Sleep Apnea FAQs

Sleep apnea is a disorder that has caused many premature deaths. It is important to diagnose sleep apnea as early as possible and treat the patient before complications arise.

What is sleep apnea?


It is a sleep disorder that causes your breath to stop while you are asleep. Each pause in breath lasts 10-20 seconds. This cessation of breath can occur more than 30 times in an hour.

Sleep Apnea FAQs

What causes sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is caused when enough air does not reach your lungs. This is primarily due to the obstruction of the air passage. This is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) the most common type of apnea. The causes for OSA include weakening of throat muscles, obesity and enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Another type of sleep apnea called the Central apnea is caused when the region in the brain that controls breathing does not send proper breathing signals.

Who is at risk for OSA?

Anybody can have sleep apnea. It is more common in men. Findings reveal that one in every 25 middle-aged men and one in every 50 middle-aged women have apnea. It can also be hereditary. Others who are at risk are people who snore loudly, who are obese, and those with high blood pressure and a narrow air passage.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

The symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring, insomnia, frequent gasping during sleep, lack of concentration, mood swings, morning headaches, memory problems, dryness of throat and frequent urination at night.

How is it diagnosed?

A sleep test is performed to ascertain whether the person has sleep apnea or not. The most common tool used is the polysomnogram. It is performed when the patient is asleep. It records the brain activity, eye movement, breathing, heart beat rate and percentage of oxygen in the blood. This test can be performed at a hospital or at home.

What is the treatment available for OSA?

CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway pressure is the treatment available for OSA. For this the patient wears a nasal mask. It pumps air at a constant pressure that suits the person. It also has a humidifier that prevents the drying up of the nasal passage.

What can I do to alleviate apnea?

Medication is advised to treat apnea, but you can also do certain things from your side to prevent the onset of apnea. They include reducing weight if you are obese, quitting smoking, lowering the intake of alcohol and avoiding medications like sleeping pills, or tranquilizers that affect breathing.

Sleep Apnea FAQs

Sleep Apnea provides detailed information on Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Central Sleep Apnea, Sleep Apnea Machines and more. Sleep Apnea is affiliated with Pediatric Sleep Disorders.

7 Common Symptoms of Lack of Sleep

The unfortunate fact about the symptoms of lack of sleep is that they are common symptoms of so many other illnesses and diseases. You may have all these symptoms, but you might not necessarily be lacking sleep. Taking that vital fact into account, try to evaluate your own sleeping habits and whether or not sleep deprivation is an issue before beginning an insomnia or sleep disorder treatment.

Typical Symptoms Of Lack of Sleep...


Constantly Tired. Not your regular "Ive been working all day" kind of tired, but a constant, unwavering feeling of being physically exhausted.

7 Common Symptoms of Lack of Sleep

Irritability. The smallest things annoy and anger you, causing you to snap at friends, loved ones, or even complete strangers.

Lack of Concentration. No matter what the task at hand is, you can't seem to wrap your mind around it. The task could be as easy as choosing what you want for dinner, but for some odd reason, you're incapable of even coming up with an idea.

Memory Loss. Things that happened hours or even minutes ago are no longer present in your mind. You can vaguely recall events, but anything specific and you're completely lost.

Social Problems. Talking to people is almost impossible, as no one makes any sense to you, and you apparently are not understood by those around you.

Stress Intolerance. Any type of stress, be it work related or personal, and you snap like a twig under the pressure.

Appetite Changes. You either constantly feel like eating more or you constantly feel like you're not hungry. Either way, it isn't a normal feeling that have; which is why you may lose or gain weight during this period of lack of sleep.

Do you have these symptoms of lack of sleep? Then you may in fact be suffering from insomnia or sleep deprivation. If you're worried about this problem and how it may interfere with your daily life, then you should try to find out more about your specific sleeping disorder.

7 Common Symptoms of Lack of Sleep

For more detailed information about the symptoms of lack of sleep and to discover if you're suffering from the common sleeping disorder known as insomnia, try visiting, a highly popular website that specializes in the treatment of insomnia and sleeping disorders.

