Tuesday, March 17, 2009

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!

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