Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Causes of Snoring: Identify the Cause to Find the Cure

How to Stop Snoring

Just about everyone snores occasionally, but if snoring happens frequently it can affect the quantity and quality of your sleep and that of your family members and roommates. Snoring can lead to poor sleep and daytime fatigue, irritability, and increased health problems. If your snoring keeps your partner awake, it can also create major relationship problems. Thankfully, sleeping in separate bedrooms isn't the only remedy for snoring. There are many other effective solutions available.

Not all snoring is the same. In fact, everyone snores for different reasons. When you get to the bottom of why you snore, then you can find the right solutions to a quieter, deeper sleep.

People who snore often have too much throat and nasal tissue, or “floppy” tissue that is more prone to vibrate. The position of your tongue can also get in the way of smooth breathing.  Evaluating how and when you snore will help you pinpoint whether the cause of your snoring is within your control or not. The good news is that no matter how and when you snore, there are solutions to making your snoring better.

Where does the snoring sound come from?
Snoring happens when you can't move air freely through your nose and mouth during sleep. Often caused by the narrowing of your airway, either from poor sleep posture or abnormalities of the soft tissues in your throat. A narrow airway gets in the way of smooth breathing and creates the sound of snoring.

Common causes of snoring

  • Age. As you reach middle age and beyond, your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases.
  • The way you’re built. Men have narrower air passages than women and are more likely to snore. A narrow throat, a cleft palate, enlarged adenoids, and other physical attributes that contribute to snoring are often hereditary.
  • Nasal and sinus problems. Blocked airways make inhalation difficult and create a vacuum in the throat, leading to snoring.
  • Being overweight or out of shape. Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone contribute to snoring.
  • Alcohol, smoking, and medications. Alcohol intake, smoking, and certain medications can increase muscle relaxation leading to more snoring.
  • Sleep posture. Sleeping flat on your back causes the flesh of your throat to relax and block the airway.
There are some diseases or disorder that comes with snoring problems and it affects everyone. If you heard snoring frequently in one of the the members of the family you should consider reading Sleep Apnea & Snoring Treatment

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Health Risks of Snoring and Sleep Apnea, From Heart Attacks to Car Accidents

At least 37 million adults snore on a regular basis, according to the National Sleep Foundation. But all snoring is not equal: Occasional snoring, due to congestion or a bad sleeping position, is a nuisance. Habitual snoring can disturb your sleep patterns and rob both you and your partner of needed rest.

Snoring to the extent that you stop breathing—as in the case of obstructive sleep apnea—is a serious health threat that puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke.

How sleep apnea affects your heart
A 2007 study from Yale University found that sleep apnea increases the risk of heart attack or death by 30% over a four- to five-year period. As the upper airway collapses and oxygen is cut off from the lungs, the body triggers a fight-or-flight response, which decreases blood flow to the heart. Together these two actions raise blood pressure and, over time, wear out the heart, the authors concluded.

Karen Shaver, 62, a registered nurse in Valencia, Pa., experienced firsthand sleep apnea's strain on her heart.

"Before I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, I frequently had chest pains, usually at early evening while I napped," says Shaver. "One really scared me: Both arms were numb and it radiated up to my jaw. Being a nurse, I knew this was not a good sign, so I called 911."

The ambulance technicians gave Shaver oxygen and rushed her to the hospital. By then the strange feeling had gone away and doctors couldn't find anything wrong with her.

An overnight sleep study, however, showed that Shaver wasn't getting enough oxygen while she slept, and that she needed a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to keep air flowing into her lungs. Since she began treatment, her chest pains have disappeared. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Potential Side Effects of Prescription Sleep Drugs

There are some point in life that most of us have a problem in sleeping. Commonly some of us went to the doctor for solutions and others are finding a way to take pills for sleeping. But be careful some of this pills might be dangerous to once health especially if these pills were not recommended by doctors. I'm going to give you the problem of unnecessary pills and its side effects.

These are a few of the most common problems you may experience while taking a sleep medication, and what you can do to avoid them.

Should you worry?

If you’ve ever considered sleeping pills, you may have worried about how you’d feel the next day, whether you’d get hooked, and what other effects the medication might have on you. When used correctly, prescription sleep drugs are safe and effective, and can help you get through a patch of insomnia or fitful sleeping. In fact, doctors say they're more reliable than over-the-counter meds for any extended period of time.

Side effects can occur, however, especially if you’re not taking the best type of medication for you, at the right dosage. Here are a few problems you may experience, and what you can do to avoid them.