How to Get Back to Sleep When Sleep is Disrupted

If you occasionally wake during your normal sleeping time, this isn't uncommon at all. It could be a sudden or loud noise, if you have children, certainly a restless or crying child will awaken you from your sleep. Bodily functions are certainly a reason that many people find themselves waking up and even having to get up at some point in their sleep routine.

Waking up during sleep isn't a problem or any type of a caution sign unless waking up becomes a constant problem and/or you find it near impossible to get back to sleep after doing so.


If you have woke up for some reason and find that you are struggling to fall back to sleep here are a few suggestions that may help you get back to a full slumber.

How to Get Back to Sleep When Sleep is Disrupted

No luck... get up and get out of bed and move around just a bit.

Now I know this might sound counterproductive to sleeping, but here's why getting up makes sense. Believe it or not your body just might not be tired. This may be especially true if you've already been asleep for 5 or more hours. So if you can't seem to fall back asleep after you've been trying for about 20 minutes or so, go ahead and get up and do something that will make you tired again... turn on a low light and read or peruse a book or magazine... you don't want to turn on a bright light though. We don't want to send any signal to your internal clock and your body might really think it's time to wake.

Do not start up any activity that is going to require you cranking up your brain power... especially anything related to your job or your school work. The same strategy holds true for the television as well... don't opt for something on television that will stimulate your brain into action. Turning on the radio would be a better choice.

Practice visualization
Although the theory behind counting sheep seems a bit hackneyed, the concept is proven. Imagine or focus on something repetitive or monotone. This can help your mind lose interest and soon you will find that it will begin to shut down. If you can get your brain to focus on the on an image or a repetitive or constant tone (such as the low hum of a fan), it won't wander off into trying to solve issues at work, school, or around the house.

Have a light snack
If after getting up you realize that you're feeling a bit hungry, it will be difficult to fall back asleep. So have a small bite to eat... just make it something light. Optimally, try to eat something that will help your body release serotonin, a relaxant, such as turkey or peanuts or milk. Anything light that won't stimulate a flurry of digestive activity, yet gets something in your stomach is a good idea and will help you fall back to sleep.

Go to bed later
Many times the problem with not being able to get to sleep is just the fact that your body isn't that tired. If you go to bed and you have trouble falling asleep, you simply might not be tired when you go to bed. So stay up a while longer. The key is to use that extra time to relax and unwind. It is kind of like approaching the runway to slumber. Don't use the time to pound out more work.

Many times people have trouble going back to sleep because they keep mentally replaying what's ahead of them in the schedule tomorrow. One of the best ways to put your mind at ease is to write down your to do list, your schedule, or whatever you have in front of you tomorrow. By doing this you will assure your mind that all is well and that you have everything under control... your brain will appreciate this and allow you to fall asleep.

Continuing the thought on approaching the slumber runway... take a nice hot bath or shower prior to hopping into bed. This relaxation technique can help make getting to sleep that much easier. Remember, the goal ultimately is to get your body to sleep for the entire time it is in bed.

Adjust the room temperature and check your sleeping environment.
The temperature in your room could be the reason that you struggle sleeping. Make sure you have your sleeping environment conducive to what your are trying to accomplish... sleep.

Remember, waking from sleep is not unusual, constantly waking and/or not being able to go back to sleep may require to adjust your sleeping habits... in most cases a few minor adjustments will do the trick.

How to Get Back to Sleep When Sleep is Disrupted

For more important information on sleeping [] be sure to visit [] where you will helpful find advice and tips on sleep [], sleep apnea, sleep insomnia and how you can start getting a good night's sleep.

Sleep Apnea Pillow

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by frequent pauses in breathing during sleep. Three types of sleep apnea exist: central, obstructive and mixed. Obstructive is the most common, resulting from over-relaxation of throat muscles, causing the windpipe to collapse and block the airway. Treatments for sleep apnea range from simple lifestyle changes to surgery. One of the most common non-invasive treatments is the sleep apnea pillow.

A sleep apnea pillow is a pillow that is designed for snorers, since snoring is one of the most common indicators of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea pillows are designed to support the neck, to prevent patients from rolling onto their backs (where snoring and sleep apnea can worsen), to cradle the head, to elongate the neck and keep the tongue from blocking the airway, and to assist side sleepers by relieving pressure on shoulders and arms.

