• Sleep Apnea

    Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by episodes in which you stop breathing while you are asleep. These episodes usually last for 10 seconds or more, sometimes occurring more than 300 times a night.

    Sleep apnea can be potentially life threatening causing significant social and emotional problems, and hampering day to day living. People with sleep apnea will awaken partially as they struggle to breathe, but in the morning will be unaware of any sleep disturbances ever occurring.

    If left untreated sleep apnea can cause: hypertension, stroke, irregular heart beat, heart failure or heart attack so it is not a condition that you should take lightly.

    There are two main types of sleep apnea – obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

    Obstructive sleep apnea: is the most common type of sleep apnea and is caused by the relaxation of soft tissue in the back of the throat that obstructs the airway passage. When you try to breathe, there isn’t sufficient air as a result of the blockage. The blockage may be due to your windpipe being blocked by your tongue, tonsils, uvula or the fatty tissue in your throat.

    Central sleep apnea: is a rare type of sleep apnea that is associated with the function of the central nervous system. It occurs when the area of the brain that controls your breathing does not send the correct signals to the breathing muscles. This means that there is no effort to breathe at all for brief periods. With central apnea, snoring does not usually occur.

    Usually people suffering from sleep apnea will have a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. The person who has obstructive sleep apnea does not remember the episodes of apnea during the night. It is generally, family members, particularly spouses who witness the periods of apnea.

    Here are some of the common symptoms of sleep apnea;
    1. Restless sleep
    2. Morning headaches
    3. Recent weight gain
    4. Loud snoring
    5. Dry mouth and throat upon awakening
    6. Periods of not breathing, followed by gasps for air
    7. Excessive daytime sleepiness
    8. Trouble concentrating
    9. Limited attention span
    10. Low libido
    11. Memory loss
    12. Fatigue
    13. Poor judgement
    14. Dosing off during the day at inappropriate times
    15. Irritability
    16. Mood changes
    17. Behavior changes
    18. Anxiety
    19. Depression
    20. High blood pressure
    21. Hyperactivity

    So what causes sleep apnea?

    1. Obesity – this is one of the main causes of sleep apnea
    2. Being Overweight – being overweight can also cause sleep apnea (note that obesity is a more severe case of being overweight and is usually when you are 20% or more over your acceptable weight based on your BMI (body mass index).
    3.Large tonsils or adenoids - Large tonsils or adenoids may also cause disruption in air flow to the lungs causing pauses in breath.
    4. Hereditary or genetic features of the body such that the shape of the head and neck result in a relatively small airway between the mouth and throat area

    Sleep apnea occurs when air struggles to pass into your lungs while you are sleeping. Under normal conditions, the upper part of your throat muscles keeps this passage open to allow air to flow into your lungs. During sleep, these muscles usually relax but the passage stays open enough to allow air to flow through.

    Some people, however, have a narrower passage and during sleep, relaxation of these muscles causes the passage to close. As a result, air cannot pass through into the lungs and loud snoring and labored breathing occurs. When the airway is obstructed completely, air fails to reach the lungs.

    So what can you do to treat sleep apnea;

    1. Lose weight (if you are overweight or obese)

    2. Quit Smoking

    3. Avoid Alcohol

    4. Avoid sleeping pills

    5. Sleep on your side (rather than on your back). There are pillows and devices that can help you with this.

    6. Change sleeping positions regularly

    7. Throat exercises ( do a search online for throat exercises and follow the recommendations)

    8. CPAP machine – CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure and many with sleep apnea resort to using a CPAP machine to assist with proper breathing while sleeping.

    9. Stop eating a few hours before bedtime

    10. Walnuts – eat a handful of walnuts prior to going to bed. As crazy as this sounds many swear it helps.

    11. Exercise – regular exercise helps contribute to better sleep

    12. Diet – eating a balanced diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains helps your body to sleep better

    13. Surgery – For severe cases surgical procedures may be performed to remove enlarged tonsils or adenoids (tonsillectomy) or excess tissue at the back of the throat (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or UPPP).

    14. Regular Bedtime – Establish and maintain regular bedtime and wake-up time patterns

    15. Relaxation techniques – Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga or visualization to reduce stress and anxiety.

    16. Avoid stimulants – Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, sedatives, alcohol and nicotine that may interfere with the sleep cycle

    17. Serenite Plus – SerenitePlus Benefits: Wind down at the end of the day, Assist with occasional routine restlessness at night, Naturally maintain night time harmony, Maintain a healthy sleep pattern, Support a peaceful night and a refreshing start to your day.

    18. Serenite-LT - Serenite-LT Benefits: Naturally supports ongoing sleep health, Maintains a healthy sleep cycle and regular deep, satisfying sleep, Supports emotional well-being and a positive outlook, Maintains a healthy balance of serotonin levels.

    19. Triple Complex Sleep Tonic – Triple Complex Sleep Tonic Benefits: Relaxes mild tension and increases drowsiness, Reduces sleeplessness associated with insomnia, Balances the hormones involved in sleep patterns, Restores rejuvenation through restful sleep, Maintains routine balance of cell salts in the body.

    Of course, feel free to add your comments with any other remedies that you have used that have proven effective so others can benefit from your knowledge. Thanks for sharing.

    Take the time to find the help and the natural treatment you need, and you’ll be able to get on with your life and enjoy it to the fullest. You deserve to be happy and healthy and pain-free.

    To Your Optimal Health,

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