Do I Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleeping disorder characterized by the repeated closure of the upper airway. It is the most frequent respiratory issue associated with sleep.

OSA develops when the muscles that support your throat’s soft tissues, such as your tongue and soft palate, relax and need sleep apnea treatment. This disorder causes your airway to narrow or possibly close, cutting off your breathing for a brief period.

Apnea or apneic episodes are periods when breathing ceases altogether. Air should normally flow smoothly from the mouth and nose into the lungs, especially during sleeping. During an apnea, the usual flow of air is continuously interrupted throughout the night in OSA.

Related: Does Sleep Apnea Affect Women?

Although OSA is most common in older men, it can affect anyone, even toddlers. Following menopause, the incidence climbs to the point where the rates in men and postmenopausal women are comparable.

Snoring is frequently connected with OSA, especially if it is punctuated by periods of stillness. Airflow squeezing through the constricted airway space causes snoring.

It is crucial to realize that snoring does not always signal a potentially serious condition, and not everyone who snores has OSA.

Do I Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Effects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Untreated OSA can lead to major health issues such as:

  • Elevated blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Atrioventricular fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm)
  • Hypertension of the lungs

You can avoid complications with proper diagnosis and treatment.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms

The majority of OSA patients reports daytime tiredness. OSA results in episodes of decreased oxygen delivery to the brain and other regions of the body, resulting in poor sleep quality. This causes tiredness during the day and a lack of clarity in the morning.

Those who share beds with OSA patients may experience the following symptoms:

  • Heavy snoring
  • Recurring awakenings during the night
  • Gasping
  • Snorting
  • Choking
  • Breathing disruptions while sleeping
  • Children’s hyperactivity
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Increasing depression
  • Dissatisfaction or Grumpiness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Drowsiness
  • Poor job and academic performance
  • Loss of sexual interest

People with sleep apnea are more likely to be involved in car accidents and workplace mishaps throughout the day. Treatment can assist in eliminating daytime drowsiness.

Does Sleep Apnea Affect Women?

What Is the Cause of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

OSA is connected with the following conditions:

  • Obesity. Obese persons suffer from hypoventilation syndrome, a respiratory disease.
  • Endocrine disorders such as hypothyroidism, acromegaly, and polycystic ovarian syndrome which might influence your breathing while you sleep
  • Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pulmonary fibrosis are examples of chronic lung diseases.
  • Neuromuscular disorders, such as a stroke, can disrupt brain impulses to your chest muscles and airway.
  • Failure of the heart or kidneys which can cause fluid to accumulate in the neck and clog the upper airway

Risk Elements

If you have physical traits that constrict your upper airway, you are more likely to develop OSA. OSA risk factors include:

  1. Obesity
  2. A lot of tonsils
  3. Men with a collar length of 17 inches or greater
  4. Women wearing collars measuring 16 inches or more
  5. A big tongue that can obstruct the airway
  6. Retrognathia is a condition in which your lower jaw is shorter than your upper jaw.
  7. A more readily collapsible palate or airway
  8. Smoking
  9. OSA in the family

How Do You Diagnose Sleep Apnea?

A comprehensive history and physical examination are required to diagnose sleep apnea. A history of daytime tiredness and snoring is crucial. Your doctor will examine your head and neck to look for any physical issues causing your sleep apnea. He may ask you to complete a questionnaire about your daytime tiredness, sleep habits, and sleep quality.  

You may conduct the following test may be conducted.

Polysomnography (PSG)

You sleep overnight in a hospital or sleep center while attached to a range of monitoring devices that record physiologic characteristics during polysomnography. Patterns of physiologic abnormalities during sleep could suggest sleep-disordered breathing or several other sleep disorders. The PSG will assess the activity of various organ systems connected with sleep while you sleep. It could include:

The Electroencephalogram (EEG)

During an EMG, two electrodes go on your chin, one above and one below your jawline. Other electrodes are attached to the shins. The EMG electrodes detect the electrical activity generated during muscular movements. Muscle relaxation should take place when sleeping. When you sleep, the EMG detects when your muscles relax and move. 

The Electrooculogram (EOM)

During the sleep study, a single lead ECG records electrical impulse from your heart to monitor your heart rate and rhythm.

Oximetry by Pulse

For this test, a pulse oximeter is clipped onto a thin region of your body with good blood flow, such as a fingertip or earlobe. The pulse oximeter measures the oxygen saturation level in your blood using a tiny emitter with red and infrared LEDs. This level may drop during apneic episodes.

Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea

OSA treatment aims to ensure that airflow is not impeded while sleeping. The following are some treatment options:

Loss of weight

People with OSA who are also obese are frequently advised to lose weight and exercise. Although it may not result in complete remission, weight loss has been proven beneficial.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

The first line of treatment for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. It is delivered through a nighttime face mask.

Positive airflow is delivered gently through the face mask to keep the airways open at night. The positive airflow helps to keep the airways open.

CPAP is an extremely successful treatment for sleep apnea. However, an oral appliance is a viable option for positive airway pressure for persons with mild to severe OSA who do not benefit from CPAP therapy.

Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BPAP)

If CPAP therapy is ineffective, bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP) machines are sometimes used to treat OSA. In reaction to your breathing, BPAP machines, also known as BiPAP machines, deliver two pressures: inhaled and exhaled. This means that the pressure fluctuates during inhalation and exhalation.

Sleeping on One’s Side

Because sleeping on your back (supine posture) might aggravate OSA in some people, positional therapy is used to teach you to sleep on your side. You can find all Healthline-approved products for side sleepers in our sleep shop.

Conclusion

You should always consult your doctor if you experience daytime sleepiness or consistently have trouble sleeping.

There are numerous therapy options for OSA to assist you to managing the symptoms. Your doctor will design a treatment plan incorporating lifestyle changes and other therapy.

Does Sleep Apnea Affect Women?

What comes to your mind when asked to imagine a “typical” sleep apnea patient? You probably imagined someone overweight, sedentary, middle-aged, and masculine.

Although obstructive sleep apnea is still widely regarded as largely a male health issue, we’ve made significant strides in changing this stereotype. It’s a problem for women’s health because women are at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea.