\"sleep Apnea\"

Several different manufacturers claim their sleep apnea pillows achieve the above objectives, but SONA pillow is the only sleep apnea pillow approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an over-the counter treatment.

Sleep Apnea Pillow

The SONA sleep apnea pillow at first looks rather odd. A two-layered triangle instead of a solid rectangle, this sleep apnea pillow resembles a padded boomerang more than a pillow. The angular design, though, is what makes this pillow helpful in treating sleep apnea. The shape is intended to maintain sleep in the side position. Two inclined surfaces make up the primary sleeping surface, with a flatter lower surface in the center.

Each lower part of the triangle of the sleep apnea pillow has a training arm sling. To properly use the pillow lie on either side, extend your arm in the open space under the pillow. Your arm should be kept extended while sleeping and the head should be maintained on the same side as the extended hand.

Initially, you may use the training arm sling to maintain this position by placing the arm in the space between the pillow and the sling. For additional sleep compliance, you can use a body pillow to hug over, or to put between the legs to help maintain the side sleeping position. Using the sleep apnea pillow in this manner allows the jaw to be pulled forward, preventing the tongue from falling backward and obstructing the throat.

Certain portions of the populations are not candidates for the SONA sleep apnea pillow. People with severe sleep apnea do not benefit from using the SONA sleep apnea pillow as a solo therapy. Obese individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of over 30 will not get the snoring relief obtained by thinner members of the population.

The SONA sleep apnea pillow, like all pillows, undergoes normal wear and tear, and should be periodically fluffed. The makers of SONA pillow also recommend replacing the sleep apnea pillow annually.

Before purchasing the SONA sleep apnea pillow, or any sleep apnea pillow, consult your physician.

SONA Pillow is a registered trademark of Sleep Devices, Inc.

Sleep Apnea Pillow

Do you suffer from sleep apnea? Our site focuses on sleep apnea treatments and symptoms for sufferers of sleep apnea.

by T. D. Houser

Sleep Apnea Breathing Mask

When it comes to treating sleep apnea, there are few things as important as the breathing mask that you wear in conjunction with your CPAP, BiPAP, or APAP machine. This is because the comfort of the mask, as well as the functionality of the mask, could make or break the effectiveness of the treatment.

Sleep apnea masks that cause excessive discomfort to the patient may worsen the problem beyond the apneas by causing restless sleep due to irritation caused by the mask. Breathing masks that fit poorly or do not make a proper, airtight seal with the face can also reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. Because of this, choosing the correct mask for you is extremely important to the success of your apnea treatment.


For most patients, a sleep apnea breathing mask that covers only the nose is adequate. Held in place with straps that create an airtight seal around the nose, this type of breathing mask is perfect for those who have no difficulties with mouth breathing while sleeping. However, for those who do have difficulty not breathing through the mouth or keeping the mouth closed while asleep should consider a breathing mask that also covers the mouth.

Sleep Apnea Breathing Mask

Almost all of the sleep apnea breathing masks available today have what is called a built in leak, which allows air exchange through a one-way valve on the face of the breathing masks. When the patient exhales, the air is expelled through the valve, ensuring a constant supply of fresh air. Breathing masks usually have a strap that goes under the chin as well to further ensure the mouth stays closed while the patient sleeps. If the face mask makes the patient feel uncomfortable or claustrophobic, however, alternatives exist that are less enclosing.

Nasal pillows are small pliable pieces of plastic that are inserted into the nostrils. Once inserted, they form the seal against the inner walls of the nose. Because of this, there is little need for headgear, although some forms of this type of breathing apparatus come with straps to go under the chin to prevent the mouth from falling open. Because of the distinct lack of headgear, the user may find that it is more comfortable to wear nasal pillows than the traditional breathing mask. However, patients who are administered higher pressures of air should be cautious of using nasal pillows for this very reason, as there is far less security in the seal, which is much easier to break when experiencing higher pressures.

