Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Snoring, Obesity, and Sleep Apnea - Looking For a Connection?

The real causes of snoring are way more complicated to understand than originally thought to have been. But at the same time, there has also been a huge increase in the stop snoring medicines for ending the habitual snoring problem. There is no doubt that the snoring problem can be a deal breaker when it comes to keeping the marriage or partnership happy and healthy. But with this all being said, there are also now a number of good anti-snoring products and remedies out there nowadays.

From the most natural anti-snoring methods to the more complex anti-snoring devices, snoring is now no longer an uncontrollable problem of hopelessness. For some there may just be the need for a higher quality of the bed that they are sleeping on. Others may find anti-snoring relief from choosing a good anti-snoring pillow that is made of great memory foam that will keep the neck and head properly positioned throughout the night.

Some habitual snoring individuals can stop the snoring by making sure to keep their bodies positioned on one or the other side. This can easily be done by the usage of several pillows being positioned up against the back and front areas of the body during sleep. Or even by sewing a tennis ball in the back of your nightgown or nightshirt so that you will wake up when trying to roll over onto the back.

If you are overweight, you are more often than not a habitual snorer due to the extra fat layers around the neck. The extra fat will weigh down on the throat while sleeping, and the airway will be more constricted during the night hours because you are lying down and fully relaxed. There is also a direct linkage between unhealthy daily diets, the lacking of daily exercise, and even late night dairy products being consumed. It has been noted that extra mucus tends to build up from many dairy products leading to snoring.

Smoking cigarettes, second hand cigarette smoke, or even alcohol consumption late at night or heavy daily usage are also direct snoring contributors. Constantly being exposed to bad air quality during the daytime and night are also often culprits for habitual snoring. There are too, a good number of over the counter and physician prescribed medications that are to blame for so many nightly snorers. If this is what you are suspecting your doctor can easily help you in changing to a more appropriate medication so the snoring can be stopped.

If you are one of the many chronic snoring individuals that fall into the sleep apnea category, it is very important to check in with your physician so they can run the best fitting tests to truly find what will resolve the life damaging snoring problems specifically pertaining to your particular snoring situation. But for a greater majority of habitual snorers, there is nothing more that is needed to stop the snoring completely than one of the many over the counter anti-snoring remedies now available at an affordable price.

Dr.Anita Choudhary researches and writes for asonor.com. Browse our site for more information about anti snoring treat

Sleep Apnea - What Causes It, and How it Can Be Treated

In order to maintain optimal health, it is very important that a person gets at least eight hours of sleep a night. However, there are other factors that stop some people from attaining this. People who are constantly working or under emotional stress often have trouble sleeping, but that does not mean that the person has an actual disorder when it comes to their sleeping habits.

Instead, sleep disorders often occur unbeknownst to the sufferer, and an example of that is sleep apnea. In order to understand what sleep apnea is, it is important for a person to take a moment and focus on their breathing. Usually, people do not notice their breathing. This is because usually, brain signals direct the parasympathetic nervous system to do this automatically.

In the case of sleep apnea, something goes wrong with these brain signals, and the result is the sufferer not breathing for a minute or longer at a time while they are asleep. This sleeping disorder is often caused by obesity. Obesity causes a chain reaction of sorts, wherein the excess weight hinders circulation, which in turn caused brain signals to become erratic.

In the case of sleep apnea that is caused by obesity, there are two main ways that this sleep disorder is treated. The first way is through medication, and the second way is through diet and exercise. In fact, if the person starts eating healthy food and exercising for at least fifteen minutes a day, they will sleep, look, and feel better!

4 Popular Ways to Test Apnea - Your Quick Guide

Recent studies have shown that up to 90% of people who suffer from sleep apnea don't know they have it. In fact, a majority of Americans don't test for apnea.

Whereas many apnea conditions are not considered life-threatening, there are other conditions that can put your life in grave danger. That is why it is highly recommended that you test apnea if you suspect that you are suffering from any sleep-related condition.

There are quite a few ways you can test apnea, and many individuals who suffer have a number of symptoms or may possibly even have the condition itself. You might have sleep apnea if you are rapidly gaining weight, always tired, and feeling mentally exhausted.

If you already have symptoms of the condition, then your next step is to test for apnea. There are many ways of doing this, ranging from answering simple questions to doing home diagnostics tests. Overall, there are four popular methods:

1. Apnea Online Test

This is one of the quickest ways you can use to test apnea. You simply do an online test by answering a series of questions related to common apnea symptoms. Questions may revolve around your experiences while sleeping, whether or not you snore, and your levels of mental concentration and fatigue during the day. These tests only take a couple of minutes to complete, and can be found on the Internet by doing a search using the words "online sleep apnea test" in Google or another search engine.

Apnea home test

There are two kinds of tests you can choose when using this method: disposable sleep apnea screeners, and at-home diagnostic tests.

2. Disposable sleep apnea screeners:

A disposable screener measures the frequency and duration of your apnea episodes, and can be done from home using a small plastic device placed between your mouth and nose. This device is inexpensive, and is a simple way to test for apnea. To do the test, you simply wear the screener at night while sleeping. When you wake up in the morning the device will show whether or not it's likely that you have sleep apnea.

3. Apnea sleep study

In an apnea sleep study, you go to a sleep clinic, and usually sleep the whole night there. A sleep study is a comprehensive test - all data regarding the different aspects of your sleep and body are analyzed. The apnea sleep study collects and analyses data on eye movement, brain activity, chin movement, body position, heart rate and air flow.

