Insomnia, Snoring, Sleep Apnea

The world and life of a sleep tech

Posts Tagged ‘snoring’

Sleep and Your Weight

Posted by amykr on June 1, 2012

We talk about our weight all the time.  We try new food plans, we take up different exercise programs and we say positive affirmations until we are blue in the face.  We ask our doctors for help and they tell us to try harder, eat less and exercise even more.  When was the last time you were asked how well you sleep?  Our quality of sleep affects our weight more than we can ever imagine. 

 Why You Need to Get 7-8 Hours

We run on less and less sleep so we can get more done and connect to more people.  This lack of sleep has a harsh effect on our brain.  It will not only effect how we make decisions, deal with emotions and are able to concentrate but it will also affect our appetite.  Sleep deprivation causes us to make rash decisions.  This can lead to more volatile emotions and negative emotions like stress and anger.  This leads to stress eating.  It can also lead to eating foods that are high in fat, sugar or salt. 

Sleep deprivation also increases the feelings of hunger.  People who are sleep deprived will eat more frequently to help keep them awake.  Again the foods they choose tend to be high in fat, salt and sugar.  This just makes it harder to stay on your choice of food plans.

Sleep Disorders Affect Your Weight

Sleep apnea has been associated with many health problems but the biggest problem where your weight is concerned is the effect it has on your hormones.  In particular you Cortisol levels tend to be elevated and stay elevated throughout the night.  The stress response every time you stop breathing or have difficulty breathing as obvious by snoring your body responds with the fight or flight reflex and Cortisol is produced and stays elevated   High Cortisol levels keep you from being able to lose weight. 

Treating sleep apnea and snoring requires you to talk to your doctor about the problems you are having sleeping.  You will want to explain all your symptoms not just that you are having difficulty sleeping.  People with sleep apnea do not always snore so do not assume that you do not have sleep apnea if you do not snore. 

There are many doctors who will say “well, if you lose weight you will not have sleep apnea and snoring” but in order for you to be successful with the weight loss you really need to treat this problem.  Your body does not like to be stressed and if you are changing your food and your exercise but you are still stressing your body every night you will not be successful at losing weight.  You need to be your best advocate.

Do Not Underestimate the Small Stuff

Weight loss is a challenge under the best circumstances.  There are little things you can do to help you to make the weight loss journey a little easier.  Sleep is one of the biggest influences that require very littlImagee specific work.  Making sure you sleep 7-8 hours a day and that the sleep quality are two of the little changes you can do that will help you achieve your goal.

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

That Stuffy Spring Nose Can Rob You of Sleep

Posted by amykr on April 6, 2012

Picture
Spring has bloomed and with it the pollen levels have reached some of the highest levels of the year. For many people this is the time of year where breathing and snoring are at their worst. The minute you lie down you feel pressure on your forehead and your nose clogs up. If you snore it is loud and more disruptive than usual. If you use a CPAP this is the time of year when you are most likely to give up using it.

Finding solutions to these problems can be challenging. You know you want to feel good and rest is an important part of that but you are not sure what you can do to help yourself. There are a few things you can do that will help you.

This is the time of year that you should make sure you change the filter in your heating and cooling system. Using a HEPA filter maybe useful for those with severe allergies because it will capture more pollen, dust and mold spores.
Use an anti-shed shampoo on your pets. This is the time of year where they shed their winter coats and start to grow their summer coats. You want to make sure that their dander is limited so as not to irritate your nose.
Make sure you are well hydrated. This helps your body to function better and will help thin secretions.
Using salt water to gargle or using a Neti pot may help some people as the salt water will help to decrease the swelling in your nose and throat. You can also use a nasal saline spray to help keep your nose from drying out and keep swelling down.
Talk to your doctor. The best solutions may be an allergy medication, but these can interact with other medications you are taking and you should always talk to your doctor before starting a new medication

If you are using a CPAP machine this is the time of year to think about cleaning your equipment. The warm water that is in the humidifier is a great way to grow interesting things.

