Sleep Deprivation, Sleep Apnea, and Your Health

Sleep deprivation is officially a national health crisis according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1 In 2016, it was reported that one-third of adults fail to get the recommended seven hours of sleep.2 Yet, most Americans view their lack of sleep as a harmless result of stress or their busy lifestyle. In reality, many health problems we experience during our waking life may be direct results of restless nights. 

Sleep deprivation, whether it be related to insomnia or chronic conditions, such as narcolepsy or restless leg syndrome, can cause numerous health-related issues. Sleep loss doesn’t just leave you tired during the day. Frequent lack of quality sleep can also contribute to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, and the early onset of dementia.

Lady sleeping and sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea Affects Millions of Americans.

Sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder, affecting 22 million Americans. Of those, 80% of the cases of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea are undiagnosed.3 So, what is sleep apnea? It is a disorder where a person periodically stops breathing throughout the night due to a collapsed airway.

What Are Symptoms for Sleep Apnea?

There are many symptoms of sleep apnea. Heavy snoring is one of the most noticeable symptoms as it often disturbs both the individual and any bed partners. Others may also notice that you choke, gasp, or stop breathing in the middle of the night. Difficulty concentrating, feelings of depression, frequent memory loss, or problems staying awake during the day may all be signs that sleep apnea is impacting your health.

How Do You Get Tested for Sleep Apnea?

In order to diagnose sleep apnea, you must complete an overnight sleep test. There are two options: either a traditional, in-lab sleep study at a nearby clinic or a home sleep test in the comfort of your own bed. In both cases, a monitor tracks sleep behavior and bodily functions, including blood oxygen levels, brain activity, and breathing patterns. These are key indicators that allow physicians to identify what your body is experiencing during moments of disruptive sleep.

Because sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction of the airways during sleep, reducing oxygen to the brain triggers disruptive sleep episodes. Sleep apnea may be the result of a small upper airway or an enlarged tongue. Obesity, smoking, and alcohol are additional triggers.

The treatment for your sleep apnea may vary. That’s why it’s essential to not only diagnose sleep apnea, but also determine its root cause.

How Do You Treat Sleep Apnea?

Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, abstaining from drinking alcohol, or losing weight. In some severe cases, invasive treatments such as dental appliances, surgery, and nerve stimulation may be considered.

More likely, doctors will recommend the most common and least invasive treatment, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Through a CPAP machine, pressured air is delivered throughout the night to keep the airways open and reduce episodes of apnea. Patients wake up refreshed and well-rested.

Our Recommendations

CPAP technology is always improving and with new innovations come improved comfort and ease of use. Our top-selling autoPAP machines include the Philips Respironics DreamStation Auto and the ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet and ResMed AirSense 10 Auto for Her. These machines measure each breath to automatically deliver the minimal amount of the pressure that is needed to keep your airways open. If pressure is not needed, the device lowers the range.

What’s New in CPAP Therapy?

The biggest trend in CPAP therapy is the arrival of travel machines. These lightweight, compact devices fit in the palm of your hand and weigh less than 2 lbs. Imagine all that extra room in your bag! With add-ons that include heated humidification and integrated batteries, the Philips Respironics DreamStation Go Auto and the ResMed AirMini deliver all the bells and whistles as their at-home counterparts. 

As always, the staff at The CPAP Shop is here for you. We’re happy to answer all your questions and help guide you in picking the machine that best fits your needs. Give us a call at 866.414.9700!

References:

  1. CDC declares sleep deprivation a health crisis. WCTV. 2019 Jan 3.
  2. CDC. Sleep and sleep disorders. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/index.html. 2017 May 2.
  3. American Sleep Apnea Association. Sleep apnea information for clinicians. https://www.sleepapnea.org/learn/sleep-apnea-information-clinicians/.

Chris Vasta

Author

Chris Vasta

Over a 10+ year career at PHH Mortgage managing a $100 million portfolio, Chris Vasta learned the ins and outs of the business world. He learned how to establish business relationships, lead a multi-prong team, and implement strategies for long-term growth. In 2007, Vasta used that experience to transition his role into president of The CPAP Shop. Over his tenure, Vasta has been involved in everything from website design to warehouse layout. His hands-on approach with customers has evolved into an in-depth understanding of the challenges of beginning and adhering to sleep therapy. He often provides his insights on product…


4 Comments Leave new

  • Diana Thompson

    Can the tubing from an oxygen concentrator attached to a hose adapter be cleaned in the Sleep8?

    • Chris Vasta

      YOu are able to stick the whole tubing/ cannula in the sleep8 bag but it is not recommended. It is better to replace the cannula instead of sanitizing it. If the equipment is not replaced, moisture build may be able to get back to the machine and ruin it.

  • Dawn

    We do not have insurance, but I want a quality test for my husband. What sleep study would you recommend either at home or a testing center. We live in Houston TX.

    • Chris Vasta

      Hello, Dawn. We actually provide an at-home sleep study for people located in your state. The complete package is $399.00 for the at-home testing and virtual conference with a board-certified sleep medicine physician. Take a look at Sleep Care Online’s website for a home sleep test. If you have any questions please reach out to one of our customer service representatives at 866-414-9700.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *