Sleep Apnea - 7 Tips To Help You Sleep

Do you keep your partner awake at night with your snoring? Are you often tired during the day? Do you sometimes find yourself suffering from morning headaches, being a bit forgetful, unable to concentrate and irritable? If so, you may be suffering from sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a very common and often undiagnosed sleep disorder that, according to some estimates, affects five percent of the adult population. Characterized in particular by loud snoring and daytime tiredness, sleep apnea occurs because you stop breathing during sleep. This can occur literally hundreds of times each night and your breathing can be interrupted by up to a minute or more on each occasion.

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Your breathing is interrupted either by a physical blockage to your airway (for example, loose skin in the back of your throat, or perhaps your tongue, blocking your airway), in which case you are said to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, or by a failure on the part of your brain to send out the necessary signals to the muscles of your body that control breathing, in which event your condition is described as central sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea - 7 Tips To Help You Sleep

It is also possible to suffer from mixed sleep apnea which, as the name suggests, is a combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Both men and women suffer from sleep apnea, although the condition is more commonly seen in men and, in particular, men who are over 40 and overweight.

The main consequence of sleep apnea is that, because your sleep is very light, fragmented and of poor quality, you also suffer from insomnia, or excessive daytime tiredness. Your partner would probably disagree and say that the main problem is your snoring, but that's a different story!

There are a range of treatments available for sleep apnea (including surgery in particularly severe cases), but in the vast majority of cases your quality of life can be improved considerably with a few simple lifestyle changes and natural remedies. Indeed, in mild cases, this is often all that is needed.

Here are 7 simple tips to offset the effects of sleep apnea related insomnia and restore some of that lost daytime 'get up and go'.

Tip 1. Look at your weight.

If you're overweight then this is undoubtedly contributing to your problem. Losing just a few pounds can make a significant difference.

Tip 2. Avoid alcohol.

Alcohol relaxes your throat muscles and this makes it much easier for these muscles to 'collapse' during sleep and block your airway. There's no need to cut out alcohol altogether, but you should restrict your intake and certainly cut out alcohol in the three or four hours before going to bed.

Tip 3. Avoid sleeping pills.

Sleeping pills can also relax your throat muscles and cause similar problems to those seen for alcohol. Sleeping pills, however, can also cause a variety of other problems as well and there use is not recommended in cases of sleep apnea.

Tip 4. Avoid tobacco.

Smoking inflames your nasal tissues causing them to swell and restrict your nasal airway. Ideally, you should give up smoking altogether but, if this is too high a fence to jump, then try to cut down and, in particular, reduce your smoking during the evening.

Tip 5. Sleep on your side.

If you're typical of the majority of sleep apnea sufferers you sleep on your back, making it far easier for the tissues in your throat, and for your tongue, to block your airway. Even if you go to sleep on your side, you probably roll onto your back shortly after falling asleep.

Try propping yourself up with pillows or cushions so that you sleep on your side. If this doesn't work then sew something like a tennis ball into the back of your pajamas. You'll find that rolling onto the tennis ball will be quite uncomfortable and it will soon condition you to sleep on your side.

If you can't sew, find a shirt or tee-shirt with a breast pocket. Pop the tennis ball into the pocket and then wear the shirt back-to-front.

Tip 6. Improve your nasal breathing.

If you suffer from a 'stuffed up' nose, then try using a nasal spray to help open up your nasal airway. Nasal sprays should not however be used regularly or for prolonged periods, as they can cause damage to the tissues of the nose.

As an alternative, pop along to the drug store or chemist and buy yourself one of many very cheap devices that are available today to help keep your nose open while you sleep. Your pharmacist or chemist will be happy to show you what's on offer and to help you to make the right choice.

Tip 7. Avoid sleep deprivation.

Make sure that you are getting enough sleep and that you're following a regular bedtime routine. Also make sure that your bedroom conditions are set for sleep (the right temperature, quiet, dark etc.) and that you've dealt with the worries of the day and are relaxed and ready for sleep each night.

One of the major consequences of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea is insomnia, and curing the insomnia associated with sleep apnea is a major step in the management of the condition.

These are just a few simple tips but you'll be amazed at just what a difference they can make.

