Volume 1 Issue 5

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Sleep Apnea Must Be Treated First described in 1965, sleep apnea owes its name to a Greek word, apnea, meaning "want of breath". The pauses in breathing are almost always accompanied by snoring between apnea episodes, although not everyone who snores has this condition. The frequent interruptions of deep, restorative sleep often lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and may be associated with an early morning headache. Early recognition and treatment of sleep apnea are important because this condition is associated not only with an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure, but also with severe daytime fatigue, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, and stroke, as well as a loss of memory and other intellectual capabilities. It is important for you to see a doctor if you snore heavily or if a sleep partner has noticed periods of interrupted breathing during your sleep. Sleep apnea can be properly diagnosed by a sleep disorder specialist and usually in a sleep laboratory. People with sleep apnea experience periods of anoxia (oxygen deprivation of the brain), with each episode ending in arousal and a re-initiation of breathing. Seldom does the sufferer awaken enough to be aware of the problem. However, the combination of frequent periods of oxygen deprivation (20 to several hundred times per night) and the greatly disturbed sleep can greatly diminish the quality of life and lead to some very serious problems, including diabetes! Ingestion of alcohol and sleeping pills increases frequency and duration of breathing pauses. Sleep apnea needs to be taken seriously, and it should always be treated. Weight loss is an important part of the successful management of sleep apnea. Beyond that, the most common treatment of sleep apnea is the use of nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). In this procedure, the patient wears a mask over the nose during sleep, and pressure from an air blower forces air through the nasal passages. The air pressure is adjusted so that it is just enough to prevent the throat from collapsing during sleep. The pressure is constant and continuous. Nasal CPAP prevents airway closure while in use, but apnea episodes return when CPAP is stopped or if it is used improperly. Some people have reported major improvement in sleep with Oxypower by Dr. Chi. Two or three before bed apparently supplies oxygen and improves sleep apnea! Sleep & Energy Restorative sleep is essential to optimal energy levels. Fatigued individuals should therefore look to their sleep habits as a possible cause of low energy levels. Snoring and waking frequently during the night can be an indication of sleep apnea and this issue should be addressed. Additionally, anyone who finds it hard to fall asleep or to stay asleep, who suffers from restless legs syndrome or who wakes up with heart palpitations may have sleep issues that are causing fatigue. One of the major causes of age-related sleep disturbances is a reduction in the amount, and alteration in the timing, of melatonin production by the pineal. Supplementation with melatonin has often been shown to ameliorate these disturbances in the sleep-wake rhythm. In a study of elderly women, 35.7% of investigated subjects noted an improvement in general sleep quality and in such sleep parameters as sleep initiation, the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, number of awakening episodes, and wake time after sleep onset. In addition to improving sleep, melatonin has been shown to act directly on reducing fatigue in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Abby's Magazine - September / October 2013 | Page 13

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