Sleep Disorders and the dangers when ignoring them

daytime sleepinessPeriodically people may ignore the signs of a health problem. Whether it is a cold or shooting pain, in the back of their mind they hope it will pass without having to take a trip to the doctor.  Unfortunately, when ignoring the signs of a sleep disorder, the symptoms are not temporary and can lead to poor health, relationship stress and impaired job performance.

The most common sleep disorder is known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).  Obstructive sleep apnea is when an individual repeatedly stops breathing while sleeping due to the throat muscles relaxing and blocking the airway.  The problem is people are not aware that snoring is the most noticeable sign of obstructive sleep apnea. Other signs may be insomnia, chronic fatigue, sleepwalking, headaches in the morning, suddenly stop breathing during the night and daytime sleepiness.

When ignoring any of these signs and not speaking to a physician or sleep specialist the end results could be high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and depression. In some cases sleep apnea can be life-threatening.

Are you constantly tossing and turning in the middle of the night? Maybe waking up multiple times during the night and early in the morning? You may possibly be suffering from insomnia. Insomnia is another disorder that you do not want to ignore; it will only get worse. Ultimately your health will degenerate. Your overall work performance will decline.  You will become irritable of others along with mood changes towards loved one. Insomnia is basically your body telling you something is wrong. Eventually insomnia can lead to obstructive sleep apnea or even fatality.

Other sleep disorders you may be suffering from could be shift work sleeping problems, circadian rhythm sleep disorders, or narcolepsy. The ending results of ignoring these sleep disorders could be cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, and disrupted social schedules.

If you are a loved one are experiencing any symptoms such as chronic fatigue, sleepwalking, snoring, or stop breathing in the middle of the nigh contact your physician or a sleep specialist. The risk of putting it off is too high and the sooner you are diagnosed that faster treatment can start.


How does a CPAP machine work?

Were you diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and now every night you sleep with a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure machine)? The CPAP helps control your breathing, giving you an undisturbed cpapnight of rest. The CPAP machine provides pressurized air to your upper airway while sleeping to keep your airway open.

The apparatus generally consists of an air compressor and either a nasal or facial mask. To help keep the mask in place while you sleep, it comes with a strap. The strap not only goes around your head but also under your chin to keep the mouth closed letting the majority of the breathing to be done through the nose. A tube then connects the mask to the machine. There is a motor that blows air into the tube and through your mask into your airway. Some CPAP machines monitor your breathing and apply pressurized air only when you need it.

The CPAP machine has a small tank for water and a filter that are designed to remove impurities and increase the humidity level in the air. This helps keep the patients from developing nosebleeds, along with dry mouth and throats.

According to the National Sleep Foundation 50% percent of the 18 million people with sleep apnea regularly use their CPAP machines. Even though the machine is quiet, some patients feel claustrophobic with the mask. Remember if you want your CPAP machine to be effective, you must wear it 6-8 hours while sleeping.

Even though CPAP machines are not prescribed to treat snoring, they help eliminate snoring in addition to sleep apnea.

If you have any questions about your CPAP machine or concerning sleep apnea contact your sleep specialist.