A similar delivery interface closely resembles nasal cannula. The tubing is inserted into the nostrils in a manner that causes a seal to form due to the large diameter of the hosing. Besides the lack of plastic pieces to form the seal, the nasal cannula functions exactly the same as the nasal pillows.

No matter what kind of sleep apnea breathing mask or apparatus you choose, be sure that it is comfortable and functional. Nothing is worse than attempting to use a device that is insufficient to your needs, as the treatment is then rendered ineffective. Be sure to tell your doctor of any complaints you may have with your current breathing mask, and don't be afraid to try many masks before settling on a permanent solution.

Sleep Apnea Breathing Mask

Go to Sleep Apnea Zone to get your free ebook on Sleep Apnea at Sleep Apnea []. Sleep Apnea Zone also has information on Sleep Apnea Breathing Mask [] along with a lot of other free information. Come by our new Sleep Apnea Community site today for free ebooks and other free information that can help you today.

Idiopathic Central Sleep Apnea

Idiopathic central sleep apnea syndrome (ICSAS) is completely different than obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) which is the more common sleep apnea condition that most of us have heard of before in the past. Idiopathic central sleep apnea is still not as fully understood as obstructive sleep apnea, but through research it is understood that there are abrupt increases in breathing in which there becomes an arterial CO2 reduction. Sort of like hyperventilation.

It is suggested that it is caused by the way the brain controls breathing. This is not a very common form of sleep apnea and there is still much to learn about it. What we do know is that it is usually found in people who are very ill. If you have had a stroke that has affected the brainstem then there is a possibility that you could experience idiopathic this sleep apnea. The brainstem is where the body's breathing is controlled, so if you have any injuries, lesions, etc that has affected the brainstem, then your chances of developing this disorder will increase.

\"sleep Apnea\"

The primary symptom of this sleep apnea is when you stop breathing for a temporary period of time, especially during nocturnal hours. If a neurological condition is the cause of the this sleep apnea then you could experience other symptoms like: change in voice, difficulty swallowing, feeling week or numb throughout the body and this all depends on what nerves and what part of the nervous system has been affected.

Idiopathic Central Sleep Apnea

The prognosis for Idiopathic this sleep disorder is actually very favorable with the proper treatment. If you have been diagnosed with this form of sleep disorder then follow through with the treatment program that your physician recommends.

Premature infants who have an underdeveloped brain and reflex systems are at a high risk of developing this sleep disorder. In the end, these infants, will usually outgrow their diagnosis and continue to live a normal, healthy life.

A person who continually takes central respiratory depressant drugs is also at risk of developing this sleep disorder. These drugs include things such as alcohol, opiates, barbiturates, tranquilizers, and benzodiazepines. Usually if the person experiences an episode where they stop breathing they will be an altered state of consciousness or be asleep.

Sleep issue, no matter what form, can be dangerous. If you experience any of the symptoms that are related to any type of sleep issue, contact your physician. There are tests that can be preformed to help the physician to determine what your diagnosis should be. Like mentioned previously in this article, central sleep issue has a good prognosis if it is treated. As for the central respiratory depressant drugs that were mentioned, even if you have obstructive sleep issue, taking one of these drugs could trigger an episode that would result in central sleep issue. It is highly recommended that with no matter what form of sleep issue that you have, whether it is obstructive sleep issue or central sleep issue, stay away from central respiratory depressant drugs, unless prescribed by a physician.

Idiopathic Central Sleep Apnea

Go to Sleep Apnea Zone to get your free ebook on Sleep Apnea at Sleep Apnea []. Sleep Apnea Zone also has information on Idiopathic Central Sleep Apnea [] along with a lot of other free information. Come by our new Sleep Apnea Community site today for free ebooks and other free information that can help you today.

Sleep Apnea Devices

Sleep apnea, a sleeping disorder characterized by frequent pauses in breathing during sleep, can be treated in several ways. CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure machines; simple items such as pillows that cradle the head and extend the neck; and cushions worn like a backpack to keep the patient from sleeping on his back.

