Sleep Apnea and Associated Health Problems

health problemsMajority of the people around the world living with sleep apnea may not realize their breathing is being interrupted while they sleep. Often family members might notice the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea first. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the risk of developing other life-threatening heath conditions such as hypertension, stroke and heart disease.

When someone has sleep apnea, their breathing stops or becomes shallow while sleeping. In adults, apnea is considered significant when these pauses in breathing last 10 seconds or longer and occur more than five to 15 or more times an hour.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type and is caused by the inability to move enough air through the mouth and nose into the lungs because of complete or partial blockage in the upper airways during sleep. When breathing resumes, it often is accompanied by a gasp, snort, body jerk or an arousal. Read the rest of this entry

Daylight Savings Time:Tips To Sleep Better

daylight saving timeIt’s once again time to “spring forward” and change the clocks as Daylight Savings Time takes place.While the lost hour of sleep may cause some people to feel sluggish on Sunday and Monday, most will quickly adjust. Unfortunately, for a significant number of Americans, losing just one hour of sleep and having to wake up when the timing of your biological clock has not yet adjusted can affect performance and safety.Sleep problems are widespread and on the rise, yet many people dismiss the issue and don’t realize the consequences that can result. Even one hour of lost sleep can take a toll on one’s health and many individuals experience grogginess, difficulty focusing, irritability and more seriously, drowsy driving. Statistically in the days following Daylight Savings there are more car accidents due to the lack of alertness. Read the rest of this entry

Dietary Nutrients and Sleep Relations Among Women

women sleepA recently concluded research attempted to describe which dietary nutrient variables are related to subjective and objective habitual sleep and subjective and objective napping.

In this research study performed at the Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA , the participants were 459 post-menopausal women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative.

Objective sleep was estimated using one week of actigraphy. Subjective sleep was prospectively estimated with a daily sleep diary. Dietary nutrients were calculated from food frequency questionnaires. Read the rest of this entry

Extended Sleep Ease Out Pain

sleepA  research published in the journal SLEEP, revealed that enhanced sleep time and reduced sleepiness in mildly sleepy, but otherwise healthy, individuals increases alertness and in turn reduces pain sensitivity.

“Our results suggest the importance of adequate sleep in various chronic pain conditions or in preparation for elective surgical procedures,” says Timothy Roehrs (Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan).

“We were surprised by the magnitude of the reduction in pain sensitivity, when compared to the reduction produced by taking codeine.” Read the rest of this entry

According to a recently concluded research study published in the journal SLEEP  the researchers found that patients with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) taking phentermine and topiramate extended-release capsules achieved significant improvements in key measures of OSA and cardiovascular risk factors along with weight loss during the 28-week trial.

OSA is a chronic and potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing is abnormally shallow (“hypopnea”) or stops altogether (“apnea”) for at least 10 seconds. These repetitive events are associated with collapse of the upper airway during sleep, and may occur 5 to 30 or more times per hour. Although many cases are unrecognized, symptoms may include snoring, fatigue or sleepiness during the day. Read the rest of this entry

Sleep Related Facts-Figures and Vital Signs

Nicholas Jackson puts the latest facts and figures from the all of the most influential medical journals; newspapers; and health, fitness, and wellness websites.

  • 5,400,000  — The approximate number of kids in the United States that have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention (CDC). Source: “ADHD More Common Among Youngest Kids in Class: Overdiagnosed?” CBS.
  • 5.5 — The percentage that diagnosis rates of ADHD have increased, on average, per year from 2003 to 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Source: “ADHD More Common Among Youngest Kids in Class: Overdiagnosed?” CBS.
  • 6 — The percentage of airline pilots who work the same shift every day, according to a new 2012 Sleep in America poll, which suggests that variable schedules lead to sleepiness which leads to slower reaction times, decreased attention, and problems processing and learning information.  Source: “One in Five Pilots Report a Serious Error Related to Sleepiness,” the Wall  Street Journal. Read the rest of this entry

How To Reduce Sleep Deprivation in Children

For years, you’ve been through the loss of an hour in the spring and the gain of an hour in the fall as part of daylight saving time. With the upcoming time change slated for 2 a.m. Sunday, March 11, adults may be used to it, but children, including teenagers, may not be.

According to a sleep specialist, “the spring’s loss of an hour is usually the one that causes the most sleeping havoc”.

However, parents can lessen the effects of potential sleep deprivation with a few simple steps, says Dr. Philip Alapat, medical director, Sleep Disorders Center, Harris County Hospital District, and assistant professor, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine.

“While some adults are significantly affected by the time changes, children tend to have the most difficult time,” he says. Read the rest of this entry

In advance of a sleep apnea testing requirement by U.S. regulators, Harvard researchers are investigating a new type of screening tool to identify drivers at a higher risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

The psychomotor vigilance test is a 10-minute test of attention, alertness, and reaction time (RT). It can be accomplished within a short office visit, requires only brief instruction, is performed on portable, hand-held computers, and its output can be easily and quickly read and interpreted.

“Our goal is to develop objective screening methods beyond obesity for obstructive sleep apnea to be used in occupational health settings,” said the study’s senior author, Stefanos N. Kales, MD, MPH, Division Chief & Medical Director of Employee and Industrial Medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance. “Subjective reports of excessive daytime sleepiness are notoriously unreliable especially during fitness-for-work examinations, and obesity in isolation as a screen has generated resistance from many drivers.” Read the rest of this entry

The benefits of continuous positive airway pressure machines (CPAP) for patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are quickly reversed when the therapy is withdrawn, according to Swiss research. The findings appear online in the articles-in-press section of the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

“In patients with obstructive sleep apnea who are established on CPAP treatment, withdrawal of the therapy is associated with a rapid recurrence of OSA and sleepiness within a few days” said Malcolm Kohler, MD, senior consultant at the Sleep Disorders Centre and Pulmonary Division of the University Hospital in Zurich. “After 14 days of CPAP withdrawal, OSA patients experienced considerable increases in heart rate and blood pressure as well as a deterioration in vascular function.” Read the rest of this entry

CPAP can increase alertness and improve quality of life for sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), even if their symptoms are minimal, according to a study conducted by researchers in Europe. Patients enrolled in the study reported an improvement in daytime sleepiness within 6 months of beginning CPAP treatment.

Treatment with CPAP clearly reduces daytime sleepiness and improves quality of life in patients with very limited symptoms, at a rate of about half the improvement seen in patients with more severe symptoms,” said Sonya Craig, research fellow at Churchill Hospital, Oxford, England.

Researchers analyzed data from 341 patients from 10 medical centers, with proven OSA but insufficient current symptoms, as judged by both the patient and the sleep physician, to justify CPAP therapy. Read the rest of this entry

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