Regarding obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), women frequently have distinct symptoms than males. Because of this different symptomatology and persisting, incorrect sleep apnea preconceptions, the vast majority of women with OSA go undiagnosed—or are misdiagnosed with another disorder.

As science focuses more on gender variations in sleep apnea, we’re finding that women may face unique hazards to their long-term health from this type of sleep-disordered breathing.

With this in mind, let’s look at the real tale of how women experience sleep apnea, as well as what the newest science tells us about the health dangers it poses—as well as the therapies that are most beneficial to women.

What is the Prevalence of Sleep Apnea in Women?

As we’ve learned more about how sleep apnea manifests in women, the answer to this question has shifted dramatically in recent years. While previous research suggested that men were up to 9 times more likely than women to suffer sleep apnea, we now know that sleep apnea is frequent in women, and the gender disparity is nowhere near that great. 

Current estimates imply that men are two to three times more often than women to have sleep apnea—but the gap diminishes as women age and hit menopause and can become a 1:1 ratio. And, because screening and diagnosis among women are still so inadequate, many of today’s figures are likely to be low.

According to a recent population-based study, around 6% of women of all ages have moderate or severe sleep apnea, with an additional 5% having a mild type of OSA. (13 percent of men had moderate to severe OSA, while an additional 14 percent had mild sleep apnea.) According to this study, 20 percent or more of women may acquire sleep apnea by the age of menopause.

This study also discovered significant increases in the prevalence of sleep apnea among men and women over the last two decades, with the greatest increases among younger women and men.

Another recent study identified sleep apnea in half of the women in a population-based sample of 400 women aged 20 to 70. Severe sleep apnea was prevalent in 14% of women aged 55-70 and 30% of women aged 55-70 who had a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or higher.

According to research, about one in every four women in the United States is at high risk for sleep apnea. Sadly, an estimated 90 percent of women with this sleep-related respiratory issue go untreated.

Women’s OSA Symptoms and Risk Factors

The following are the most common sleep apnea symptoms:

  • Snoring that is too loud and frequent
  • Observable episodes of respiratory lapses include gasping, coughing, and snorting sounds when sleeping (by partners)
  • Urine frequently during the night
  • Morning headaches, dry mouth, and sore throat
  • Having difficulty concentrating during the day
  • Excessive drowsiness during the day

Women may experience some or all of these symptoms. According to research, chronic snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness are prevalent symptoms among women at high risk for sleep apnea.

However, not all women with OSA will exhibit these symptoms. It is entirely possible to have OSA without snoring or noticeable periods of stopped breathing, for example. 

Furthermore, women with sleep apnea may experience other symptoms that they and their clinicians are less likely to attribute to this sleep problem. These are some examples:

  • Insomnia symptoms like difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep.
  • Sleep disturbances with frequent awakenings (even if you don’t need to use the restroom)
  • Restless Leg Syndrome symptoms include tingling in the legs whether sitting or sleeping in the evening.
  • Dreaming evolves
  • Nighttime heartburn Feeling angry during the day feeling stressed
  • Are you anxious or depressed?
  • A lack of vitality despite a good night’s sleep
  • Forgetfulness
  • A proclivity for accidents

Any of these symptoms warrant a discussion with your doctor, specifically about sleep apnea and a sleep apnea screening.

Does Sleep Apnea Affect Women?

Obesity

Like men, women who are overweight or obese are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea. (In fact, some evidence suggests that excess weight may play an even higher impact on women’s sleep apnea risk than it does on men’s risk). Other key risk factors shared by men and women include smoking, having a family member with sleep apnea, and aging.

Women have unique risk factors for sleep apnea that either women or their doctors don’t well understand.

Pregnancy 

Most of us do not link sleep apnea with pregnancy. However, pregnant women may be at a higher risk of developing OSA due to changes in sleep patterns, weight gain, and changes in women’s anatomy that impair breathing. 

According to new research, pregnant women who have OSA are more likely to develop excessive blood pressure and gestational diabetes. Pregnant women who suffer from sleep apnea are also far more likely to experience pregnancy issues that necessitate treatment in an intensive care unit.

Menopause 

According to current study estimates, OSA appears to occur nearly twice as frequently in males as in women before the age of 50. As women get older, the gender gap narrows significantly. Why? As a woman approaches menopause, her risk of sleep apnea increases considerably. 

The hormones estrogen and progesterone appear to have sleep and breathing protection effects in women. As those hormones diminish throughout menopause, so does the risk of sleep disturbed breathing, including OSA. This 2017 study discovered that menopause-related estrogen declines are associated with an increased risk of OSA in women.

According to other recent research, a woman’s risk of sleep apnea increases by 4% every year after perimenopause.

Because sleep apnea symptoms in women may be subtler than in men and may not necessarily conform to the conventional list of symptoms, women with OSA are at a higher risk of going undetected. Physicians aren’t always as aware of the risks of sleep apnea in women as in men, contributing to the estimated 9 out of 10 cases of women’s sleep apnea that go undiagnosed.

Weight gain, low energy and persistent weariness, worry and bad mood, stress, and a sense of being overwhelmed are all prevalent symptoms of sleep apnea in women. 

What Are the Health Hazards of Sleep Apnea in Women?

If left untreated, OSA relates to several major health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, weight gain and diabetes, and depression. Untreated sleep apnea dramatically raises the chance of an accident. It also causes impairments in cognitive function, such as memory, attention, and learning. 

These are major dangers that both men and women face. Scientists are learning more about the specific health hazards that women experience as they investigate gender disparities connected with OSA. Here are some of the most recent scientific findings.

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Depression 
  • Obesity and Physical Activity 

Diagnosing and Treating Sleep Apnea in Women

All women experiencing any changes in their sleep, emotions, cognitive performance, or energy levels to their doctor’s attention and request a sleep apnea examination. Women in perimenopause and menopause to talk to their doctors for sleep apnea screening, even if they don’t have any symptoms.

Other articles:
Use these tips to get the full benefits of a CPAP machine
Rare CPAP machine tips that are quite helpful

Use these tips to get the full benefits of a CPAP machine

You could feel constrained, overburdened, or even scared when you first hear that you must use a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP machine) every time you go to bed. You should be able to breathe more easily and get a better night’s sleep if you find the machine and mask that work best for you.