These are the four main ways to test for apnea. For the sake of your health and peace of mind, if you suspect you have sleep apnea it's recommended you follow one of these four apnea tests.


At-home diagnostic test:

This home-administered apnea test comes in two forms: the first consists of a bedside monitoring device that is attached to sensors for the chest, breath, and finger. While you sleep, the device monitors various aspects of your physiology, and stores this information. The other at-home diagnostic test is called oximetry. This test involves attaching a clamp to your finger to measure your blood oxygen levels. It also collects bodily information while you sleep, and gives you a result in the morning.

Best Way to Manage Sleep Apnea

The sleeping disorder that is officially referred to as 'Sleep Apnea' has now been found to be more common in adults than ever before. Although the sleeping disorder of sleep apnea for so many adults has unfortunately increased throughout the past several decades, it is still a rarity for children to officially fall under the realms of apnea.

This disorder is actually split into two sleep apnea categories depending on the various symptoms and signs. The disorder that is the most common is more specifically referred to as 'obstructive sleep apnea'. While the 'central sleep apnea' disorder is not a common sleeping disorder, it is still of a major health concern.

The commonly known Obstructive sleep apnea or referred to as OSA, has recently been approximated to be affecting at least 2% of today's adult females, and an even bigger number of males with an estimation of at least 4% that shows OSA symptoms and signs. When researching and combining the best of the many obstructive apnea studies, these numbers are actually believed to be low when it comes to just how many individuals are truly affected in both men and women.

When specifically looking at the symptoms and signs, the obstructive sleep apnea not only causes moderate to severe nightly on going sleep disruptions, but there is also a huge increase in the lack of proper concentration. They are also three times as likely to be involved in vehicular accidents as those that are not always sleep deprived.

They are also more than twice as likely to have premature high blood pressure issues that are directly due to the fact that sleep apnea stops your proper breathing rhythms throughout the night. Along with the high blood pressure problems, there is also the heightened risks of having early stages of heart diseases, strokes, blood clots, and even brain aneurysms due to lack of oxygen which emanates from not breathing properly, during sleeping.

The less common central sleep apnea or also referred to as CSA, has been found to be more rare because it is usually due to adult and infant congenital diseases, heart diseases, cerebrovascular diseases common in high altitudes or resultant of some medications. But no matter the original cause of the central sleep apnea, the ultimate culprit is unbalanced oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood flow.

There is no doubt that the different forms of sleep apnea will eventually take years off of the otherwise healthy individual when it is not appropriately addressed. For a few of those with the more severe sleep apnea issues, there will more than likely be the need for some type of invasive medical interventions. But for many others that suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea levels, there are a number of anti snoring methods and remedies that can truly give you back a better night's sleep for a longer life span, and a better quality of live in the end.

Sleep Apnea Treatment - Your Options

According to statistics, there are more than 1.4 million Canadians who suffer from sleep apnea. If you are one of them, you will experience physically debilitating symptoms like excessive daytime sleepiness that can result in driving and work accidents, intermittent headaches morning till night, painful heartburn, leg swelling, chest pains when asleep, and most disturbing to your bed mate, unnaturally loud snoring, restless tossing in sleep, and nighttime choking episodes.

Fortunately, you can choose the best sleep apnea treatment, Toronto professionals gladly helping you in that aspect, which will suit your present condition.

Lifestyle Treatments

Often, the first treatment option that your doctor will recommend is a series of interconnected lifestyle changes. Of course, you can start any place you are at present but for Torontonians, the city's clean environment is conducive to these lifestyle changes.

You will be recommended to adapt the following healthy habits:

Practice weight management, even lose weight when necessary. Studies have found that losing weight to maintain an ideal height-to-weight ratio reduces episodes of apnea.

Maintain a regular sleeping time. You have to make it a clockwork habit because it helps your body adjust to normal sleeping patterns.

Sleep on your side. This is because sleeping flat on your back worsens heartburn, which is yet another symptom of sleep apnea.

Abstain from alcohol consumption and have your doctor check over your medicines that may cause worsening symptoms. The best sleep apnea treatment, Toronto doctors will agree, will have to be stopping your bedtime habit of taking sleeping pills and sedatives.

Stop smoking immediately. The chemicals present in cigarettes prevent the airways from opening properly and thus, will worsen sleep apnea.

Medical Treatments

If this initial sleep apnea treatment Toronto doctors have recommended does not work, then the next step will be explored. You will be made to wear a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask during the night to prevent your breathing airways to close while you sleep.

The CPAP mask is a sleep apnea treatment Toronto physicians will prescribe for moderate and severe cases. You have to get used to wearing it because once you stop wearing this gadget, the symptoms come back almost at once.

You can also choose other breathing devices like oral breathing appliances that also open up your airways. The important thing is to get a recommendation from your doctor about the best possible device in your regimen of sleep apnea treatment, Toronto doctors being knowledgeable about them.

Surgical Options

If lifestyle changes and medical measures still do not work as effectively as you would want in a sleep apnea treatment, Toronto doctors will have recourse for surgical operations. There are many but you need not worry because you will not be made to undergo every surgery in the books.

To name a few, there is uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (quite a mouthful to say), which remains one of the more common surgical treatments for sleep apnea; tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy (there it is again) to removes tonsils and adenoids; and other surgical procedures to removes bone tissue.

Ultimately, you should have relief from your sleep apnea and get on with normal life. All things considered, the treatment options are well worth the time, effort and money!