"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Sleep Insomnia Solutions

Weight loss and supportive respiration therapy are the keys to controlling this common male disease.

Nighttime snoring and protracted daytime fatigue are clear symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In this common condition in men, the upper airway valves repeatedly close overnight, disrupting sleep and depriving the brain of oxygen.

Lifestyle changes can sometimes improve OSA. These include dropping pounds in the event you are obese. Avoiding alcohol within the evening, because it worsens underlying asthma. And sleeping in your side to assist keep the airways open.

The simplest treatment for OSA is wearing a face mask connected to a bedside air pump, a system called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. But some OSA patients struggle with mask discomfort and reject their CPAP. which leaves them with oxygen-
Deprived and drained, increases the danger of accidents and puts unnecessary stress on the guts.

Fortunately, mask suppliers often offer a 30-day money-back try-out period for a wide selection of devices. CPAP should be employed in the event you can, as alternatives are limited and never as effective.

Stop bang

Check yourself for OSA.

Having three or more of those indicators indicates possible sleep deprivation. Talk to your doctor about it.

S Snoring: Have you been told that you simply snore?

T drained: Do you are feeling drained a lot of the day?

Oh obstacle: Do you realize in the event you stop respiration when you sleep, or has anyone seen you do it?

P Pressure: Do you've got hypertension or are you taking medication to manage hypertension?

B Body Mass Index: A body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 puts you in danger for OSA.

an age: Are you 50 or older? OSA becomes more common with age.

N neck: Is your neck circumference greater than 17 inches (in men)?

Yes Gender: are you male Men are more susceptible to OSA.

Image: Thinkstock

Basics of OSA

Normally, the tissues within the upper airway collapse barely if you sleep, but you proceed to breathe freely. In OSA, the airway periodically collapses completely, blocking the back of the throat. This triggers apnea – a short lived cessation of normal respiration.

You may not realize you've got apnea until a sleeping partner reports choking or gasping when you find yourself briefly awake, attempting to catch your breath. But it's also true which you could have OSA without snoring.

In older men, OSA could also be considered nocturia—the necessity to stand up ceaselessly at night to urinate. One possible explanation is that the struggle to breathe can create additional pressure within the abdomen, which presses on the bladder. Also, men with OSA get up more often, creating more opportunities to think, “I need to go to the bathroom.”

If your doctor suspects OSA, you might have to book an evening in a sleep laboratory. There, sensors monitor your respiration, sleep rhythm, chest movement, and blood oxygenation when you sleep. However, for typical OSA, it's becoming more common to do the test yourself at home with the equipment you assemble. A sleep study that shows five or more apnea episodes (interruptions) per hour, with next-day fatigue, diagnoses OSA. In severe OSA, episodes can range from dozens to a whole lot per night.

Treatment of OSA greatly improves quality of life. Frequent awakenings and oxygen starvation result in fatigue, memory impairment, and increased risk of falls and automobile accidents. And snoring and panting could be a real test for the one who shares your bed.

OSA and your heart

Untreated, OSA puts stress on your entire cardiovascular system. Blood pressure rises at night and might remain high until the subsequent day. People with untreated OSA are at increased risk of heart problems and stroke, however the evidence isn't yet strong that CPAP use reduces this. Clinical trials are underway to find out whether continuous use of CPAP prevents heart attacks and strokes.

CPAP lowers blood pressure, but not dramatically. “It's not as big as what you usually get with blood pressure medications, but it's similar to the effect of changing to a low-salt diet,” says Dr. Patel.

Home sleep testing: a brand new option

Diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) often requires an overnight trip to a sleep lab. However, it's becoming more common for people to check themselves at home using self-operated devices. It is useful for individuals who have trouble sleeping in strange environments.

Home sleep studies are best for individuals who have obstructive-type OSA that's attributable to a narrowing of the airways, versus an underlying neurological problem or lung disease. It's also less expensive than a visit to the sleep lab, so your medical insurance may require you to go for a house study.

Problems with CPAP?

CPAP and other variations of therapy require you to wear a mask all night. Full face masks fit over each the mouth and nose. Nasal masks fit over the nose only. New styles come out yearly, and premium masks are lightweight and fit comfortably. None of those mask options are inherently higher.
to others. The best mask is the one you possibly can wear for essentially the most part.
of the night.

Most people get used to CPAP, and a few even find that it makes them sleepy. However, some people cannot get used to it. Alternatives are limited and never as effective for most individuals. The essential ones are as follows:

Excess oxygen. For individuals with moderate to severe OSA, some doctors may prescribe supplemental oxygen at night to offset the cardiovascular effects of apnea. However, the evidence that it helps isn't very strong. In a recent clinical trial New England Journal of Medicinesupplemental oxygen had no effect on mean 24-hour blood pressure.

Surgery. Various surgical procedures have been developed to cut back snoring or correct the underlying structure of the airways. “Unfortunately, minor procedures are generally not effective in treating OSA, while major procedures are fairly major operations that can take one to two months to recover from,” says Dr. Patel. Dr. Patel says. “As a result, surgery is not a great option for most people.”

Oral instruments. Your dentist may make a special appliance at night to maneuver the jaw forward and keep the airway open. It doesn't work for everybody, and you possibly can't use it in the event you wear dentures. But for somebody with mild-to-moderate OSA who can't keep on with CPAP, wearing a dental appliance every night can, on average, reduce the monthly variety of respiration interruptions.

OSA and obesity

Being obese might be the most important single risk factor for OSA. “Getting everyone to their ideal body weight could probably eliminate half of all sleep deprivation,” says Dr. Patel.

But the connection between weight and OSA varies amongst individuals. If you aren't obese, you possibly can still take OSA. And you possibly can lose a whole lot of weight and still have asthma.

Still, weight reduction along with continuous CPAP use provides additional blood pressure control. Weight loss may also reduce the variety of nighttime respiration problems you've got.

Weight loss is most definitely to reverse OSA in individuals with mild cases, says Dr. Patel. “There have been a number of trials that suggest that in mild sleep deprivation, weight loss may be sufficient to reverse the sleep deprivation,” he says. However, he adds, “It's hard to predict in an individual how much weight you'll need to lose.”

But either way, you possibly can't go incorrect with maintaining a healthy weight. “Using CPAP will help you feel better, but losing weight in addition will improve your cardiovascular health even more,” says Dr. Patel.