Many people worry that, should they decide to take sleeping pills, they'll feel tired, fuzzy-headed, or dizzy; experience headaches or nausea; or have trouble waking up the morning after. These side effects are possible, but avoidable, says Ralph Downey III, PhD, director of the Loma Linda University Sleep Disorders Center in Loma Linda, Calif. 

If your doctor has prescribed the correct dosage, and you take the pill according to your doctor’s instructions, the medication should work effectively without any morning hangover, Downey says. Older drugs such as benzodiazepines are more likely to cause morning drowsiness or dizziness, because they have longer half-lives—meaning the effects take longer to wear off.

Heartburn dangers

Getting a good night's sleep may pose dangers for people with mild heartburn and the more than 40% of Americans with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). A 2009 study found that people taking Ambien were less than half as likely to wake up during bouts of acid reflux, increasing their exposure to nighttime stomach acid. This backwash can cause damage to the esophagus that may not have occurred had the person awoken and swallowed, neutralizing the acid with saliva. This type of damage to the cells lining the throat may increase the risk for esophageal cancer. Read more about the connection between sleeping pills and heartburn here.

Dependence or addiction

Patients are often nervous about becoming addicted to or dependent upon sleeping pills. But studies show that the risk of sleeping pill abuse is decreasing as new medications are released. Researchers have found that Rozerem, a relatively new drug, may have the fewest side effects of all, and it seems to be non-habit-forming. However, addiction and dependence are still possible with other drugs, especially benzodiazepines.

Taking sleep medications long-term can mask the real cause of insomnia—such as poor sleep habits or too much stress. Patients often tell their doctors that they're dependent on medication, but it's possible they haven't addressed underlying issues affecting their sleep, and that they don't really need the pills.

Rebound insomnia

One of the most important things to know about sleep medication is how and when to stop taking it. Abruptly stopping the use of a sleep aid can cause rebound insomnia, meaning you may experience the same or even worse symptoms of your sleep disorder without medication. “To be safe, I assume that the effect may occur” in all patients, Downey says. That’s why he tells patients to never stop using a sleeping pill without first consulting a doctor. Many sleep experts will wean their patients off sleep medications by prescribing lower doses or different medications, until they’re ready to sleep on their own. 

There are a lot more potential side effects of sleep drugs and I am just discuss here some few of it if you have any comment you can do so below these post. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tips For A Better Sleep At Night

If you are having a problem sleeping at night and you always get less sleep I can give you tips on how to get a better sleep @ night. I have been talking about sleep apnea and snoring for sometime and now is the time for you to get more tips on how to handle some problems that may get you tired during the day due to sleepless nights.

Here are some tips that help me sleep through the night:

  • Set the mood. Bright lights stop your body from producing its natural sleeping aid, melatonin, according to the website of Dr. Andrew Weil, the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. So, dim the lights, shut off the television and stay off the computer.
  • Keep the bedroom at a comfortable temperature. For most people, that's between 54 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep a notepad next to your bed, so you can write down whatever pops into your mind when you're trying to sleep. You can worry about those things tomorrow.
  • Keep Fido out of your bed. Much like humans, pets can toss and turn during the night, keeping you from getting a good rest.
  • Just relax. Right before bed, clear your mind; take a few deep breaths and stretch. If you're feeling especially stressed, try a warm bath before bed.
  • Don't have any caffeine for about 6 hours before bed.
  • Avoid alcohol and nicotine around bedtime.

Getting in sync with your body’s natural sleep–wake cycle—your circadian rhythm—is one of the most important strategies for achieving good sleep. If you keep a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, you will feel much more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times. This holds true even if you alter your sleep schedule by only an hour or two. Consistency is vitally important.
  • Set a regular bedtime. Go to bed at the same time every night. Choose a time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn. Try not to break this routine on weekends when it may be tempting to stay up late. If you want to change your bedtime, help your body adjust by making the change in small daily increments, such as 15 minutes earlier or later each day.
  • Wake up at the same time every day. If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm. If you need an alarm clock to wake up on time, you may need to set an earlier bedtime. As with your bedtime, try to maintain your regular wake–time even on weekends.
  • Nap to make up for lost sleep. If you need to make up for a few lost hours, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping late. This strategy allows you to pay off your sleep debt without disturbing your natural sleep–wake rhythm, which often backfires in insomnia and throws you off for days.
  • Be smart about napping. While taking a nap can be a great way to recharge, especially for older adults, it can make insomnia worse. If insomnia is a problem for you, consider eliminating napping. If you must nap, do it in the early afternoon, and limit it to thirty minutes.
  • Fight after–dinner drowsiness. If you find yourself getting sleepy way before your bedtime, get off the couch and do something mildly stimulating to avoid falling asleep, such as washing the dishes, calling a friend, or getting clothes ready for the next day. If you give in to the drowsiness, you may wake up later in the night and have trouble getting back to sleep.
How to sleep better tip
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sleep Disorder or Sleep Deprivation? A 2-Week Experiment to Help You Find Out

Diagnosing a sleep disorder can be tricky because some of the most typical symptoms—fatigue, loss of concentration, irritability—are often overlooked or dismissed by doctors and patients alike. People tend to blame their personality changes on stress, being overworked, or the fact that "it's just the way I am."

