Join us now as we discuss Insomnia, Sleep Apnea and other sleep disorders on @Smooth981FM. If you can't tune in, you can follow this thread.
There are two types of sleep apnea:
1. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): This is more common and it is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep.
-Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep
-Gasping for air during sleep
-Waking with a dry mouth
-Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
-Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
-Difficulty paying attention while awake
The risk factors include:
-Being over age 40
-Having a large neck size
-Having large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw bone
-Nasal obstruction due to cold/allergies/sinusitis
If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the risk of health problems, including:
-High blood pressure
-Heart failure, irregular heartbeats, and heart attacks
-Worsening of ADHD
Loud snoring can indicate a potentially serious problem, but not everyone who has sleep apnea snores. Talk to your doctor if you have signs or symptoms of sleep apnea. Ask your doctor about any sleep problem that leaves you fatigued, sleepy and irritable.
For milder cases of sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking. If you have nasal allergies, your doctor will recommend treatment for your allergies.
Certain devices can help open up a blocked airway. In other cases, surgery might be necessary.
1. Avoid caffeine (found in coffee, tea, chocolate, cola, and some pain relievers), alcohol, nicotine and other 'sleep-blocking' chemicals for four to six hours before bedtime.
A quiet, dark, and cool environment can help promote sound slumber. To achieve such an environment, lower the volume of outside noise with earplugs or a "white noise" appliance and use heavy curtains.
Ease the transition from wake time to sleep time with a period of relaxing activities an hour or so before bed. Take a bath, read a book or practise relaxation exercises.
Avoid stressful, stimulating activities.
Struggling to fall sleep just leads to frustration. If you’re not asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room, and do something relaxing, like reading or listening to music until you are tired enough to sleep.
Staring at a clock in your bedroom, either when you are trying to fall asleep or when you wake in the middle of the night, can actually increase stress, making it harder to fall asleep. Turn your clock’s face away from you.
Natural light keeps your internal clock on a healthy sleep-wake cycle. So let in the light first thing in the morning and get out of the office for a sun break during the day.
Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day sets the body’s "internal clock" to expect sleep at a certain time night after night. Stick to your routine on weekends to avoid a Monday morning sleep hangover.
Many people take naps but for those who find falling asleep or staying asleep problematic, afternoon napping may be one of the culprits. This is because late-day naps decrease sleep drive. If you must nap, it’s better to keep it short & before 5p.m.
Eating a pepperoni pizza at 10 p.m. may be a recipe for insomnia. Finish dinner several hours before bedtime and avoid foods that cause indigestion. If you get hungry at night, snack on foods that (in your experience) won't disturb your sleep
Drink enough fluid at night to keep from waking up thirsty—but not so much and so close to bedtime that you will be awakened by the need for a trip to the bathroom.
Exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly—as long as it's done at the right time. Try to finish exercising at least three hours before bed or work out earlier in the day.
Some of these tips will be easier to include in your daily routine than others. That said, not all sleep problems are easily treated so if your sleep difficulties don’t improve through good sleep hygiene, you may want to consult your physician/sleep specialist.
Do have a lovely evening and some well deserved restful sleep when it's time (note: sleep early!).