Sleep Apnea - 7 Tips To Help You Sleep

Donald Saunders is the author of a number of health related publications including: "How To Get A Good Night's Sleep - Simple Solutions To Help You Rest" Pick up your free copy today and discover the key to curing sleep-apnea

Sleep Apnea Treatment Methods - The Pros and Cons

You've probably already heard of sleep apnea - it's the condition when a person misses a breath (or more) while sleeping. The idea of someone "missing to breathe" seems funny but indeed, there are situations when the physical make-up of the person prevents him or her from breathing normally - especially while he or she is sleeping.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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The common type of it is the Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This occurs when the upper part of the airway becomes narrow - as a result of the collapse of the tissues on it. Here's how this happens:

Sleep Apnea Treatment Methods - The Pros and Cons

When you sleep, the muscles on your upper airway (near the back of your throat) relax. Dilator muscles, however, are present to keep the air passage open and to help your breathe normally. Interference to this collapse-dilation mechanism causes you to miss your breath - literally, you do not breathe for a matter of seconds.

Significant absence of breathing can be disturbing - not to mention fatal. Thus, the treatment procedures are available to help both the sufferers - and the loved ones of these sufferers (if your partner snores loudly because of sleep apnea, would you, as his partner, be able to sleep well?).

CPAP Machine

The Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (CPAP) machine is by far the most common sleep apnea treatment method. Of course, this is primarily because this is developed for this very purpose.

Sleep specialists use CPAP - and CPAP mask in Toronto or elsewhere - to provide constant air pressure. This keeps the collapse-dilation mechanism of the different sets of throat muscles working. In simpler terms, this sleep apnea treatment procedure prevents your throat muscles from blocking the airway.

However, the CPAP machine is not without limits. Some users report having throat or nose infection. Infection can be in the form of nasal congestion and dry throat. In addition, some patients experience difficulty in exhalation. This can be because of the kind of mask that's being used. As such, many specialists prefer Respironics masks - in Toronto or elsewhere - because this brand is known for quality and cost-effectiveness.

Dental Devices

To address the concerns associated with the use of the CPAP machine as a treatment method, specialists turn to the use of dental devices. Among the common dental appliances are:

a. the Tongue Retaining Device - this holds the tongue in place, thereby keeping the airway open
b. the Mandibular Advancement Device - again, this sleep apnea treatment device aims to keep the airway open by slightly pushing the lower jaw forward and downward.

Perhaps because nothing in this world is perfect, some users still have a few complaints regarding the use of the above-mentioned dental devices as sleep apnea treatment methods. Among the most common concerns are dry lips, excessive salivation and tooth discomfort.

Any form of treatment somehow carries with it a certain "undesirable trait." An antibiotic, for instance, would give you an upset stomach. The same holds true for sleep apnea treatment methods. There will always be pros and cons.

This article, in summary, presents the pros and cons of the most common methods used in treating sleep apnea. Hopefully, it was able to accomplish such purpose.

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Sleep Apnea Treatment Methods - The Pros and Cons

Use CPAP and CPAP mask in Toronto as an approach of sleep apnea treatment - Toronto or elsewhere. Visit for more information about this treatment method. Check out the site too for best deals in Respironics masks in Toronto.

Sleep Deprivation, What Are The Consequences?

Sleep is probably best described as the loss of awareness of what is happening around us. The brain itself never sleeps and still continues to function, although the brainwave rhythms are altered and gradually slow as we approach the deeper stages of sleep. Sleep deprivation exists when we are not getting the sleep we need. This varies from person to person, the average adult requires six to nine hours per night, but some do well on much less. Kids and teenagers require more sleep than adults. If we feel energetic during the day and do not experience daytime sleepiness, then we are probably receiving adequate sleep.

Public awareness of fitness and nutrition has grown over the past few years but unfortunately little is known about the very important subject of sleep disorders. They are not included in general medical training either so the lack of knowledge is perpetuated. If drowsiness were the sole disadvantage of sleep deprivation, it would not be such a serious condition. Unfortunately the consequences are many and some of them quite worrying. There are both behavioral and physical symptoms.

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Why do we suffer with sleep deprivation? Sometimes its because we're so busy that we just don't have sufficient time to get the rest we need. Or maybe its because we have insomnia or one of the other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome. Or we may be a shift worker who is forced to sleep during the day and our sleep is not restful. Whatever the reason is, if we don't have adequate sleep we create a "sleep debt" which leads to some or all of the symptoms shown below. These range from the inconvenient to the downright dangerous so if you can see yourself in the symptoms below, its worth trying to establish what is causing your sleep deprivation we can then work out and how to address it.