Your humidifier chamber and hose should be changed every 6 months. In between you should be washing it once a week with soap and water and then soaking it for 20 minutes in 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts water. Make sure you rinse it well or you will be smelling the vinegar all week
Your filters should be changed as well. Different manufacturers use different type of filters so make sure you check with your DME company as to how often you should change your filter.
Turn up the humidifier if you are having congestion issues. Higher humidity helps to reduce the swelling in your nose and sinuses making it more comfortable. A home humidifier will not affect your machine.

Spring is a wonderful time of year but allergies can have an effect on your sleep. It is important to take care of these issues earlier rather than later. Sleep deprivation can have hazardous effects on your health and ability to enjoy the wonderful weather that spring brings with it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Extra Side Effect of One New Years Resolution

Posted by amykr on January 2, 2009

Many people suffer from insomnia. We work hard, relax little and suffer from input overload. As woman we also suffer from hormonal changes that can increase insomnia. What can you do about this if we do not wish to take medications?

One New Years resolutions that might be able to help is exercising. There are some rules thought. It works best in the morning according to Dr. Youngstedt’s research at University of California at San Diego. He found that it can help regulate the body’s internal clock also know as circadian rhythm based on when you do your exercise. That outdoor exercise has the added effect of light exposure which helps to regulate this rhythm as well. He also recommends that people with insomnia try exercising different times of the day as some people it does help to exercise in the evening.

Since many of us commit to exercise as part of the New Year it might help to try exercising in outdoor light, do small intervals throughout the day or to experiment with the time you exercise as a way for you to improve you sleep.

I hope you are having a great and productive New Year.

http://www.acsm.org/Content/ContentFolders/NewsReleases/2003/TROUBLE_SLEEPING__A_LITTLE_EXERCISE_MIGHT_HELP.htm

http://www.physsportsmed.com/issues/1997/10oct/young.htm

Posted in Sleep Apnea | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

TV and the Cure for Snoring

Posted by amykr on December 27, 2008

 You see them on television and read about them in magazines.  They cost anywhere from $30 to a bed that cost $1000+ Do they really work?  Are they worth the money?

Well it depends on what you are thinking of getting.  I will start with some of the ones that make us laugh in the sleep lab and move on from there.  There are several sprays on the market that say they will fix snoring.  Well they do lubricate the back of the throat so they may reduce snoring a little bit at the beginning of the night if your snoring is caused by too small an airway in the back of the throat, but if your snoring is caused by anything else it does nothing.  The same goes for the strips  you put on your nose.  Snoring generally does nto come from your nose so a piece of tape and plastic is just not going to fix snoring or sleep apnea. 

Now there are several t shirts out there that help you stay off your back.  If you have positional snoring or apnea these do work.  But it would be cheaper to take an old t shirt sew a pocket down the center of it and put some tennis balls in it.  This is to train someone not to sleep on their back and it works well.

There are mouth pieces.  A good one is fitted by a dentist and will run about $300-$500 but it is custom made for you and will keep your airway open.  The ones you see on television might work or they might not it depends on what is causing the snoring and if you have TMJ it could agrivate it. 

There are also pillows out there that will help with positioning.  They have a tendency to be pricey and some of them are quite uncomfortable.  So consider that before your buy it.

The last thing is the beds that adjust.  If you elevate your head you are likely to find a position that will eliminate your snoring.  It works but again buying a bed is a very costly investment.

If you do snore or you snore and gasp the best thing to do is chat with your primary care physician about the problem.  There are several things that can cause snoring and yrou doctor will be able to help you to find the right answer for you.

Posted in Sleep Apnea | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How do you wake up

Posted by amykr on December 24, 2008

This may not sound scientific but it is a good question. Do you wake up to the loud peeping of an annoying alarm clock, or your favoriet music, or your dog licking your hand? How you rest may be tied to it. If you know that as soon as you relax and fall asleep you are going to be awoken by something that is going to annoy you then you will not let your body relax enough to get the sleep you deserve.

The same is true if you have a bedpartner who you know will wake you during the night. He or she may kick, grind their teeth, snore or stop breathing. All these things are disruptive to anyone who shares the room with them. If this is the issue you need to chat with your doctor about your partner’s issues. They might have ideas how to discuss this issue so that you both can get a good night’s sleep.

As I tell my family every day if mama is happy everyone is happy. So make sure that you take care of yourself by helping your family members take care of themselves.

Posted in Sleep Apnea | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Year of Change for Sleep Techs

Posted by amykr on December 23, 2008

published at http://www.advanceforsleep.com
Published December 22, 2008 3:02 PM by Amy Reavis

As a respiratory therapist and as a sleep tech, I do not think I have ever seen a year with as many changes as this year has brought us.

We started the year on the right note. We knew that competitive bid was coming. Then came the issue of home sleep studies. Following closely on its heals was licensure and respiratory credentials for sleep technicians. And just when you thought we had enough curve balls to handle, the economy tanked and people could no longer afford their co-pays or lost their jobs and their insurance.

I have had many friends and know several labs that were affected by all this change. It is a lot to take in. Many people I know have ignored it or believe that it will not affect them.

As a whole, sleep does not have a strong advocacy group. We have the AAST but many people do not belong. We also have a large group of respiratory therapists who belong to the AARC, which has a much stronger voice.

You do not see state associations in and very few regional ones. I know living in Florida there are two regional associations but then it seems they are competing with each other for members.

We do have some great highlights though. We have several professional magazines, one really phenomenal message board, binarysleep.com, many people who are creating CEU and college programs to teach sleep in a formal setting, and many truly dynamic people who are bringing our profession to a whole new level.

I remember when respiratory was going through the same issues. There were many people who were trained via on the job training; we had credentials but we were not licensed. Those of us who got our AAS degrees were asked why. Why take the RRT? Why worry when we are needed?

I believed in the field of respiratory and was very passionate about it. And I encouraged people to get their credentials because eventually we would be licensed. When that day came, I lost several co-workers because they refused to take the test. I remember all of this and I see history repeating itself.

This is why I know that sleep will do well. Because history shows that these young medical fields are important and that as we grow and change we not only survive but thrive.

I challenge every tech out there to do something great for our field this year. If we work together, publish papers, create state societies, or help new technicians, we will be a strong and healthy profession.

posted by Amy Reavis

Posted in Sleep Apnea, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Snoring and a Restful Sleep

Posted by amykr on December 22, 2008

With greater research going on we are finding new reasons why people are tired during the day.  A research study was publish in the Chest magazine compared daytime sleepiness in snoring patients as it related to obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.  The findings were not necessarily what were expected.

 

The conclusion was that snoring independently affects daytime sleepiness and was not related to sleep apnea.  What does this mean?  It can mean many things.  It can mean that snoring itself needs to be taken seriously as it can cause an increase in the level of fatigue a person feels.   When a person experiences increased fatigue the chances of a work related accident or car accident will happen.  There is still the chance that the person has sleep apnea which has its own set of issues.  And finally the feeling of well being overall is very important and the need for a good nights sleep is necessary.

 

If you find that you are snoring take an Epworth test.  It will give you a good idea how tired you are and if you need to talk to your physician about sleep.

 

 

Sleep Disorder Screening Questionnaire

 

Please complete and return to your physician

 

Name:________________________________                     Date:_______

 

 

How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations?

 

0 = would never doze

1 = slight chance of dozing

2 = moderate chance of dozing

3 = high chance of dozing

 

Circle the appropriate number

Situation

Chance of dozing

Sitting and reading

     0    1      2       3

Watching TV

     0    1      2       3

Sitting, inactive in a public place (e.g., a theater or meeting)

     0    1      2       3

As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break

     0    1      2       3

Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit

     0    1      2       3

Sitting and talking to someone

     0    1      2       3

Sitting quietly after lunch, without alcohol

     0    1      2       3

In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic

     0    1      2       3

 

                                                                                             Total from above: _____ (>9?)

________________________________________________________________________

 

Do you often feel sleepy during the daytime?                  Yes     No

 

Do you snore, or has anyone ever told you that you snore?         Yes     No

 

Has anyone ever told you that you stop breathing during sleep? Yes     No

 

Do you ever have a choking or gasping sensation during sleep? Yes     No

 

Do your legs ‘kick’ during sleep?                                               Yes    No

 

 

Return form to your physician

 

 

 

 

Malin Svensson, MD, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Akademiska sjukhuset, SE 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden;.  2008;134(5):919-924.  ©2008 American College of Chest Physicians

Posted in Sleep Apnea | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »