sleep walking and the complete accessibility to sleep at all. Often joked about with parents of newborn babies, sleep deprivation is a serious condition and is a very common side effect for insomniacs. A lack of sleep will leave you tired and irritable, anxious and depressed, and unable to concentrate or think clearly.

Although there is a range of sleep problems out there, insomnia is the most common. In simple terms, it is the inability to fall sleep and / or stay sleep. Insomnia, like many conditions, affects different people in different ways. Some may lie awake for hours before finally drifting off; some may find it easy to get to sleep but then wake during the night, unable to go back to sleep; and others may experience both, finding it difficult to get sleep, then waking regularly throughout the night.

Not all insomniacs suffer night after night. For some, their insomnia may only occur occasionally; for others, it may occur during times of stress or illness. But for some, insomnia is a chronic condition resulting in regularly losing sleep, more than three nights a week. Insomnia does not always occur as a stand-alone condition. Often it is a symptom of another condition (such as anxiety or depression) or the result of certain medications. Stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol can also cause insomnia as can eating a heavy meal or exercising to close to bedtime.

While chronic insomnia needs treatment from a medical professional, secondary insomnia can often be 'cured' by treating the source – such as removing stress, avoiding stimulants before bed, and going to bed with a clear mind (instead of lying there caring).

Thankfully, there are many treatment options available for insomniacs including cognitive and behavioral therapies, hypnotics, and various medications. The good news is that insomnia can often be treated with simple lifestyle changes and sleep techniques. Speak to your doctor or sleep specialist about the best treatment option to get you back on track.

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Match Your Insomnia Treatment to Your Insomnia Type

When most people think about an “insomnia treatment” they think of either a natural herbal remedy or a sleeping pill. This limited attitude is one of the reasons many people fail.

This article will help you rethink your strategy to solve your sleeping problem. Your insomnia solution should be based on the underlying problem that is causing your insomnia. In fact, taking away the 'symptom of insomnia' without recognizing and addressing the underlying problem is a short sighted and limited strategy.

So what are some of the undering causes of insomnia that show up in people's lives as the 'symptom of insomnia'? The causes of insomnia include the following: having a very overactive brain late at night that you can not switch off; an intolerance to a food additive, coloring or chemical; psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, obsessive compulsive disorder; an unresolved emotion even from your distant past; age-related problems such as the delayed sleep phase experienced by teenagers and adolescents; pain; the side effect of prescription medication; the side effect of using drugs and stimulants; overheating in bed; sleep apnea; your sleep environment, such as sleeping with a snorer; a bad mental attitude habit that you now believe that you can not sleep; changes in circadian rhythm – like those experienced by travelers and shift workers; intolerance or allergy to perfumes or fumes from manufactured furniture; muscle and restless leg syndrome problems; tinnitus; intolerance to certain healthy, naturally occurring substances in foods (even some multivitamins) such as salicylates and amines, etc.

You can see from this inconclusive list that there are many causes of insomnia. Until you work out your specific problem it is a waste of time randomly selecting an insomnia treatment.

The solution lies in matching your insomnia treatment to your insomnia type. For example, if you have a racing mind late at night, you need to figure out a way to calm your mind down well before you go to bed, in order that your brain can have time to switch off and slow it's rhythm down. I see many people, especially those working on computers all day that do not have a proper 'end time' to their day, and what's worse, they are sitting in front of a computer giving off melatonin-inhibiting blue rays.

There is a free downloadable computer program that is available online that will help dim down your computer screen depending on the time of day in your specific location. Exercise is very important – a lot of people using computers for hours are exercising their minds but not their bodies. You may also need a notepaper near your bed to jot down ideas that pop into your head during the night, if you are one of these mentally hyperactive types.

Are you waking up too early in the morning? If so, there is significant evidence that this could be connected to depression. If you are depressed, here are some suggested ways to increase your insomnia that relates to depression. Walk every morning in the sunshine for at least 45 minutes; do an elimination diet to ascertain whatever you have an intolerance to the food additives that are associated with depression in some people; use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – there is an online clinic available in Australia; investigate the evidence behind high EPA: DHA ratio Omega-3 supplementation (eg Professor Andrew Stoll, Harvard University, The Omega-3 Connection book).

These are just two examples of tailoring your insomnia treatment to the undering cause of your insomnia symptom. There are many, many others of course. And did you notice that there was no mention of valerian, herbal teas or sleeping pills? Your mission is to find the undering cause of your insomnia. This will lead to sleeping well, and a better life.

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How to Access Quality Information to Help Your Baby Sleep

Have you got a new baby who is not sleeping well, and it's a real struggle? Not only is the baby getting more and more tired, but you are exhausted? And your ability to cope gets worse and worse? It becomes more than stressful, making you feel anxious, even depressed. You just want to know “why will not my baby sleep?”

There are so many other tasks with a new baby (feeding times, and nappy changes, keeping the other children and your partner happy, etc) you really do not want to get dressed up to go to the medical center or nursing facility to get help – you'd probably do it online if you possibly can.

But how can you access really quality information? Because there is absolutely no benefit to getting online information that you do not trust and feel confident to use. And there are a million articles on the web that may or may not be written by experienced, reliable and respected sources.

Today I'm going to talk about a group called the Karitane Mothercraft Society, which started in 1907 in New Zealand with Sir Truby King – originally helping mothers who could not breast feed, and there were no available successful formulas. It came to Australia in 1923 as the Australian Mothercraft Socity (and has also been known as the Plunket Society).

I did not use this service myself when I had my son, but I have friends who did, and it was incredibly helpful to them at the time. Some babies just do not ever seem to set down, and can send you 'crazy'. In Australia you can actually book you and your baby in for a period of time to settle the baby down, establish the correct baby sleep times and daily routine. And no doubt they would be keeping a good eye on the mums who are suffering!

So how can this article help you if you are not in Australia or New Zealand? Karitane has an online website which has some amazingly helpful information, including downloadable factsheets and videos to watch. And you can access it from the comfort of your home. If you Google Karitane Australia the website will show up. Go to the “Families” section where the helpful parenting information brochures and podcasts are. And there is a dad's club too with the slogan “Becoming One is Easier Than Being One”, which I found pretty amusing!

If you live in Australia there is a freecall number that you can use to phone them. And for everyone (not just Australians), if you do not mind waiting a couple of days for a reply there is even an email opportunity in there to ask them a question.

In summary, here are some of the topics that they cover on the site: when your baby craes, nutrition, sleep, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, reflux, and postnatal depression (oh, by the way it is not just mums who can get depressed after a new baby is born), gastro-oesophageal reflux, wrapping your baby, sleep and settling, etc.

Other things to investigate to help your baby sleep are ensuring that YOU are not eating any nasty food additives and chemicals (because they can pass through your breast milk to disturb your baby); homeopathic medicines, massage, and soothing sounds (such as the heart beat sound) that your baby can be comforted by.

Wishing you the best of luck through this tiring time with your baby, and remember if you are not coping well then you should tell someone that you need help. Plenty of other mums and parents are fully aware of the stressful situation it can be, and they might be “holding back” so as not to offend you.

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5 Things to Consider Before Taking Sleeping Pills

Have you been been finding it difficult to sleep for a significant length of time, and you want to take the next step to solve your sleeping problems?

Many people immediately think of sleeping pills when they get to this point. Before you take sleeping pills consider the following 5 facts:

Firstly, and most importantly, insomnia is always a symptom of something else. Do you know what 'your something else' is? If you do not then you should find out before taking anything that will mask the symptom. If you take any natural remedies or sleeping pills you will not know if you have solved the underlying problem when, and if, you start sleeping well again. You will wonder, rightly, if it is the remedy / pills or your body readjusting naturally.

Secondly, an analysis of sleeping pills studies advanced by the American National Institutes of Health, as reported in the New York Times by Stephanie Saul October 23, 2007 said that “viewed as a group, the pills reduced the average time to go to sleep 12.8 minutes compared with fake pills, and increased total sleep time 11.4 minutes. ” Interestingly, in that same article were the following statements: “Most sleeping pills work on the same brain receptors as drugs to treat anxiety.” By reducing anxiety, the pills may make people worry less about not going to sleep, so they feel better. ” And continues “Another theory about the discrepancy between measured sleep and perceivable sleep affects a condition called anterograde amnesia. While under the influence of most sleep medications, people have trouble forming memories. ”

Thirdly, are you aware that medicated sleeping pills are generally addictive if used for a period of time? Being addictive means that they their effectiveness is diminished over time – meaning you have to take more to get the same result. Long term use is associated with a downward health spiral and use of other substances. Being addictive also means that there can be withdrawal symptoms when they are discontinued, including rebound insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks or tremors. You may find yourself with two problems – your lack of sleep and your addiction to the medication.

Fourthly, sleeping pills will never solve the underlying problem. You will eventually have to deal with your undering problem, so why put it off?

Lastly, on rare occasions some sleeping pills have been associated with some bizarre behaviors including sleep-driving and sleep-eating. Did you know that there are many proven natural strategies that will help people sleep without taking any pills, even natural remedies? They include exercise, a healthy diet that does not contain colorings and chemicals. Investigate if you have an allergy or intolerance to a list of over 50 food additives and chemicals that affect many aspects of sleep and mood. Use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help you with psychological problems Hydrate.

Learn to relax through guided relaxation cycles, meditation, listening to music, massage. Hypnosis works for many people and is easily downloadable. Make a decision to solve the problem that is keeping you awake if it is the mortgage, your unfulfilling work, etc. Strategies designed by homeopaths, kinesiologists, Chinese herbalists, etc. There are many more solutions that have been proven to be successful. It is very important to know not to withdraw from taking sleeping pills without medical supervision.

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Sleep Apnea Help to Cope With This Dangerous Disorder

A large number of people suffer from sleep disorders including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome and insomnia. The most common sleep disorder is probably sleep apnea, which can also have very serious consequences if not treated in time.

While sleep apnea is more predominately found in overweight, older males, it can also attack women and children. Due to the disturbances to sleep at night, sleep patterns are totally disrupted, leaving the person feeling completely drained in the morning.

How can family members and friends who have problems with the disorder provide sleep apnea help? If you have a loved one or family member who complains of poor sleep and excessive sleepiness during the daytime, read through the following pointers to learn how you can help someone in need.

• The person with the sleep disorder should be advised to maintain a journal. Everything related to sleep patterns needs to be recorded on a daily basis. Some examples of what should be added include sleep times – when the person goes to bed and what time the person wakes up each morning; what is ate or drunk before going to bed at night; how many times during the night the sleep gets disturbed; activities engaged in before bedtime like watching television or reading a book; what sort of feelings the person experiences on waking up in the morning, it could be tiredness, headachy, irritability or something else. All of this information needs to be faithfully recorded for at least a fortnight.

• You can help the person with these problems by trying to determine what the cause is. Anxiety, stress, depression, medication, unhealthy eating habits, poor sleep hygiene, excess consumption of alcohol and caffeine and smoking can all bring on this condition.

• If it is a family member you may be able to actually monitor the sleep habits, snoring levels, frequent urinating or other signs of poor sleep patterns.

• Once the journal is ready and you have a clear picture of the actual sleep patterns of the person, it is time to take the first step in the process of identifying whether it is sleep apnea. A visit to a sleep doctor will be necessary to undergo a sleep study test. The test will help to determine whether it is from this condition or not. The test will study sleep patterns of the person in a lab.

The journal combined, with the sleep study results, will enable the doctor to prescribe the appropriate treatment for the sleep apnea.

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Caring for CPAP Machines

CPAP machines are the best known treatment for sleep apnoea. The devices are mains powered units which create a flow of uninterrupted air pressure which is passed from the unit through through a length of plastic tubing and into the patient's windpipe through a nasal mask or a face mask. The flow of air prevents the windpipe from becoming blocked by obstacles because its high pressure holds the windpipe, keeping air flowing and allowing the patient to breathe normally.

CPAP machines are not without fault and many patients report finding them uncomfortable, noisy and difficult to get accustomed to but they do work. They are the treatment that doctors turn to in cases of severe sleep apnoea when lifestyle changes such as weight loss do not improve the situation.

The devices should be prescribed by a doctor, who will calculate the appropriate pressure through a sleep study. The manufacturer will then supply the device, tuned to provide air at that pressure. The machine needs to be cleaned thoroughly and regularly to prevent dust getting into it and being inhaled, irritating the throat and nasal passages and potentially making the patient ill.

The mask, nasal pillows and tubing should be cleaned each and every day. This is simply done by immersing them in warm soapy water and rinsing them thoroughly. They should then be allowed to dry completely before being replacing on the CPAP machines. It's a good idea to get into the habit of cleaning these parts first thing in the morning so they are ready to use again at night time.