These same symptoms, however, can also be the sign of a different type of sleep problem: deprivation. While sleep needs are different for every person, not getting the right amount for you can wreak havoc on your physical and emotional health, whether you realize it or not.

"A large percentage of Americans think they function just fine on six hours of sleep, but they’re not getting the duration of sleep that they need," says Jed Black, MD, director of the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic in Palo Alto, Calif. "It’s really quite remarkable how many sleep deprived people there are."

When patients come to Dr. Black's office complaining of fatigue or a potential sleep disorder, he screens for conditions such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless legs syndrome. If his evaluation doesn’t uncover anything and his patients report getting less than seven and a half hours of sleep a night, he sends them home and tells them to truly devote eight hours to sleep every night. If people are used to getting by on less than that, they may start to feel more refreshed right away.

"That takes care of a large subset of the folks who have sleepiness during the day," he says; they learn to readjust their schedules and can treat themselves.

On the other hand, some of these patients will be unable to sleep, even when they make time for it. This may lead to an insomnia diagnosis, in which case cognitive-behavioral therapy or short-term medication may be appropriate treatment options. If other patients do sleep the full eight hours each night and are still excessively tired during the day, they might need a sleep study to determine what's keeping them from being fully rested in the morning: It may be a parasomnia (a relatively uncommon disorder) or a more subtle form of one the disorders covered in the initial screening.

Before you see a doctor, monitor your sleep schedule for two weeks and ask yourself the following questions. Does it take you longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep? If you get up during the night does it take you more than 30 minutes to fall back asleep? How early do you get up in the morning? And most important, How do you feel during the day? It may help to write down your sleep patterns—and any daytime habits that might affect them—in a sleep diary.

Article Source: Health.Com

Monday, July 15, 2013

What are signs and symptoms of sleep deprivation?

Feeling tired or drowsy at any time during the day is a symptom of not having enough sleep. Being able to fall asleep within 5 minutes of lying down in the evening also may be a sign a person may be suffering from sleep deprivation. People who suffer from sleep deprivation often experience so-called "microsleeps," which are short bursts of sleep in an otherwise awake person.

Sleep-deprived people perform poorly on tests such as driving simulators and tests of hand-eye coordination. Sleep deprivation can also magnify the effects of alcohol, meaning that a sleep-deprived person will be more susceptible to becoming impaired after alcohol consumption than a well-rested person. Caffeine and other stimulants cannot successfully overcome the drowsiness associated with sleep deprivation.

Common symptoms of sleep deprivation include:                                   
  • purple ball   tiredness 
  • purple ball   irritability, edginess 
  • purple ball   inability to tolerate stress 
  • purple ball   problems with concentration and memory 
  • purple ball   behavioral, learning or social problems 
  • purple ball   frequent infections 
  • purple ball   blurred vision 
  • purple ball   vague discomfort 
  • purple ball   alterations in appetite 
  • purple ball   activity intolerance
It must be noted that many of these symptoms can be related to disabling conditions. This overlap of symptoms may make it difficult to determine if they are caused by sleep deprivation or the disability.

Some suggestions to help you determine the cause of your sleep deprivation include talking to your health care provider, and keeping a log (that contains signs and symptoms, situations affecting your sleep, medications, diet, etc.). Remember to take the log with you when you discuss your sleep problems with your health care provider.

10 Sleep Deprivation Symptoms

1. Sleepy – Yup, lack of sleep has been known to make you sleepy. Yawning and slurred speech are obvious signs that you’re neglecting your down time.

2. Poor cognitive function – Reduced sleep will severely impact your ability to concentrate, pay attention and make good judgements. This can be a problem at work and can seriously affect a child’s learning at school. A lack of sleep may affect your short-term memory, mental arithmetic and your ability to gauge risks.  

3. You’re easily stressed – If you’re struggling to sleep, your tolerance to stress is virtually nil. Sleep deprivation causes irritability, mood swings, increased stress hormone levels, bad tempers and feelings of impatience or nervousness. This not only puts a strain on your own health, but on relations with friends, family and colleagues.