Tips for Sleeping with a CPAP Machine

The following tips can help you switch to CPAP more smoothly:

Concentrate on the Good.

The quality of your life will also improve as a result of using CPAP to treat your sleep apnea. You’ll feel better and be in better health. Additionally, your relationship could improve as your spouse won’t have to suffer through listening to you snore.

Select the Ideal CPAP Device for You.

Consult your doctor about the various alternatives. CPAP machines come in a variety of sizes, although many modern ones are substantially smaller and quieter than older models. Depending on where you live, some may also humidify the air, which could be important to you. CPAP devices are often covered by health insurance policies, so if yours is out-of-date, think about upgrading.

Use these tips to get the full benefits of a CPAP machine

Choose a CPAP Mask That Is a Good Fit.

Masks are widely accessible. Others fit over the nose and mouth, while others fit just over the nose. You won’t want to wear the mask if it is unpleasant. And the reason why most users stop using CPAP is because the mask is unpleasant. To locate the one that fits you the best, you may have to give a few a try.

Keep an eye on any symptoms or side effects and talk to your medical team about them.

You can have nasal congestion, dry mouth, or skin irritability while using CPAP. Even when using CPAP, you can resume snoring. Consult your physician for advice on how to manage these symptoms and if your equipment needs to be adjusted to ensure optimal operation.

Bring your equipment with you.

You can still travel and stay away from home if you require CPAP. With the right adapters or plugs for 240V outlets, more recent equipment may be utilized overseas. Many devices are compact and light enough to fit in checked luggage while traveling by air. Breathing apparatus, such as CPAP machines, are also permitted to pass through airport security and are often allowed to be brought on board an aircraft in carry-on luggage if you want. (Just in case, confirm with the airline before your trip so you won’t be shocked if they tell you to check it when you check in for your flight.)

Although it is somewhat dangerous, you may think about shipping your CPAP machine via overnight mail to arrive at your vacation location. However, if the mail were to be delayed for any reason, you would be without it for that one night and longer.

Use these tips to get the full benefits of a CPAP machine

Make Certain Your CPAP Machine Has a Battery Backup.

If your CPAP machine doesn’t come with a battery, check with the manufacturer, although many units may be connected to a 12V battery. You’ll be happy you have the batteries ready if there is a power outage. Your battery may need to be recharged after each night or maybe every three or four nights, depending on the model you have.

What advantages does CPAP offer?

Serious effects of sleep apnea may be prevented or treated by CPAP. You may reduce your chance of developing major health problems by treating your sleep apnea. Numerous aspects of your life may be enhanced by using CPAP to cure your sleep apnea.

Prevention of heart disease

You may lower your risk of heart disease by getting treatment for your sleep apnea. Due to the many breathing pauses it creates throughout the course of the night, sleep apnea is associated with a number of cardiac conditions. These pauses in breathing alter blood pressure and may lower oxygen levels in the blood. Your heart is placed under a lot of pressure by this.

In comparison to individuals without sleep apnea or those who have had their sleep apnea treated, those with untreated sleep apnea have a greater incidence of mortality from heart disease. Long-term use of CPAP machine treatment may help you avoid cardiac issues and lessen the likelihood that you will pass away from them. Congestive heart failure is one of these cardiac conditions.

Heart irregularities and coronary artery disease

Stroke mitigation

Consistent CPAP machine usage may lower your risk of stroke, one of the main causes of mortality and long-term disability, if you have sleep apnea. The abrupt loss of brain function caused by a stroke. It happens when a blood artery going to the brain becomes blocked or bursts. Strokes are two to four times more likely to occur in those with untreated sleep apnea.

Diabetes avoidance

The treatment of sleep apnea with a CPAP machine may enhance insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, both risk factors for type 2 diabetes, are linked to sleep apnea. Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes rises if sleep apnea is left untreated.

Preventing traffic accidents

You may become a safer driver by using CPAP to lessen your afternoon tiredness. You are more likely to be involved in a fatal collision if your sleep apnea is left untreated. Many persons with sleep apnea have trouble remaining awake and paying attention when operating a motor vehicle.

Increased awareness throughout the day

Sleep apnea often causes drowsiness and afternoon weariness. By removing breathing pauses while you sleep, a CPAP machine may help you go back to your regular sleeping habits and extend your time in bed. You’ll feel more rested when you wake up as a result, and your energy levels will increase throughout the day.

Better concentration

Severe sleep apnea that is left untreated might harm your brain’s tissue. You could find it difficult to concentrate as a consequence. You can also have memory loss. Your capacity to think, focus, and make judgments may be enhanced by using CPAP. Additionally, this may increase productivity and lower your risk of making expensive errors.

An increase in emotional stability

Depression risk is increased by untreated sleep apnea. Your entire quality of life may be enhanced with CPAP, which also lowers your risk of depression and helps you feel better.

Reduce snoring

A CPAP machine lessens or completely stops snoring by keeping your airway open while you sleep. Your bed mate will gain from a calmer sleeping environment, even if you may not perceive it.

Reduced medical costs

CPAP machine treatment may lower your total medical costs by enhancing your health. Sleep apnea might result in additional medical issues and trips to the doctor. Treatment for severe sleep apnea-related health concerns such diabetes, heart disease, and stroke may be expensive.

Rare CPAP machine tips that are quite helpful

Those who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea may choose from a variety of CPAP machine. In our last blog article, we went over the fundamentals of CPAP and the several advantages it provides to those with sleep apnea, including keeping your airway open while you sleep and reducing snoring and other apnea symptoms like exhaustion and daytime sleepiness.

The kind of CPAP mask your doctor recommends for you will have a significant impact on how well cpap machines works for you individually. The CPAP mask, which transfers air from the CPAP machine to your mouth and nose, is a crucial component of your entire CPAP treatment. In light of this, it stands to reason that your CPAP mask should be as comfortable as possible and provide a tight seal around your mouth and/or nose (without leaving marks on your face or irritating your skin).