Sleep Deprivation, What Are The Consequences?

Stress and anxiety

This can be a vicious cycle as while stress can actually cause our lack of sleep, it is also a result of it. Fortunately it can be dealt with using the right procedures. We'll look at the possibilities and find out what's causing it and the correct solution for you.

Anger, irritability and depression

These are all stress related and they can cause relationship and social problems. The National Sleep Foundation has said that anger due to sleep deprivation may be one of the contributing factors to road rage. Depression, while remaining a complex condition may be described as anger turned inwards. One answer to these problems may simply be more or better sleep.

Lack of focus and difficulty in concentrating

The brain looses function as a result of sleep deprivation. Students in particular fit into this category as learning requires intense concentration. A study has found that from the age of puberty, the need for sleep increases until adulthood.

Short term memory loss

Memory is affected by lack of sleep, this is also a problem for those trying to study and for those learning new job skills.

Impaired ability to drive a motor vehicle

Two reasons for this - one is because concentration is affected, the second because the danger of falling asleep at the wheel is high. The same goes for anyone who is in charge of machinery in the workplace. Sleep deprivation can also cause blurring of peripheral vision. Altogether quite a deadly cocktail. The danger has been assessed as being close to that of someone who is affected by alcohol!

Suppression of the immune system

This one is a worry as it leaves us vulnerable to every infection that happens to be around at the time. People who are sleep deprived get more colds and flu than those that are not. Lack of sleep can make you sick!

Probably enough reasons there to convince us to take action to change our sleeping habits! If lack of time is keeping us up late, something else may have to be sacrificed to make sure we get the rest we need. If a sleep disorder is making your life a misery, don't despair! There is always something we can do and knowledge on the subject is improving all the time.

Sleep Deprivation, What Are The Consequences?

Want to know how to have better sleep? Find out how. Check out your resource for detailed information on sleep and curing stress. The author, Wendy Owen, has had a lifetime interest in general and alternative health as well as being an ex insomniac!

Ancient Ayurvedic Treatment for Acid Reflux

Ayurveda is an ancient treatment from India. The origin of Ayurveda dates back to thousands of years. Ayurveda basically means knowledge of life in Sanskrit. Ayurveda believes in holistic treatment. Ayurveda does not believe in one-size fits all. Hence, each and every individual is studied before prescribing any remedy.

The same approach is followed for treating acid reflux. The main foundation of any ayurvedic treatment is the identification of the doshas. Doshas means 'fault'. As per ayurved there are three doshas: vatta, pitta and kapha. These doshas control the entire well being of the body. All three doshas must be balanced and should work in tandem so as to allow the proper functioning of the body. When one of the three doshas is not in sync with the rest of the two doshas, it gives rise to an ailment in the body.

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According to Ayurveda, acid reflux is caused due to improper functioning of the sub - category of Pitta dosha called Pachaka. The Pachaka pitta is situated in the duodenum and the intestines. Modern science also points towards the stomach as the cause of acid reflux. Acid reflux is caused when the lower esophageal sphincter fails to function properly. The lower esophageal sphincter is a one-way valve, which shuts tightly after allowing the food into the stomach. Thus it prevents the acidic content from slipping back into the esophagus. When it stops functioning properly, the acidic stomach content come in contact with the lining of the esophagus causing irritation. The irritation is termed as acid reflux.

Ancient Ayurvedic Treatment for Acid Reflux

Usually the Pachaka pitta is thrown out of balance due to the intake of food, which is not really favored by the stomach. Hence Ayurveda stresses upon the avoidance of foods that tend to relax the lower esophageal sphincter. This includes food that is oily, spicy hot, sour and fermented food. Food laced with artificial preservatives, Ayurveda also considers color and chemicals as bad for the stomach. It also discourages the consumption of alcohol and tobacco, since both are known to aggravate the Pachaka dosha.

Ayurvedic treatment for acid reflux includes consumption of herbs and food that pacifies the Pitta dosha. This includes food like whole wheat, rice, organic barley etc. Ayurveda also encourages the consumption of dark green leafy vegetables and other vegetables like okra, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower etc. People suffering from acid reflux should not consume fast food and left over or stale food.

