Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Do you have the sign or symptoms below?
- Loud snoring
- Headache after waking up
- Insomnia (Difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep)
- Feeling sleepy during daytime (hypersomnia)
- Lack of concentration and attention
- Memory loss
- Trouble recalling memories
- Night time urination
- Reduced sex drive
- Irritability and moodiness
- Sore throat or dry mouth in the early morning
- Waking up at night with shortness of breath
- Waking up several times at night in order to start breathing again (witnessed by another person)
- Tend to stop breathing during sleep
- Large neck size (over 17 inches for men and 16 for women)
- BMI more than 30
These are common symptoms of sleep apnea. People who suffer for sleep apnea tend to snore loudly during sleep and feel groggy in the morning. According to research, it is estimated that 80-90% of sleep sufferers are still unaware that they have sleep-related condition and it affects all ages. If your BMI is over 30 and being over 40 years and above, you have a higher risk of sleep apnea.
The main types of sleep apnea are central sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea and complex sleep apnea syndrome. Do you know that your sleep is under your brain’s control? Central sleep apnea is caused by defective signals to breathe from the central nervous system. It is due to the way your brain functions as your brain does not tell your muscles to breathe at all. Interestingly, central sleep apnea can occur alone or occur with obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is also a serious sleep disorder as it can cause breathing to repeatedly stop and start during sleep. It occurs when your throat muscles have difficulty to relax and leads to blockage in the airway. This is the most common type of sleep apnea and you can notice it by the snoring. Snoring results from breathing through a passageway that is too small. It affects all ages and most commonly people who are overweight. Complex sleep apnea syndrome occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Many people perceive that sleep disorder or disordered sleep is a common issue that can be ignored. In fact, it is very danger to ignore it as sleep deprivation will lead to many problems including cognitive impairment. We sleep a third of our lives so if you don’t have good quality of sleep, you face significant increase in the risk of vehicle accidents, lack of concentration and attention, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, stroke, neurological diseases, kidney failure, etc. Now it is not only your partner who feels exhausted and miserable due to your snoring, sleep apnea actually can kill you in your sleep!
Knowing how to deal with your sleep apnea could potentially save your life and improve your life quality. The most common comment heard from people who have been treated for sleep apnea is “I never knew I felt so bad before, until I felt so good after improving my sleep apnea issues”. In fact, there are natural sleep apnea therapies that you can use.
Method 1: Lose weight
According to the Stanford University Sleep Center, obesity is the biggest risk factor for sleep apnea especially obstructive sleep apnea which can lead to obesity as well. Obesity is the most well known risk factor for sleep apnea and there are many scientific studies to prove that weight loss can improve sleep apnea issues. Research also found that adding 10kg of weight doubles the risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Thus, when you lose weight it definitely helps to reduce the risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep deprivation will lead to increase appetite as well as weight gain. Sleep apnea will further reduce your metabolism, exercise performance, physical activity leading to obesity. Researchers in Karolinska Institutet in Sweden found that 50 percent reduction in sleep apnea cases after the participants lose their weights.
Method 2: Improving your lifestyle
- It’s up to you to choose what lifestyle you want, but if you want to improve your sleep-related condition, you should follow these tips:
- Limiting your use of cigarette as it will inflame your airway making it narrow. The lowered oxygen level is dangerous because it can cause a stroke or heart attack.
- Avoid using sleeping pills and alcohol as it actually hinders your brain function. Alcohol results in a decrease of oxygen supply and negatively affects the central nervous system.
- Get enough sleep by fixing your sleep hygiene (Such as avoid LED screens that may be so bright that they affect your sleep/wake cycle), and make sure you get enough sleep at night. When you lack sleep, your brain functions are impaired and it might trigger central sleep apnea caused by defective signals to breathe from the central nervous system.
- Avoid using soft pillows because it will make your apnea worse by pushing the chin toward the chest. Sleeping on your side rather than your back, or with your body elevated from the waist up.
- Gargle with salt water (without swallowing) to shrink your tonsils.
Enlarged tonsils may cause sleep apnea and constant nasal obstruction problem.
Physical activity such as exercise is very important. Research found that people who exercise more spend more time in deep sleep. Deep sleep is very important for physical healing, memory and learning. Deep sleep helps us to feel fully rested and restored after waking up.
Method 3: Neuro-hypnotherapy
Falling asleep and remain asleep is a job of the brain. If the sleep-related condition is caused by the brain regulation problem, why not treat the electrical imbalances in the brainwaves in the first place?
Neuro-hypnotherapy is a technique by combining the science of applied neuroscience and clinical hypnosis. It is a safe, non-invasive, drug-free and painless procedure where one is able to determine the brainwave state while conducting the neuro-hypnotherapy. To analyse the brainwaves, your clinical hypnotherapist will use neurotherapy technology, where one can observe the brainwave going into different state such as delta, theta, alpha and beta brainwave.
While suggestion is being given by the clinical hypnotherapist during the therapy session, personalised self-hypnosis method will be developed based on the brainwave observation. Clinical hypnotherapy is recognised by the British Medical Association and has scientifically proven to improve sleep quality as the brainwaves return to a normal state. By making positive changes in the subconscious mind, a person is able to stop smoking or lose weight!
Thus, it will reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea as well.
If your partner snores or have sleep related problem, talk to your partner about it. Encourage him or her to seek help and deal with the sleep-related condition. It definitely will improve you and your partner’s mood, health concern, quality of life and personal relationship once the snoring and sleep-related condition is resolved.