Where to Find a Good Night’s Sleep Why Sleep is Dangerous for Those With Sleep Apnea
A restful night’s sleep is something that every person is entitled to; unfortunately for sufferers of sleep apnea a good night’s sleep can be hard to achieve. While sleep apnea can disturb sleep partners thanks to the loud snoring typical of the condition, snoring is unfortunately the least of a sleep apnea sufferer’s worries.
What is Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea occurs regularly in as many as 18 million Americans when the muscles in that support an individual’s soft palate relaxes, obstructing the airways. Sleep apnea causes a suffer to experience lapses in breath throughout the night; on an average night’s sleep a sleep apnea sufferer may experience as many as 60 apneas per hour that can last for over a minute. Although sleep apnea causes are not entirely understood, the condition is nearly twice as common in men as it is in women. Additionally, it has been found that asthma patients face a nearly 40% increased risk for sleep apnea. Although sleep apnea causes lapses in breath, a deficiency of oxygen in the brain causes the muscles obstructing the airway to tighten — this means that there is no risk for suffocation in one’s sleep from sleep apnea, although there are other reasons why one would want to have their sleep apnea treated.
The Risk of Untreated Sleep Apnea
It is estimated that as much as 2-4% of the population suffer from an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea; this is nearly one out of every 50 individuals that go undiagnosed. Studies show that untreated sleep apnea causes a deficiency in the amount of oxygen in one’s bloodstream; this can lead to several cardiovascular issues linked to sleep apnea. The risk of stroke for an untreated sleep apnea sufferer is up to four times as likely when compared with the general population. Sleep apnea sufferers that do not get treatment are up to three times more likely to develop heart disease which is still the number one killer in the United States. In total, the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research estimates that around 38,000 deaths occur on a yearly basis that are related to cardiovascular issues linked to sleep apnea.
Treating Sleep Apnea
There are unfortunately very few options for those who suffer from sleep apnea. Many experts in the field recommend that patients that suffer from sleep apnea make efforts to decrease their weight as there is a correlation between obesity and sleep apnea. The most common treatment option is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. A CPAP machine is a device that uses a constant stream of air to prevent the muscles in the throat from obstructing the airway in the night. Unfortunately, up to 80% of sleep apnea patients admit that they do not use their CPAP machine enough to keep them safe, which should be at least 4 hours every night. In fact, studies show that nearly half of all people that ought to use a CPAP machine stop using the device in as little as one to three weeks after being prescribed the machine. New models of CPAP machines are being designed to increase patient comfort, allowing sleep apnea sufferers to sleep throughout the night peacefully and safely; this includes machines that adjust air pressure levels to adapt to a patient’s breathing, more comfortable nasal pillows, and less obstructive nasal masks. By using a CPAP machine regularly, sleep apnea sufferers can decrease their risk of developing cardiovascular conditions while getting the good night’s sleep everyone deserves.