Sleep apnea is a common sleep condition experienced by men and women today. It is characterized by loud snoring, sleep disruptions, and shortness of breath when asleep. It is caused by the blockage or narrowing of the air pathway when the throat or tongue muscles become too relaxed during sleep.
Common signs of experiencing sleep apnea are daytime fatigue, headaches, and weight loss or gain. If left untreated, a patient can also suffer from sleep arrhythmia, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
There are many ways to treat this condition. Using stiffer pillows, sleeping on your side rather than on your back, and having the head elevated in bed help prevent sleep apnea in mild cases. Staying away from alcohol and cigarettes before sleeping helps as well.
Try eating light snacks about an hour before you sleep to help you sleep easier. Be careful, though, not to eat right before you sleep because the tendency is for the food to get pushed up into the diaphragm and block air from passing.
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP Supplies therapy. It is also considered to be the most effective non-invasive treatment for sleep apnea. CPAP stands for continuous positive air pressure. It involves the use of a mask and a machine that provides the air pressure.
CPAP therapy works by providing continuous air pressure to the air passageway the entire time you are asleep. The air pressure works to prevent the air passageway from collapsing while we are asleep, and is kept low enough so it does not interrupt with the breathing process, but high enough to effectively reduce sleep apnea.
Having a mask on and having air pressure being pumped into your body as you sleep takes some getting used to. When starting out with CPAP therapy, try using the mask while doing other activities such as reading or watching TV to help you get used to it. In addition, make sure that the mask fits you properly so it does not leak.
There are also some risks and side effects in undergoing CPAP therapy. In the early stages of therapy, the patient becomes prone to vivid dreams and nightmares. Other side effects include dry or sore throat, nasal decongestion, runny nose, snoring and abdominal bloating. It is also normal to feel a little bit dizzy the morning you wake up when you first use CPAP therapy.
Depending on the individual, the side effects may subdue after some time, but even with the benefits of CPAP therapy, some individuals have a hard time adjusting to sleeping with this apparatus.