Ayurvedic treatment for acid reflux also includes the doing of Yoga. Yoga is a form of exercise, which helps in the pacification of the various dosha.

Ayurved thus provides the option of getting treatment for acid reflux without suffering from undesired side effects.

Ancient Ayurvedic Treatment for Acid Reflux

Learn more about diet with acid reflux on our site. You'll also find other information such as effects of acid reflux and Sleep apnea effect acid reflux. is a comprehensive resource to help individuals with acid reflux disease to identify symptoms, prevention and treatment options.

Sleep Apnea - Medical Conditions That Causes Secondary Sleep Disorders

Some medical conditions can actually cause secondary sleep disorders. Aside from that, prescription medications used to treat your underlying medical conditions will cause you to develop secondary sleeping disorders. Such medical conditions would include gastroesophageal reflux disease, endocrine problems, cardiovascular diseases, kidney disorders, neurological problems and mental disorders, bone and joint problems such as arthritis, and respiratory problems.

Problems in the cardiovascular system can lead to sleeping disorders. These cardiovascular diseases would include congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease. In coronary artery disease, fat deposits accumulate in the walls of the blood vessels. These fat deposits are called as atheromas; thus, the condition being called as atherosclerosis. This condition would cause impeded blood circulation which leads to coronary artery disease. This condition would often lead to sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea. As for congestive heart failure, the patient's heart is congested due to its inability to supply the requirements needed by the body; therefore, the heart's workload is increased making it congested. Organs such as the kidney and the lungs are also greatly affected. Because of these conditions, the patient has a greater risk of developing sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea.

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Endocrine disorders such as thyroid gland problems and diabetes may also cause secondary sleeping disorders. In general, Diabetes can be considered as a multisystem disorder because it has a big impact on different body processes. Such processes would include metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Usually, restless leg syndrome is the sleeping disorder that occurs in people with diabetes. On the other hand, the thyroid gland is responsible for regulating the hormones that affect the level of energy in a person. Once the thyroid gland function is disrupted, major problems will likely occur. If there is an excessive secretion of hormones by the thyroid gland, the person would have episodes of waking up in the wee hours due to night sweats and will also have sleeping difficulties.

Sleep Apnea - Medical Conditions That Causes Secondary Sleep Disorders

Aside from endocrine disorders, problems in the neurologic system can also lead to development of secondary sleeping disorders. Such neurologic problems would include epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and Parkinson's disease. Dementia and normal functioning is common among people with Alzheimer's disease. Sleep fragmentation can also occur among people with Alzheimer's disease. On the other hand, epilepsy is caused by electrical activities in the brain. Epileptic patients are at a greater risk to develop sleep disorder insomnia. As for Parkinson's disease, it is a dysfunction in the central nervous system. People with Parkinson's disease have motor problems and usually they suffer from tremors, muscle stiffness, posture problems, shuffling gait, and other normal activities. Aside from these motor problems, people with Parkinson's disease are also predisposed to REM sleep behavior disorder and sleep onset insomnia.

Those who have respiratory problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma are also predisposed to various sleeping disorders. Asthmatic patients have difficulties in breathing due to increased mucus production that causes airway obstruction as well as constriction and inflammation of the airway passages. Damage in the lungs that leads to difficulty in breathing is present in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The most common sleeping disorder that these people develop are sleep fragmentation and often times, insomnia.

Mental problems such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, and seasonal affective disorders are also prone to develop sleeping problems. These sleeping disorders would include sleep fragmentation and insomnia.

A condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is present among people who frequently experience acid reflux. Usually, the food that was previously ingested would regurgitate causing damage to the mucosal linings of the esophagus. For GERD, sleep fragmentation is likely to happen.

Problems in kidney functioning is troublesome because waste products are not eliminated. There will also be imbalances in the salt levels and water levels leading to serious problems like edema. Restless leg syndrome and insomnia are common among these people.

It is very evident that people with bone and joint problems are suffering from insomnia due to the fact that they are experiencing pain. An example of joint problem would be arthritis.

Secondary sleeping disorder is the term that is used to describe people who have sleep disorders caused by underlying medical conditions. When this happens, the best way would be to treat the medical condition first prior to treating the sleeping disorder itself.