One of the most common and user friendly sleep apnea devices is an oral appliance. The mandibular advancement splint (MAS), similar to a mouth guard used in sports, is a sleep apnea device that holds the lower jaw slightly down and forward to help prevent the tongue from blocking the airway. Recent advances in oral appliance theory reveals that the tongue is the primary blockage point for air traveling to the lungs, a major factor in sleep apnea. New, low cost sleep apnea devices now exist which hold the tongue forward, alleviating the need for more expensive/medical options. The Food and Drug Administration accepts sixteen oral devices for the treatment of sleep apnea. Not only do these sleep apnea devices need to be supplied by a physician's prescription, they must also be approved by the FDA before being sold.

\"sleep Apnea\"

Some scientists believe that sleep apnea is a neurological condition. The basis of this condition is failure of the tongue and soft palate to stimulate their muscles, which leads to over-relaxation and airway blockage. A few studies have tried using pacemakers as sleep apnea devices, programming them to detect breathing effort, then deliver an electrical stimulation when needed. This is not a common mode of treatment for sleep apnea, but using pacemakers and similar items is an active field of research for sleep apnea devices.

Sleep Apnea Devices

Effective sleep apnea devices are CPAPs, or continuous positive airway pressure. The CPAP is a small machine about the size of a shoebox, containing a medical pump, a flexible tube and a face mask. CPAP works by pushing a controlled stream of air into the patient via the mask, keeping the airway open, much like air inflates a balloon. Three types of CPAP machine's exist: the CPAP itself, the VPAP, or variable positive airway pressure, which provides higher pressure on inhalation and lower pressure on exhalation, and the APAP, automatic positive airway pressure, a more sophisticated sleep apnea device that monitors the patient's breathing patterns and adjust the air accordingly.

Like oral appliances, CPAPs require a physician's prescription and must be FDA approved. These sleep apnea devices contain many "options" or extra features, to customize the treatment to the particular patient's needs. Features include ramps, which allow the patient to begin their sleep at a lower pressure and ramp up during the night. Heated humidifiers provide warm, moist air which eases breathing and helps prevent waking with a dry mouth and or sore throat, common side affects of sleep apnea. Compliance monitors gauge if the patient has an episode even while on a sleep apnea device, date of which can be downloaded by the patient's physician to measure effectiveness of the treatment.

Sleep Apnea Devices

Do you suffer from sleep apnea? Our site focuses on information regarding sleep apnea devices and other sleep apnea information. by T. D. Houser

Treating Sleep Apnea - Alternatives to CPAP Therapy

The alternatives to CPAP therapy are a life saver for many sleep apnea patients. Not all the persons with sleep apnea can tolerate a CPAP treatment. There many reasons why they give up their treatment, depending on each patient.

Here are several reasons:

  • feeling of suffocation
  • dry mouth, which is the most common side effect
  • dryness of nose or nasal congestion
  • mask discomfort
  • the noise of the breathing machine
  • the feeling of claustrophobia
Fortunately, there are solutions for these problems, and some of them are really effective. There is no issue that cannot be worked out, especially with the advanced technology of today.

\"sleep Apnea\"

The most common alternative for CPAP treatment is a dental device or an oral appliance. This device is used to relieve the upper airway obstruction and snoring by modifying the position of the mandible, tongue, and other oral structures.

Treating Sleep Apnea - Alternatives to CPAP Therapy

An oral appliance also prevents the tongue from blocking the airway passages.

Before choosing this type of therapy is very important to consult your doctor. He knows that not all the appliances can help your breathing disorder.

However, there are some disadvantages here, and the most common complaint is discomfort and salivation. The statistics show that this alternative therapy is more successful in patients with non-severe obstructive sleep apnea.

Bilevel positive airway pressure or BPAP is another alternative to CPAP machine, and they are more efficient. BPAP machines provides two pressure levels, one during inhalation and a lower one during exhalation. The pressure drop during exhalation is designed to increase comfort for patients who have trouble exhaling against an continuous incoming pressure, such as CPAP.

Behavioral therapy is an important part of your life when you are dealing with sleep apnea, and in mild cases this type of therapy may be all that is needed.

  • you should avoid the use of alcohol, tobacco, and sleeping pills, which make the airway more likely to collapse during sleep.
  • if you have problems with obesity, you can benefit from losing weight. Even a 10 percent weight loss can reduce the number of apneic events for most patients.
  • sleeping in a side position is often helpful. Try using a pillow or other device that may help you with this.

Playing at didgeridoo - this is the newest alternative to cpap treatment on the market, and is very well accepted by patients with moderate obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. This might be due to training of the muscles of the upper airways, which control airway dilation and wall stiffening.

Regular playing of a didgeridoo reduces daytime sleepiness and snoring in people with moderate obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and also improves the sleep quality of partners.

One final piece of advice: A new field of medicine offers fertile ground for scams. Shameless people are quick to exploit people's hopes and fears. Claims of miracle cures for sleep apnea are already germinating on internet. So, before trying an alternative treatment for CPAP, speak with your doctor about this option and listen to his opinion.

Treating Sleep Apnea - Alternatives to CPAP Therapy

Thiery Remy
You independent guide to Sleep Apnea Treatments and the author of website.

If your are dealing with Sleep Apnea, quickly download his Free Sleep Apnea Guide Handbook that shows you the most important tips to have a good quality of life.

Sleep Apnea Machines - CPAP Vs BiPAP

Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea? Your doctor could prescribe one of two types of sleep apnea machines for your sleeping disorder, a CPAP or BiPap machine. Which one do you believe is the best? The CPAP has been a lifesaver, literally. Keeping airways open so those who have sleep apnea can sleep without the dangers of not breathing.

The Differences Between the CPAP and the BiPAP


The CPAP machine is designed to increase the pressure when you inhale to keep the airways in the nose, throat and mouth from closing while you are sleeping. This has been a great help to many people who suffer from sleep apnea and may stop breathing several times a night.

Sleep Apnea Machines - CPAP Vs BiPAP

On the other hand, the BiPAP machine may help as well. Using the same setup as a CPAP with tubing, masks and a machine, the BiPAP uses a different setting. The CPAP uses one pressure and the BiPAP uses two. These two pressures are called inhalation pressure (IPAP) and the exhalation pressure (EPAP).

Where the CPAP works as the person using it inhales, the BiPAP provides more breathing assistance. They have been prescribed for patients who have congestive heart failure and other serious diseases affecting the heart and lungs. People with nerve and muscle problems may also benefit from the BiPAP machine rather than the CPAP machine.

The BiPAP is preset with two settings. The pressure when inhaling and exhaling is monitored. When the person sleeping does not breathe for a certain mount of time, the BiPAP increases pressure and forces them to take a breath. There are higher level CPAP machines that do this as well. These machines need a BPM (breathes per minute) setting that is targeted to your particular breathing needs.

Both machines are designed to make sure the users breathe a set number of times per minute. One of the main benefits of the BiPAP machine is the pressure is decreased as the person breathes out. This keeps them from having to work as hard at breathing and the person is able to have a more restful sleep.

The BiPAP machine is not large or noisy. They are designed to make the least amount of noise possible so you can sleep. The inclusion of a humidifier may be included with the BiPAP making it a higher end machine than the CPAP.

The main difference between these two machines will be the needs of the patient. The one that will help each individual with the specific breathing problems they have will be based on doctor's examinations and recommendations. A sleep test will be conducted to allow the doctor to see exactly what settings are needed on the type of machine required.

The CPAP machine will be used for mild sleep apnea. Make no mistake, this can be a dangerous condition. It just depends on the levels of sleep apnea to govern the needed machine. Both machines are quite beneficial and are crucial to keeping sleepers breathing when they have problems.

The sleep apnea machines are not designed to be used as ventilators. They do not breathe for you. They merely make sure you take the number of breaths per minute that your doctor believes is right for you. After doing tests to determine what the correct number may be, the doctor will advise you as to which machine he thinks you need.

Sleep Apnea Machines - CPAP Vs BiPAP

Dianna Yvonne Smith is a dedicated internet researcher of health issues including sleep apnea. She shares her research on her website, Sleep Apnea Made Simple. If you suffer from sleep apnea or other sleeping disorders, visit to learn much more about this condition.