Fortunately, a lot of the CPAP machine on the market right now are designed to do exactly that: provide you a restful night’s sleep without causing you any pain or irritation. Let’s examine what makes these various CPAP mask types unique from one another and consider the benefits offered by each category of machine.

Rare CPAP machine tips that are quite helpful

What kinds of CPAP machine are available for people with sleep apnea?

CPAP machine come in three primary categories and often come in all sizes. 

Nasal machine go over your nose alone, giving a lighter fit than full face machine; nasal pillow machine are even lighter and more basic than nasal machine, allowing a high degree of openness and visibility. Full face machine cover your nose and mouth.

It could be clear from these descriptions that you’d prefer a lighter mask over a heavier one or a smaller mask over a larger one. But there are other things to take into account. For instance, machine that cover a larger portion of your face may sometimes provide a stronger barrier against leakage, improving treatment. Similarly, you may require a bigger mask if you have facial hair to get a better seal. Or, if you’re claustrophobic, a smaller mask will probably feel more at ease.

Full face machine may feel more comfortable to you even if they are somewhat heavier. This is largely a matter of personal choice and how well a certain mask shape will fit over the particular features of your face. In any case, your doctor may assist you in trying on a variety of machine to find the one that fits you most comfortably.

This is crucial, too! If your CPAP mask doesn’t seem comfortable to you, you can “forget” to wear it on occasion or take it off in the middle of the night. In some cases, you won’t even be aware of what you’ve done until the following morning!

Because you won’t be receiving the full degree of therapy for your sleep apnea, you’ll likely experience the same symptoms you had before your diagnosis, including daytime drowsiness and low energy, in addition to being at risk for numerous additional sleep apnea-related risks.

Finally, it’s important to note that, despite the fact that the majority of CPAP machine fit into one of the three categories mentioned above, there are other varieties of CPAP machine that may be used to treat sleep apnea. Total face machine (covering the entire face), oral machine (covering just the mouth), and hybrid machine are less usually recommended machine (offering various combinations of the previously described CPAP machine). Despite the fact that they aren’t as often prescribed as the three we’ve discussed above, you could discover your doctor prescribing one of them depending on how serious your condition is.

Rare CPAP machine tips that are quite helpful

Consider choosing two CPAP machine

We are certain that everyone can discover the perfect CPAP mask, even if it takes a few tries to locate the one that fits you the best. However, some individuals decide to own two CPAP machine, which they alternately utilize.

Many of the people who read our site claim to have alternatively worn two CPAP machine. Talk to your equipment provider about being fitted for a second mask if you believe it could be helpful for you, as well as about your choices for doing so most economically.

Why use two?

In certain circumstances, to aid with environmental allergies: When your allergies flare up, you could find it easier to breathe through a full face mask if you’re already wearing a nasal or nasal pillows mask and have stuffy, congested nasal passages. This is particularly true if you also have a deviated septum.

In order to relieve strain on delicate face areas: Various machine lay on various areas of your face. Even while machine become more comfy every year, your face sometimes needs a break. A sensitive region could feel better when using a different kind of mask (such as a nasal pillows, nasal, and/or full face mask).

Following face surgery, during recovery: As soon as possible, inquire with your equipment provider about being fitted for a mask that won’t contact the region of your face where your CPAP mask now rests throughout your recuperation.

But take note…

Never skimp on the quality of care. Ask your equipment provider how a chin strap may assist guarantee that your mouth remains closed while you sleep if you want to temporarily transition from a full face mask to a nasal or pillows mask. A nasal/pillows user’s CPAP therapy will be less effective if their mouth is open, and humidification won’t keep you comfortable.

Be aware of the appropriate times to update your CPAP supplies. Maintaining additional supplies is necessary with more machine. Make sure you are knowledgeable about when to change each of your CPAP equipment, including mask components, machine filters, and water chambers, in addition to appropriate cleaning and storage. 

As long as you clean them per their directions each morning after use and store them appropriately (preferably in a sealed plastic bag after they’ve been washed and dried, and away from sunlight), machine and their components will last longer if you use them alternately.

These tips will help you fall asleep while using your CPAP machine

While using a CPAP machine may make it difficult for you to go asleep at first, there are a number of tricks and suggestions you may attempt to make it easier for you to fall asleep and become adjusted to your CPAP machine.

1. Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

Getting acclimated to wearing your cpap machine and the difference air pressure you will feel while wearing your mask will help you fall asleep more easily, even though most sleep apnea only happens during sleep (as the name fairly strongly indicates). When you’re resting, watching TV, or otherwise inactive, try wearing your mask for brief durations of time. This can help you get acclimated to the sensation of using the device and will reveal any changes you may need to make for maximum comfort. Not only will it be difficult for you to fall asleep if you attempt to accomplish all of this while attempting to do so, but you could also train your body to reject falling asleep when wearing a mask.

You may change the tightness of your mask, the amount of humidity in the air (if our machine has a humidifier), and other settings to enhance the experience even if your CPAP machine expert will have already adjusted the pressure on the device.

2. Set up your sleeping area

Your ability to fall asleep is significantly influenced by your sleeping environment. Having a comfortable sleeping environment in your bedroom and on your bed is crucial for having a good night’s rest.

Your bedroom ought to be quiet, dark, and comfortably warm all through the night. If your room isn’t dark, getting some block-out curtains or a good eye mask (as long as wearing one doesn’t make you feel claustrophobic) will help. Similar to this, good earplugs may be helpful if your bedroom isn’t quiet or you have trouble getting acclimated to the sound of your CPAP machine.

Related: How to manage sleep apnea naturally

Keeping your room cold is more difficult, but using fans, heaters, and similar devices may help you keep the temperature where you feel comfortable.

When it comes to both the quality of your sleep and the ease with which you can fall asleep, your bed and pillows are crucial. It’s critical to have a comfortable and supportive mattress, as well as a pillow that supports your head and neck. There are pillows available that are particularly made to accommodate CPAP machines with ease if you want to sleep on your side.

With an adjustable base bed, you may raise your head to an inclined position if you prefer to sleep on your back. By relieving some of the strain on your airways as you sleep, sleeping on an incline may alleviate moderate sleep apnea symptoms and may even enable you to use a lower CPAP pressure.

These tips will help you fall asleep while using your CPAP machine

3. Establish a Sleeping Program

A person may develop a variety of behaviors to increase the amount and quality of their sleep. While many of us adhere to strict daily schedules, such as rising at the same time each day and going to bed at the same time, this isn’t always the ideal method. The best method to establish a regular sleep pattern is to wake up at the same time every day but going to bed when you are exhausted is much preferable than merely going to bed at the same time every day.

We’ve all gone to bed when we weren’t weary and sat there for what seemed like an eternity staring at the ceiling until we eventually slept off more out of boredom than from exhaustion. 

Going to bed when you’re not exhausted or engaging in activities other than sleeping or having sex in bed, such as reading or watching TV, might subtly train you to link your bed with activities rather than sleep, thus making it more difficult to fall asleep. 

If you wear a CPAP machine and go to bed when you’re not exhausted, particularly if you are new to CPAP machine treatment, you can find yourself fixating on the mask, the air pressure, and the machine’s sound, which makes it more difficult to fall asleep.

As a general guideline, it’s preferable to go to another room and engage in something calming, like reading a book, until you feel weary again before returning to bed if you can’t fall asleep in around 20 minutes after going to bed.

These tips will help you fall asleep while using your CPAP machine

4. Modify Your Sleep Position

Making an adjustment to your sleeping posture may help you fall asleep more quickly since the position in which you sleep may influence how severe your sleep apnea symptoms are. If you are a frequent back sleeper, adjusting your position may enable your CPAP machine expert to reduce the pressure of your machine, making it simpler and more pleasant to use. Back sleepers often have more severe sleep apnea symptoms than side or stomach sleepers.

It may be necessary to use some mechanical assistance, such as a “bumper belt,” to push you to adopt the new sleeping position since changing your sleeping posture isn’t always simple. These belts include compartments for inflated bumpers that prevent you from rolling over onto your back. They may be worn across the chest or waist. You can create a similar appearance without spending money on a belt by sewing a tennis ball into the back of a sleep shirt or set of pajamas.

An adjustable base bed may help you lift your head and sleep on an inclined surface whether you like to sleep on your back or have a medical condition that makes it difficult for you to do so comfortably. This will assist to alleviate strain on your airways.

5. Relax before bed

It’s crucial to slow down both your activities and your eating in the hours before night. Avoiding eating one to two hours before to bed should help you strike a balance between avoiding going to bed on a full stomach and avoiding attempting to sleep on an empty stomach.

Try to engage in relaxing activities for a few hours before bedtime, such as reading a book, watching TV, taking a warm bath, practicing meditation, or the like. Stressful or overly stimulating activities can promote the release of cortisol, a hormone that promotes alertness, making it harder to fall asleep.

How to manage sleep apnea naturally

If left untreated, sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous medical disease that may cause cardiac issues. Therefore, it’s essential to schedule a visit with your doctor as soon as possible. You’ll need their professional counsel and a unique treatment strategy made to address your particular sleep problems. If you’re interested in lifestyle modifications and all-natural strategies to treat your sleep apnea, keep reading.

What is apneic sleep?

A condition called sleep apnea causes short breathing pauses while you’re asleep. You may not acquire enough oxygen as a result of this condition and need to use sleep apnea machine, which may cause you to gasp for breath and awaken. In the morning, you may or might not recall these sleep disruptions. The following are typical signs of sleep apnea: fatigue, loud snoring, headaches upon awakening, dry mouth or sore throat, difficulty focusing, shortness of breath upon awakening, and daytime lethargy.

You may not be aware of all the breathing pauses if you have undiagnosed sleep apnea and believe your sleep cycle is still normal. Loud snoring and sleep apnea may have similar sounds.

How To Recognize Sleep Apnea in People

Particularly untreated sleep apnea is directly associated with a higher risk of metabolic and cardiovascular disease.

The two basic forms of sleep apnea are as follows:

Obstructive snoring (OSA)

Obstructive sleep apnea, the most prevalent kind, occurs when the tongue stops the passage of air to the back of the throat.

Central snoring (CSA)

Central sleep apnea is a less frequent kind of sleep apnea that develops when your brain fails to communicate properly with the breathing muscles.

Modifications to one’s lifestyle and treatments for sleep apnea

As you may be aware, the standard course of therapy for sleep apnea is using an artificial breathing equipment known as a CPAP, or “continuous positive airway pressure.” The majority of the time, a CPAP machine is quite effective, but some individuals find it unpleasant.

By altering your lifestyle, using your CPAP, and according to these health recommendations, you may be able to improve your sleep apnea. Here are some methods to enhance your sleeping habits and even treat your sleep disorder:

How to manage sleep apnea naturally

Maintain a healthy weight.

Doctors often advise obese patients with sleep apnea to undertake a weight reduction program. Obstruction of the airways might raise your risk of weight gain, particularly in your upper body. Any relief from strain on your windpipe might lessen sleep apnea symptoms.

According to research, obese people who lose only a little weight may no longer need upper airway surgery or long-term CPAP treatment.

Lessen nasal sneezing

If you have sinus or congestion issues, treating these may help you snore less and improve your airways, enabling you to sleep better at night.

Using a sinus spray or saline solution in a Neti pot to rinse your nose, keeping hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding foods like dairy products that could aggravate congestion are a few natural solutions.

Alter your sleeping position 

Although it may seem like a little adjustment, sleeping on your side as opposed to your back may greatly reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea. Over 50% of obstructive sleep apnea patients, according to a 2006 research, were influenced by sleep posture. 3 According to other research, lying on your back might exacerbate your problems. Some people found that if they could sleep on their side, their breathing would return to normal. ⁴

Refuse sedatives.

Consult your doctor about how using sedatives or drinking alcohol may affect your sleep apnea. Anything that eases the muscles in your throat might make it difficult to breathe. For instance, opiates, benzodiazepines, antihistamines, or sleeping aids.

Workout

Exercise often results in weight reduction, which might lessen how severe sleep apnea is.

Additionally, it may improve sleep quality and daytime tiredness while also increasing oxygen circulation.