Sleep Apnea - Medical Conditions That Causes Secondary Sleep Disorders

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Sleep Apnea - What it Is, and How to Fix It

While many people have the good fortune to be able to go to sleep at night and then wake up refreshed the next day, that is simply not the case for others. They might actually get the required eight hours of rest that they need, but they still wake up feeling as if they had never went to bed in the first place.

If this sounds like something that you have been experiencing, then you might actually have sleep apnea. This is a kind of sleep disorder, in which you will repeatedly stop and start breathing. Some people who have sleep apnea actually stop breathing for a few minutes at a time, which is definitely not a good thing for the body.

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Most people think that sleep apnea is just that definition, but there are actually two different kinds. In the first kind, the breathing is stopped by relaxed throat muscles. In the second kind, the brain does not give the signals to the parasympathetic nervous system that should enable regular breathing.

Sleep Apnea - What it Is, and How to Fix It

Once sleep apnea has been diagnosed, the natural next step is to figure out treatment. There are several different ways that this sleep disorder can be treated. For example, sometimes losing weight can be a solution. If a person is a smoker, then quitting smoking will most likely work. If there is a significant obstruction in the airway, surgery might be required. Or, the patient can seek out respiratory therapy. Thus, it is important for people with this sleep disorder to know that there are safe solutions.

Sleep Apnea - What it Is, and How to Fix It

More information on sleep apnea and sleep disorder treatment options at a sleep center in your area is just a click away.

What's the Difference Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea?

We usually hear sleep apnea being talked about as a condition that's signified by loud, chronic snoring. But that's not always the case. When a person suffers from obstructive apnea, they snore as air pushes past a totally or partially blocked airway, with the breathing interruptions happening at least 5 and sometimes in excess of 30 times an hour. If you share your bed with someone who hasn't resolved his or her obstructive apnea, you know how annoying this can be. Not only do the breathing interruptions result in your partner's moving from a state of deep sleep to light sleep, but they can have the same effect on you, leaving both of you feeling tired, irritable and unable to concentrate during waking hours.

However, if your partner suffers from central apnea, you may not be aware that he or she is experiencing sleep apnea. Unlike obstructive apnea that results from a block airway, central apnea is caused by the brain's ineffectively communicating the correct breathing actions to the breathing muscles. Consequently, the sufferer intermittently gasps for air instead of snoring. Central apnea is less common that obstructive apnea, but it's no less dangerous to a person's long-term health. Both obstructive and central apnea can increase a person's risk for a myriad of negative health conditions, including high blood pressure, hypertension, heart failure, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, obesity, depression and poor concentration. But the most damaging effect of sleep apnea is its weakening of the immune system. As with all sleep problems, the insufficient sleep that results form apnea causes immune cells to function with less efficiency and therefore decreases the body's ability to fight off infection and disease.

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So, what's the best way to determine the presence of apnea and then resolve it? The first step is to make an appointment with your general physician or schedule a consultation with a sleep medicine clinic. Your physician may be able to conclude that you suffer from apnea upon conducting a physical investigation, especially considering that enlarged tonsils and obesity commonly result in obstructive apnea. But when apnea is suspected and its cause isn't immediately obvious, receiving a polysomnogram from a sleep clinic is the best way to determine the cause of apnea, especially in the case of central apnea.

What's the Difference Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea?

A polysomnogram is a non-invasive procedure that uses sensors to monitor a person's brain functions and physical movements as they sleep. After the test reveals the nature and the cause of the apnea, the correct course of treatment in determined. Apnea treatments range from sleep masks that prevent the closing of airways to prescription medication to surgical procedures, with surgery being the least common treatment.

Whatever course of apnea treatment your physician recommends, it's important that you or your partner receive the treatment as soon as possible. If surgery is recommended and you begin to feel that the sleep disturbances and daytime tiredness are preferable to undergoing an operation, remember that untreated apnea predisposes you serious medical conditions that are also likely to require surgery.

What's the Difference Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea?

Snoring is the most common sign of obstructive sleep apnea. But just because you don't snore doesn't mean that you don't have sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea usually occurs without snoring but is equally dangerous. For help with apnea and other sleep problems, contact your physician or a sleep clinic. Visit for more information and get a good nights rest.