The machine unit itself should also be cleaned each week by wiping it over with a warm damp cloth. Make sure that it is not connected to the mains when you do this. The filter at the back of the machine should be thoroughly cleaned each week too. It needs to be immersed in cool tap water until the dust is removed. The filter must be replaced at least once a year.

Many modern CPAP machines now feature humidifiers to prevent sore throats and nose bleeds. If your model has a humidifier it needs to be carefully cleaned each week with warm water. A weak mixture of vinegar and water may also be used to disinfect the humidifier, as it offers the perfect warm, moist environment for bacteria to grow in.

Each year the machine should be returned to the manufacturer, local hospital or stockist to be serviced. This will ensure it is in good working order and is working at the appropriate pressure.

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The Different Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder characterized by daytime sleepiness, excessive snoring when the person sleeps and generally waking feeling un-refreshed after sleeping. This disorder involves the airway passage getting blocked and causing the person to have a disturbed sleep.

Assessment of patients showing symptoms of sleep apnea is usually done in a sleep clinic. The use of polysomnography (sleep studies) and other tests like arterial blood gases, echocardiogram, electrocardiogram and thyroid function testing tests are conducted. Treatment of these sleep conditions may include the use of a nasal mask, dental appliance or surgery. Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or losing weight can help in alleviating various problems.

There are 3 main types of sleep apnea:

Obstructive
This is the most common form of the condition and accounts for roughly 80 plus percent of all cases. When a person with this problem goes to sleep, the throat becomes narrow. One of the typical causes for this problem is excess fat around the neck. Other reasons include structural problems of the mouth, nose and jaw or weak throat muscles due to excessive alcohol consumption, smoking or too many sleeping pills.

Complex
This type of condition accounts for roughly about 15 percent of all the cases diagnosed. Complex apnea is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea. This type of apnea generally occurs when a person with a long-standing history of obstructive sleep apnea suddenly develops the central type as well.

Central
This is the rarest form of condition with less than 5 percent of the cases being diagnosed. This type of condition has nothing to do with blocked airway passes. It is caused due to malfunctioning of the brain stem, which is the part of the brain that controls human breathing. The patient stops breathing temporarily when the brain fails to signal the chest muscles to inhale. People who have had a stroke or serious infection and people with Parkinson's disease generally develop central apnea.

There are certain drugs like barbiturates, opiates and benzodiazepines that can affect breathing control while the person is asleep Sometimes there is no detectable cause for the apnea and it is defined as idiopathic.

The key to treating any of these types of sleep disorder is to determine which of the types of sleep apnea you suffer from. Once it is diagnosed properly, there are various treatments available that designed for that particular type of condition.

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Basic Guide to Sleep Apnea Treatments

We can not control what we do not know about, and sleep apnea often falls into the 'do not know' category. There are literally millions of people around the world who have this sleeping disorder, but put it down to a snoring problem. Here is a basic guide to the different treatments that are available to deal with this disorder.

Treatments for sleep apnea will generally depend on the individual, severity of the problem, and type of problem experienced. To clearly identify the type of sleep problem, testing in a sleep lab will need to be done. In a lab, a person's sleep patterns are studied to find out where the problem lies.

As we make giant strides in technology, there are newer and better medical options available for treating sleep apnea. Some of the treatments are as follows:

• The continuous positive airway pressure machine, or CPAP, delivers air pressure that is greater than the surrounding air pressure through a mask. This helps to keep the upper respiratory paths open and prevent snoring. It is one of the best medical devices available for treating moderate to severe problems.

• The BIPAP is a bilevel positive airway pressure machine that provides greater air pressure when the person inhales and less air pressure when the person exhales. It has the advantage of automatically adjusting the air pressure while the person sleeps.

• The ASV or adaptive servo-ventilation machine studies the normal breathing patterns of an individual and saves it on a computer. When the person is asleep, the device makes use of pressure to normalize breathing and prevent the shallow breathing or pauses that characterize this condition.

• Other treatments include oral devices designed to keep the throat open by pushing the jaw forward. These appliances are good for treating mild sleep apnea and snoring. These devices can be obtained from a dentist's office and there are a range of choices available to find the best fit. Tongue restrainers are also available, they work to pull the tongue forward, freeing up the airways.

• Surgery is another treatment option for this sleeping disorder. The tissue at the back of the throat is either removed or stapled to prevent the tissue vibrating and causing snoring. Surgery is also performed to remove tonsils and adenoids that have become enlarged and block breathing.

Whatever method of sleep apnea treatment is recommended for you by your physician needs to be complimented by a few lifestyle changes to help you cope with your sleep disorder problems.

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Sleep Apnoea Complications

Sleep apnoea is a condition that is not as well-known as perhaps would be expected given the proportion of the population that it is believed to affect. It is understood that in the UK, 4% of middle aged men and 2% of middle aged women suffer with sleep apnoea.

The condition effectively causes the sufferer's breathing to be interrupted as they sleep because the tissue and muscles around the windpipe collapse and obstruct the airway. This happens in one of two ways: complete obstruction, totally preventing breathing for ten seconds or more, known as an apnoea and partial obstruction reducing airflow by 50% or more for ten seconds or more, known as hypopneas.

These events can happen more than once a minute all through the night, each time causing the brain to alert the sufferer by either waking them or forcing them into a shallow phase of sleep. This reduces the amount of time that the sufferer spends in the deepest phase of sleep, leaving them tired during the day. Typically an adult needs between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night and up to a quarter of this should be spent in the deepest phase.

Risk factors associated with the disorder are middle age, obesity, drinking and smoking although it can affect anyone of any age and weight. Treatment is varied, but in less severe cases simple lifestyle changes such as weight loss, smoking cessation and even alteration of sleeping position can be enough to dramatically improve the condition. In more severe cases, dental devices can be worn to alter the position of the jaw, bringing the lower jaw forward reducing the likelihood of the tongue falling back down into the throat and blocking the airway. Then, for severe sleep apnea cases, CPAP machines may be used. These are machines which pass a continuing flow of pressurized air through a mask down the windpipe of the patient holding the windpipe open even if the tissues and muscles lack tone.

Sleep apnoea sufferers often feel very tired during the day and may even spontaneously fall sleep. They are prone to headaches, depression and bad temperature and should not drive without their condition is treated and controlled. But in addition to these problems, sleep apnoea can have more serious complications. Patients with the condition are more likely to develop high blood pressure, suffer strokes and suffer heart attacks. It is there before important to get an early diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible.

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Guide to the Right Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder characterized by a person not breathing for temporary periods during sleep. The reasons for this happening include the tongue or tissue blocking the back of the throat or the throat muscles collapsing during sleep. This kind of condition is called obstructive apnea.

Another reason for the breathing to stop temporarily is when the brain promises to tell the chest to inhale, the sleeper stops breathing for several seconds. Then the person wakes up with a gasp to start breathing again. This type is called central apnea.

There is a third type called mixed sleep apnea. A person with this problem experiences brief periods of central apnea. This is followed by longer periods of the obstructive variety.

The following symptoms are demonstrated in people with sleep apnea problems, and are keys to the right diagnosis:

• Excessive daytime sleepiness

This is one of the most common symptoms of people with sleep apnea. The person will feel sleepy all through the day, at work, at events, watching television or doing any activity. People tend to shake it off believing it is a sign of aging. Growing old has nothing to do with feeling excessively sleepy. This is actually a very important symptom and the body's way of telling you something is wrong. Pay attention – it is crying out for help. The dangers of falling asleep behind the wheel or at work are very real.

• Headaches, poor concentration and short-term memory

People with this sleep condition face the problem of insufficient air reaching the lungs while they sleep. These results in blood oxygen levels dropping and it has an adverse effect on the brain. When the blood oxygen levels drop, the brain releases stress hormones. These hormones increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, irregular heart rhythm and diabetes.

• Obesity

It has been directly linked to sleep apnea because this disorder occurs predominately in people who are overweight. It is not a general rule of thumb that an overweight person will have this condition. But the possibilities of getting it are higher. It has been found that a thick neck with a lot of fatty tissue can block the airway, causing it to lead to problems.

• Irritability and impatience

Because of the frequently disturbed sleep that a person suffers and the excessive sleepiness endured, the person's mood is affected. Feelings of irritability, impatience and general unhappiness can cause problems with family, relationships, in the office and with friends.

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