Use a humidifier

The air is made more humid using humidifiers. Your body and your respiratory system may get irritated by dry air. Using a humidifier will benefit you in the following ways: 

  • Promote easier breathing 
  • Reduce congestion

For extra advantage, you may wish to add some essential oils, such as peppermint, lavender, or eucalyptus oil, to your humidifiers.

Last but not least, make sure to adhere to the humidifier’s manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations to prevent mold or bacteria growth.

How to manage sleep apnea naturally

Make use of oral devices

Although behavioral modifications and CPAP are often the first forms of treatment, additional tools are also accessible. For instance, the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine encourages the use of mouth appliances in the treatment of sleep apnea.

The ADA claims that a custom-fit gadget may help you regain focus, enhance your sleep, and improve your health.

These personalized treatments, which work like mouthguards, assist in realigning the jaw and advancing the tongue and soft palate to lessen throat congestion.

Oral appliances may range from inexpensive OTC (over-the-counter) options to specially made ones that your dentist designs.

Other advice

  • Hold your head high: To raise your body several inches above your waist or to raise the head of your bed, use a cervical pillow or a foam wedge. 
  • Give up smoking: Smoking makes your upper airway and throat more prone to swelling and inflammation, which exacerbates sleep apnea. Smokers are more prone to have OSA than non-smokers.
  • Refrain from consuming caffeinated drinks a few hours before bedtime.

When should you see a physician?

If you experience any of the following signs, you should see a doctor:

  • Prolonged loud snoring
  • Excessive daytime drowsiness
  • Morning headaches or sore throat
  • Insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep)
  • Choking, gasping noises, or shortness of breath upon awakening

Your doctor may advise that you see a sleep specialist if you suspect that you are exhibiting signs of sleep apnea. The American Board of Sleep Medicine certifies sleep specialists when they complete specialized training and successfully complete an examination.

Most sleep specialists focus on a single issue, such as sleep apnea. Some of them could also be ENT (ear, nose, and throat) experts.

Conclusion

Home remedies and certain lifestyle modifications may help control and lessen the symptoms of sleep apnea. The most effective and widespread treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea is CPAP therapy, so you shouldn’t disregard this option. Sometimes, surgery may be necessary.

Before using any natural home treatment or procedure, discuss your choices with your doctor. While some individuals acclimate relatively well to using a CPAP machine while they sleep, others find it difficult.

If your doctor prescribes CPAP therapy, they will search for the ideal mask, machine, and pressure settings for you to provide the greatest level of comfort. When your symptoms start to worsen, go visit a doctor right away.

Other resources:
How to solve these common CPAP masks problems
Quality Sleep Hygiene: How to Fall asleep deliberately and quickly
Importance of Sleep Schedule to your Sleep Hygiene

Importance of Sleep Schedule to your Sleep Hygiene

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Quality Sleep Hygiene: How to Fall asleep deliberately and quickly

A night of good sleep and proper sleep hygiene is crucial for maintaining adequate health and prolonged life. Many strategies to ensure a high level of sleep hygiene, some of which we will be considering in this article. 

The approach will help  to fall asleep quickly and deliberately. Good sleep hygiene aims to ensure sound health and productivity in what we do. But to start with, what exactly is sleep hygiene? 

Sleep hygiene can be defined as the behavior or habits that you can learn and do to promote a night of good sleep. They are behavioral changes that can get you a better quality of sleep. Similarly, you can know what you need to do and what you must do to achieve your goal.

How can you get quicker sleep time deliberately?

  1. Maintain a regular sleep time

You n must be deliberate with your sleep time rather than depend on chance or wait until you feel sleepy. If you can go to bed at about the same time, you can also get to wake up at a regular time. That deliberateness about your sleep time can go a long way in ensuring you get a good sleep.

In addition, you can schedule your sleep time within the frame of +/- 20 minutes, which allows for some flexibility. Each person needs a particular amount of time that they can stop all work and go to bed. Without this deliberateness, sleep becomes haphazard, and not much energy can come from it. 

  1. Watch out for daytime naps

Avoid them if you cannot keep up with a regular and restricted time for daytime naps. When you take a nap, it indeed reduces your sleep debt and allows you to sleep better at night. However, starting with daytime naps without the ability to maintain it may harm your sleep hygiene. Ask me how?

When you take a daytime nap, especially without any pending sleep debt, it affects the amount of sleep the following night. Moreover, you will not be able to get a quick sleep when the night comes. This situation may lead to sleep fragmentation, where you sleep in only short bits and wake up again. 

In addition, inconsistent sleep patterns may lead to the inability to initiate sleep at night when it is most needed. Not properly managed can lead to insomnia and total sleep deprivation if the attitude or sleep habit is not cut short. Each person needs some measure of time within a 24-hour frame to sleep; anything more may do more harm than good.

Quality Sleep Hygiene: How to Fall asleep deliberately and quickly
  1. Don’t stay too long in bed after you wake up

Not many people realize that it only takes a few minutes to get into full action after waking up from sleep. It would help if you rose from the bed as soon as you gained full consciousness. Let’s say in about 5 to 10 minutes and not more, and you should leave the bed and not stay any longer. 

Now, that strategy differs from taking some time to meditate or gather your mind. As a balance, if you discover that your heart is beating too fast after waking up, don’t stay in bed. Sit up to clear your head or until you feel like sleeping again. And if there is time, you can return to bed.

However, don’t ignore this cycle to now stay in bed all through. During your ‘break-time,’ avoid using TVs, laptops, or smartphones because they may disrupt the process in your brain. These devices may stimulate your senses, so you don’t have to return to bed.

  1. Stay off the TV, Computer, Smartphones, and Books

Many people are fond of bringing devices to bed with them. That’s entirely inappropriate. Anytime you watch TV, use a smartphone or read books in bed, you associate your mind and bed with wakefulness. In the course of using these devices, your mind is struggling between you sleeping and not sleeping. This non-assurance is not suitable for your sleep hygiene and can cause inconsistency.

Technically, the blue light from your TV screen prevents you from getting to sleep on time. It affects your circadian rhythm, which your bed is meant to achieve. Eventually, rest may force itself on you, leaving your TV or computer running through the night, wasting energy.

Quality Sleep Hygiene: How to Fall asleep deliberately and quickly

The best thing is always to keep these devices away from the bedroom. On the other hand, people create some bedtime for reading, hoping to catch up on a few things before sleep. However, if you do this at all, don’t do it while on the bed. Instead, do any reading you need to do on a chair by the bed so that you can retreat at will.  

  1. Your bedroom should be quiet and comfortable 

Your bedroom is primarily for sleep, and you should create an environment that makes sleep hygiene possible. In addition, set your bedroom thermostat in a way that makes anyone who comes in feel comfortable. A cooler room is crucial for better sleep.

Ensure to keep away any item that contributes to a noisy bedroom or causes interruptions to your sleep. It’s part of the deliberate actions you must take to have a better quality of sleep hygiene. Apart from the significant noise from human beings, some background noises we refer to as white n that may not pose any problem.

Moreover, if having kids around can disturb your sleep, you should plan for them to be engaged or go to bed early. If the disturbance can come from your pets, keep them outside your bedroom. Generally, let your bedroom remain relatively dark. So, turn off all bright lights and make way for a relaxed environment. 

Conclusion

In conclusion to the strategies that can help you get good sleep quality deliberately, you should use the suitable materials. For instance, you should get a comfortable mattress. The best type is usually the full orthopedic or the semi-orthopedic bed, ideal for a healthy lifestyle through proper sleep hygiene. Another reason why some people don’t get good sleep hygiene is that their partner snores. If there is such a case around you, endeavor to ask them to seek help with it so that everyone can be happy. 

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How to solve these common CPAP masks problems

The most distressing symptoms of sleep apnea may be greatly reduced for individuals by using CPAP therapy. We described the principles of CPAP treatment in our last blog article. But what are some of the most common issues connected to this kind of therapy? According to current studies, around 60% of those who use CPAP for more than a few months are considered to be compliant. This might be explained by the fact that many users have trouble becoming comfortable during CPAP therapy. However, there are quick remedies for these issues that might raise your patients’ compliance rates.

How can I get used to using CPAP masks?

To get acclimated to using your CPAP Mask, you must start small.

Try putting on the mask while reading a book or watching TV throughout the day. You may sometimes get acclimated to wearing the mask at night by just wearing it while you cook or even browse the internet. Wear the cpap masks every time you go to bed at night and even during naps if you’ve become used to how it feels on your face.

The truth is that it will be more difficult to become acclimated to wearing the mask the less often you use it. Use the device for a few weeks or longer to check whether the recommended mask and pressure settings are still effective for you. Click here to get how to sleep with CPAP mask on.

How to solve these common CPAP masks problems

It hurts to use my CPAP masks at night!

Working closely with your physician and CPAP provider when purchasing a new CPAP masks is essential to ensuring that the mask and equipment meet your requirements and are correctly fitted for you.

To achieve the optimum fit, ask your doctor, a sleep specialist, or a CPAP provider to demonstrate how to adjust your mask. You should also study the manufacturer’s product instructions to acquire a better understanding of appropriate fit.

The good thing is that there are several mask designs available. To be sure you choose a mask that best meets your requirements, consider the many CPAP masks types and each mask’s advantages and disadvantages.

Do I have CPAP masks allergy?

Your CPAP masks may not fit you well or it may be creating an allergic response.

Here are some guidelines for determining if you are allergic to your CPAP masks:

  • First, put down the CPAP masks, then call your doctor right away. CPAP masks allergy usually manifests itself the night you use the mask.
  • Consider how often you wash your face mask. Nearly 90% of the time, what seems to be an allergic response to CPAP masks (such a bruise on the face or a skin infection) is brought on by infrequent cleaning of the mask.
  • Verify that your mask is not a vintage latex version. The bulk of CPAP masks on the market right now are comprised of silicone, and a select number are also made of a gel substance. Nearly all are devoid of latex.

I can’t stand the CPAP masks pushed air.

The “ramp” option on the CPAP machine can help you get around this problem.

With the “ramp” option, you may start with a low air pressure and gradually raise it over time until it reaches the pressure that your doctor has advised. Your doctor may also change the speed of this “ramp” function.

Ask your doctor whether you can switch to a BPAP machine if this doesn’t work. But make sure you read our side-by-side comparison of BPAP and CPAP devices to see whether this is something that might work better for your treatment requirements.

After using the CPAP Mask, my nose is runny or congested!

First, see whether a heated humidifier is included with your CPAP machine. The use of a humidifier may often reduce these symptoms. Consider purchasing a CPAP machine with an adjustable amount of humidification if your current one does not already have one.

When going to bed, think about using a nasal saline spray to keep your nose from overdrying. Finally, check to see whether your mask fits properly; a leaking mask might dry out your nose.

How to solve these common CPAP masks problems

When I use my CPAP masks, I feel constricted.

Start out by approaching your CPAP therapy with optimism.

Although you may not realize it, the CPAP machine and mask are there to greatly enhance your quality of life over time.

Before anything else, remember that effective CPAP treatment sometimes requires patience while you acclimate to therapy. Follow our suggestions on getting accustomed to using your CPAP masks. If you need more assistance in adjusting to treatment, speak with your doctor or a sleep specialist.

  • While you’re awake, practice wearing your CPAP masks. To begin, just hold the mask against your face without any other components. Try wearing the mask with the straps once you’re at ease with that.
  • Start out slowly to become used to the CPAP Mask. Without using the straps, try holding the mask with the hose attached to your face. Have the CPAP machine’s hose connected, and set the pressure to low (with ramp feature turned on). Finally, while awake, wear the mask with the straps and the air pressure machine on. Try sleeping with it on once you’re at ease with that.
  • Try some relaxing techniques. You might also try progressive muscle relaxation techniques to help you feel less anxious about using your CPAP masks. Trying a new form of mask, such as one that incorporates nasal cushions, or getting a different size of mask may be helpful.

Consult your physician, a sleep technician, or a CPAP provider if you continue to have claustrophobia.

Even with the CPAP masks on, I have trouble falling asleep.

Patients who are just starting CPAP treatment are more likely to have this common, transitory issue. Try out the “ramp” function of your CPAP machine after following our advise on becoming used to it.

Make sure you’re also following excellent sleep hygiene, which is doing regular exercise and abstaining from coffee and alcohol before bed.

Why do I have dry mouth after using my CPAP masks?

The effects of CPAP may be exacerbated by mouth breathing at night or sleeping with your mouth open. If you’re using a nasal mask, a chin strap could assist keep your lips shut and lessen air leakage.

But once again, check to see whether you’re using the appropriate mask and experiment with changing the heated humidifier settings on your CPAP machine to see if it helps.

Looking to sleep with CPAP mask on

When first getting used to sleeping with CPAP masks, it is not uncommon to struggle with feelings of worry or uneasiness. This is to be expected. There is always a method to achieve the wonderful sleep you need in order to live the life you want to live, as there is someone who is learning how to adapt to sleep with a sleep apnea treatment device every single day. You may learn how to adjust your body and sleep pattern to your new treatment on your own terms by using the following ideas and tactics, which will help you learn how to adapt your body to the new therapy.

Develop Good Sleep Hygiene

It is really necessary to get treatment for your sleep apnea use cpap machine with best cpap mask if you want to keep your current level of health and wellbeing. Because sleep is so crucial, sleep specialists are even going so far as to prescribe it as a drug and encourage patients to maintain excellent sleep hygiene, which includes getting the necessary eight hours of sleep each night. Sleep is now considered a medicine. Click here to get also about best eye drops for post cataract surgery treatment.

What is sleep hygiene? It consists of a series of routines that should be carried out in order to promote restful sleep. In general, make an effort to abide by these rules:

  • Don’t consume caffeine in the late afternoon or evening 
  • Don’t drink alcohol before bedtime to prevent “rebound insomnia” 
  • Create a bedtime routine to signal to yourself that it’s time to get ready for sleep 
  • Don’t include TVs, phones, or computers in this routine if at all possible 
  • Don’t nap for more than 15 minutes at a time 
  • Exercise early in the day, not before bed 
  • Don’t nap for more than 15 minutes at a time 
  • Don’t exercise before

If you are new to sleeping with CPAP masks, following measures such as these and developing positive habits might help you get used to the CPAP masks more quickly and remain asleep for longer while you are getting used to your new routine.

Begin to Wear the Mask on Your Own Terms

Getting used to CPAP masks may be difficult, so it’s important to take things slow and do it on your own terms when you first start wearing the mask. To determine whether or whether the mask is comfortable for you to wear, the first step is to experiment with using it for brief stints throughout the day, preferably during times when you are not fatigued. After that, while you are doing something relaxing like watching television or reading a book, put on the mask so that you may get used to the sensation of having it on your face.

Your sleep specialist and the company that provides the equipment will have adjusted all of the pressure settings in order to provide you with the most effective therapy possible; however, you may find that you need to make some minor adjustments to the pressure or humidifier settings in order to achieve the optimal level of comfort for you. Keep in mind that there are many distinct types of masks that you may use, and that one of them can be more comfortable for you to wear than the others. Carry out some study to choose the face mask that caters most closely to your requirements.

Looking to sleep with CPAP mask on

Check that your mask is the right fit

As was just discussed, you need to make sure that your mask is comfortable for you to wear, but there is a possibility that you may need to make some little alterations in order to get it to suit you perfectly. Seal and comfort are two aspects that need careful and precise adjustment on your part. While you are wearing your mask, it is a good idea to check that it is properly aligned on your face by standing in front of a mirror. After you have the mask on and have found a position that is comfortable for you, you will be able to connect the tubing to the CPAP masks and then connect the machine to the mask.

Note that as you lie down, the shape of your face will alter; thus, you should also try it when you are lying down in order to maintain a comfortable seal throughout the night. Because of this, the treatment for sleep apnea will be as successful as is humanly feasible.

When you are calm and weary, you should go to sleep.

The fact that we often utilize our beds for activities other than sleeping is a contributor to the difficulties associated with sleeping in today’s contemporary society. We have our phones, laptops, and TVs on, all of which have the potential to keep us occupied and prevent us from being sleepy or relaxed to the point where we can go asleep easily. You will want to create ideal sleeping conditions so that you can experience the quality sleep that you will get once you no longer suffer from untreated sleep apnea, especially when you are learning to adjust to your CPAP therapy. This will allow you to experience the quality sleep that you will get once you no longer suffer from sleep apnea.

Looking to sleep with CPAP mask on

Do to avoid dealing with anything that generates blue light, such as electronic devices, and try your best not to discuss emotional matters that might create tension or adrenaline, both of which are detrimental to getting a good night’s sleep. Put your issues out of your mind as best you can and concentrate on getting some rest instead.

Try engaging in an activity that induces a state of mind that is one of clarity and composure so that you can make the space around you more soothing. Take a relaxing soak in the tub or shower. Relax by playing some calming music or listening to an audio book. Before going to bed, try meditating or engaging in some other kind of relaxation activity like yoga. No matter what you decide, the most important thing is to make sure that the atmosphere in which you sleep is one that is relaxing and free of distractions.

Even while you don’t need to have sleep apnea or a CPAP masks to follow these tips and methods for excellent sleep, it is particularly vital to do so if you are planning to include any form of medical equipment into your regular sleep routine. The CPAP masks that you are receiving is intended to help you sleep better, and the aforementioned are just a few of the ways that you may speed up the process of adjusting to it so that you can begin sleeping better sooner.

Conclusion

A CPAP mask is an excellent tool for treating sleep apnea; yet, like to other excellent equipment, it has to be cared for and maintained on a regular basis in order to keep it (and you) in the best possible form. If you are using your CPAP masks appropriately, you should be using it for an average of eight hours every night. During this time, your machine will be exposed to the air in the room, your breath, humidifying moisture, germs, and a wide variety of other microscopic particles.

Because of this risk, it is essential that you clean your complete CPAP masks on a regular basis, but it is particularly important that you clean your hose or tubing, which may become a breeding ground for germs if they are not cleaned routinely.