4. Poor motor skills – Being tired can have similar effects to being drunk. Hand tremors and poor reaction times mean you’re dangerous behind the wheel. Remember that caffeine and other stimulants are not effective against severe sleep deprivation

5. Medical problemsSleep deprivation puts a real drain on your body and puts you at increased risk of diabetes, higher blood pressure, fatigue, head aches and infections. Chronic tiredness can also make you more sensitive to the cold.

6. Aching muscles – Without sleep you body can’t produce sufficient growth hormone to help your muscles recover and repair. Even if you’re not training, a lack of sleep can leave you feeling tired and sore all over.

7. Depression – Over time, poor sleep patterns may lead or contribute to low moods and depression. This is characterised by many symptoms including feelings of sadness, anxiety and restlessness.

8. Psychiatric problems - Extended periods of sleep deprivation can lead to disorientation, hallucinations and paranoia.

9. Eye problems – Apart from the dark eyes and bags, lack of sleep can lead to nystagmus (rapid involuntary rhythmic eye movement) as well as blurred vision and difficulty focusing.

10. Weight change - Sleep deprivation can cause varying changes in appetite, leading to possible weight loss or gain. Being tired will affect your tolerance levels and with reduced control you’re more likely to reach for unhealthy foods.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sleep Apnea Treatment: 5 Steps to Choosing the Right CPAP Machine

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are currently the most recommended treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, and patients often feel major improvement after using them for just one night. But before you decide whether the therapy works for you, it's important to consider the different options available: Where you buy your machine, which type you end up with, and what options are included will all affect how willing you are to use CPAP and how well it will work for you.

Getting a prescription
To get an air pressure machine, you first need to be diagnosed with sleep apnea. This process will probably require an overnight study in a sleep clinic; a home sleep test may be another option.

After your initial sleep study, a technician will measure your body's response to different air pressure, or titration, levels. Most machines range from about 4 to 20 cm H20, meaning that they blow enough air to create a column of water that height.

Your prescription can be filled at a sleep clinic or another equipment retailer. It should include the following details.
  • The type of device—CPAP, BiPAP, or APAP, for example.
  • It can be generic, rather than a name brand or specific model, with some exceptions. "Most CPAP machines are interchangeable and it may take some time to find the best one," says Teofilo L. Lee-Chiong Jr., MD, medical director of the Sleep Center at National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver. "If you're not limited to one machine, you can use the prescription for years to try newer models."
  • The correct pressure level. These levels are set before you receive the machine and should only be adjusted by a doctor or technician, never by the patient.
With your machine, you'll usually receive a six-foot hose and carrying case. Doctors might also include a note for a heated humidifier, which makes the harsh airflow more tolerable and reduces side effects such as dry throat and nasal congestion. You can buy a humidifier without a specific prescription, but if it's included on your slip you'll be sure not to overlook it. Masks and other accessories can also be sold without a prescription.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

CPAP Testimonials: 3 Patients' Honest Opinions of Sleep Apnea Treatment

It may be hard to believe that something described as "a hurricane blowing up my nose" could also be considered a lifesaver. But that's exactly how Mike Miner, whose obstructive sleep apnea causes him to routinely stop breathing during the night, feels about his continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.

For many patients, CPAP is a blessing
After being diagnosed with sleep apnea, Miner, 58, became one of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who regularly use air pressure machines to improve their oxygen levels while they sleep. Even napping without it would be pointless, says the golf course irrigation salesman in Jupiter, Fla., because he'd wake up every few minutes gasping for breath.

Miner admits that he was reluctant to try the clumsy-looking device, and that the blast of air up his nose felt awkward at first, but within the first week of using it, he was a convert. "Now if I don't wear it, I can feel what they were seeing in the sleep lab: I can feel that I wasn't breathing."

To others, it's a hassle
Virginia Arguello, 44, agrees that the benefits of CPAP are life-changing. When she spent her first night with a CPAP machine in 2000, she woke up feeling like a new person.

"It was the first time in years that I didn't have this recurring nightmare of being trapped underwater, never reaching the top," explains Arguello, a medical transcriptionist in Hayward, Calif. "I used to wake up gasping for air. The change was like night and day; I never realized how sleep deprived I'd been until I got the machine. It gave me back my sanity!"

Arguello used her CPAP machine religiously for more than seven years, but eventually started to feel burdened by the machine—wearing it every night, hauling it on vacation, and struggling to get by without it when she went camping with her family. So at 44, she underwent surgery to have her tonsils, uvula, and soft palate removed—a procedure that so far (six months after her operation) has allowed her to sleep without CPAP.

"That machine changed my life, but at my age, I just want to be free of it," she says. "My doctors told me that as my body changes I may need to go back to the machine, but I just need to know that I've tried everything."

And to some, an impossibility
Some people never get used to CPAP, no matter how many models they try. Matt Hanover, 44, was given a machine after his apnea diagnosis about four years ago. For more than nine months, he tried countless pressure levels, masks, and machines with sophisticated features like humidifiers and self-regulating airflow. But his narrow nasal passages and an oversize tongue, his doctors explained, caused a problem.

"I've been a mouth breather all my life," says Hanover, a digital media producer in Santa Monica, Calif. "Wearing the CPAP machine felt equivalent to sticking my head out of a car window going 30 miles an hour. And I just couldn't keep my mouth shut for more than an hour to breathe through my nose."

Hanover eventually found treatment with an oral breathing device that moved his jaw forward while allowing him to breathe through his mouth. He later cured his apnea completely, with surgery to repair a deviated septum.

Source: CPAP Testimonials: Health.Com

Monday, July 1, 2013

Side Effects Of Inhalers

Inhalers are commonly used to ease breathing problems. Asthmatic patients often make use of inhalers to breathe properly. Asthma is a condition in which the respiratory passages get blocked, consequently inhibiting an individual to breathe properly.

Asthmatic patients are often prescribed pills and inhalers to enable them to breathe easily. They are advised to take pills on regular basis, so that their respiratory passages do not get blocked, thus facilitating the breathing process.

In case, an individual feels immense difficulty in breathing, he or she is recommended to use inhalers. Inhalers provide instant relief to the asthmatic patient, thus enabling him or her to come out of the asthmatic attack.

However, there are certain side effects associated with the use of inhalers for asthma treatment. Let us here discuss about a few common side effects of inhalers.

Side Effects of Inhalers

The side effects of inhalers are quite mild; however at times they may pose serious problems, which might require instant medical attention. The most common side effects associated with the use of inhalers are discussed as under:


At times, an individual may have mild pain in the head due to use of inhalers for asthma treatment. The headache may also be severe in a few cases.
A Few Simple Herbal Remedies For Headache

Irritation in Throat

A few people may have irritation in throat because of using inhalers. Cough may also be a symptom of throat irritation.


People using inhalers for the first time to deal with asthma problem, often feel a vomiting sensation. A feeling of nausea is developed, thus making an individual feel quite uneasy and uncomfortable.


Another side effect of inhalers is insomnia. A few people may face sleeping problems after the use of inhalers.
Herbal Remedies For Insomnia

Dry Mouth

Dryness in mouth is a common side effect associated with the use of inhalers. It is suggested to rinse the mouth with water after making use of inhaler, so that the mouth does not remain dry.

Ear Pain

A few people might have a mild pain in ear after using inhaler for asthma treatment. Pain in ear due to use of inhalers is not quite common.
However, if such a thing occurs, then it should be immediately reported to the doctor. If the side effects of inhalers persist for a long time period, it is suggested to seek medical help as soon as possible, so that the problem does not aggravate.
Usually, an individual may not be allergic to the inhaler, but to the medicine that is inhaled with the help of inhalers, so as to treat asthma. If symptoms of allergic reactions like rashes, itching, and facial swelling are observed, it is recommended to immediately report to the doctor, so that necessary action can be taken.
Ear Pain
Also it is important for an individual to make sure that he or she does not stop using inhalers for asthma treatment, due to the side effects associated with them; else it would be difficult to control an asthmatic attack. The situation must be brought into the notice of the doctor before restricting the use of inhalers.

Source: Side Effects of Inhalers

Sleep Deprivation Takes a Serious Toll on Your Health

You can have the healthiest diet on the planet, doing vegetable juicing and using fermented veggies, be as fit as an Olympic athlete, be emotionally balanced, but if you aren’t sleeping well it is just a matter of time before it will adversely, potentially seriously affect your health.
Sleep deprivation is such a chronic condition these days that you might not even realize you suffer from it. Science has now established that a sleep deficit can have serious, far reaching effects on your health. For example, interrupted or impaired sleep can:
  • Dramatically weaken your immune system
  • Accelerate tumor growth—tumors grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions, primarily due to disruptedmelatonin production. Melatonin inhibits the proliferation of a wide range of cancer cell types, as well as triggering cancer cell apoptosis (self destruction). The hormone also interferes with the new blood supply tumors require for their rapid growth (angiogenesis)
  • Cause a pre-diabetic state, making you feel hungry even if you've already eaten, which can wreak havoc on your weight
  • Seriously impair your memory; even a single night of poor sleep—meaning sleeping only 4 to 6 hours—can impact your ability to think clearly the next day. It’s also known to decrease your problem solving ability