Posts Tagged ‘Sleep’

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

Because sleep is so incredibly important to everyone, it’s essential that you look into all the different methods of getting a better night sleep.  If you have sleap apnea this is a condition which you can control as long as you are aware of how.  There are many sources of information on how to treat sleep apnea and these can include books and you GP.  Although there are many websites on health you should always seek advice from the best possible sources.  There are many websites with info written by people who have no real knowledge on the topic.

If you have very loud snoring you might think that you have sleep apnea but this isn’t necessarily the case which if why it’s important to talk to your doctor for a diagnosis.  Although snoring is often linked to apnea they don’t always have to go with each other.  If you think you are suffering from sleep apnea and you have a sleeping partner, that partner can help you make an initial diagnosis.

If you have a sleeping partner you should ask them if they would be so kind as to write down the number of times your breathing is interrupted during the night.  This is not very difficult because sleep apnea sufferers will either stop breathing or will make gasping, choking or snorting sounds when you try and get your breath back to normal.  Making notes about your snoring is also helpful. You can also get a tape recorder and put it on ‘Record’ while you sleep.

Normally sleep apnea occurs in men who are over 40 years old and are also overweight.  For those who fit this category and have other sleep apnea symptoms, it’s likely that the doctor will suspect that the problem is sleep apnea.  If in doubt, your doctor can look for obstructions in the nose and mouth and examine your throat and nose using either an endoscopy or an X-ray. A CT scan of the neck and head is another diagnosis tool.

If there is at all any doubts about what the problem is then spending a night in a specially set up sleep centre will allow your sleeping patterns to be monitored effectively.

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea then it is likely that the method of treatment suggested to you will be the use of the CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine.  The machine is set up in such a way that there is a mask which has a plastic tube that is several feet in length.  The mask will be positioned over your nose and/or mouth and as you sleep, you will be given a constant supply of pressurized air given through the tube and this allows the airway to be kept open.

Another method is a surgical one and this involved removing the tissue from your nose, mouth or throat which is the source of the problem.  Some patients may even find that their jaws need to be reconstructed.

If you are the sort of person who doesn’t like the idea of surgery or medication then there are ways that you can treat yourself once you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.  We all know that being overweight is not healthy and with the case of sleep apnea, this is very true.  If you lose 10% of your bodyweight you will make a considerable difference to your sleeping.  Another two things you should do, both for sleep apnea and general health, is to stop or limit your smoking and alcohol intake.  Sedatives are another thing that you should avoid taking. In addition, you should get yourself on a regular sleep schedule, one in which you can sleep during nighttime hours. If you prefer sleeping on your back, it’s time to switch to sleeping on your side.

You can also buy mouth pieces which help a lot of people with sleep apnea and they allow your airways to be opened and they realign your jaw or tongue.

There is no such thing as the perfect treatment so looking at all the different methods and discussing it with your doctor will allow you to choose which method you want yourself.  The simplest sleep apnea remedies will obviously be to lose weight and cut out cigarettes and alcohol.  Not only will you get a much better sleep but you’ll also feel healthier in general.

Homeopathic Remedies for Insomnia

There are thousands of people who cannot get to sleep at night. Their minds are racing about the day’s events, the plans for tomorrow and all the stresses of the week. While this can and probably has happened to most of us at one time, there are those who struggle with this every night. When sleepless nights occur often, it is called insomnia.

There are a number of over-the-counter, prescription, and herbal remedies for insomnia. All have the ability to help you sleep but some may carry side efforts.

Understanding Homeopathy

Before getting into what homeopathic remedies work for sleeplessness, it is important to understand what homeopathy is. Similia Similibus Curentur, or “Let likes cure likes” is a phrase that was used by Samuel Hahemann to describe this form of treatment. This form of therapy uses substances that would normally cause the symptom in a healthy person that the ill person is experiencing-In this case insomnia.

Homeopathic remedies are safe and have no side effects. They can be used on anyone of any age.

Remedies

Unlike modern medicines that have one drug for one ailment, homeopathy looks at the specific symptoms with the understanding that we all experience these differently. There are a number of reasons why certain people cannot fall asleep. It could be a mind that is forever thinking, or a body that aches. Whatever the reason is, the cure would be from a substance that induces like symptoms.

Here are a few examples of remedies that you may be given:-

Coffee – derived from the coffee bean, can be given in a very small dosage to a sleepless person. The idea being that coffee in large amounts would make a healthy person awake, so a person who is experiencing similar symptoms needs a “like” remedy to cure them.

Aconite - For those who have difficulty sleeping due to shock, fear, bad news or grief.

Cocculus - If you’re a shift worker such as a nurse or police officer then taking cocculus can help, also ideal for people who are over-tired.

Lachesis – For menopausal women

When trying to find a cure for symptoms you may be having, go to a doctor of homeopathic medicine. There they will be able to determine what will work best for you.

How to Stop Snoring Naturally

Thousands of people are awaken each night by a horrible rumbling noise. No, it’s not a train or a bear, it’s their spouse. Snoring not only affects the person doing the snoring, but also anyone sharing the room with them. Both suffer from a lack of sleep, with the snorer usually displaying a bruise on their shin from the non-snorer who spent half the time trying to get them to roll over.

Besides being loud and disruptive, snoring can also pose a serious health risk. Sleep apnea occurs when someone temporarily stops breathing.

What Causes Snoring ?

To put it simply, snoring is caused by a blocked airway. The blockage can occur when you are congested due to a cold or caused by over relaxed muscles of the throat and tongue. This relaxation can be brought on by the use of alcohol and drugs.

There are those whose soft tissue in the back of the mouth is large which helps to block the airway. Also, individuals that are overweight or have larger necks tend to snore more than others.

Sleeping on your back can also cause snoring. This is because while sleeping on your back, gravity pulls the tongue and jaw down which can cause the airway to be blocked.

Ways to Stop Snoring

First, let us start with the obvious. If you snore while sleeping on your back, try falling asleep on your side. If you have a cold or nasal congestion due to allergies, try taking a nasal decongestant.

Another way of keeping the airway open that does not involve over the counter medications is nasal strips. Nasal strips are applied to the nose and are designed to pull open the airway.

There are also mouthpieces that you have in your mouth that opens your mouth to allow air to flow and reduces the effects of soft palette vibrations in the rear of the mouth.

If snoring is caused by a dry nasal cavity, try a saline nasal spray.

Losing weight can also help with snoring. Individuals who are overweight tend to snore and have increased cases of sleep apnea.

Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol and drugs relax the muscles which can cause snoring.

Having the right pillow may also help. When the neck is at an incline, the airway becomes restricted. You want a pillow that helps keep your spine aligned and your head level with your body, not above it.

Surgery to Cure Snoring

It is said that a quarter of the population snores and that most everyone has snored at sometime. Most snoring can be remedied by a few simple things, changing your sleeping position or losing weight. However, there are individuals who may have exhausted all the simple and natural ways of curing their snoring. There is a surgery known as Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. This surgery is done to remove excess tissue in the throat that causes snoring. Once the tissue is removed, the airway is open again which makes breathing easier. This will eliminate snoring and possibly the bruise caused by your partner.

How to Solve Sleep Problems

If you’re having problems getting a good night sleep then you may not realize that your sleeping environment can have a profound effect on you. Check out these tips to see if they can help you sleep better.

1# Noise Levels

Sleeping in a quiet room may seem pretty obvious but have you really scrutinized all the background noises. These may include barking dogs and outside traffic

How can you quiet the noise levels inside your bedroom? If you have wooden floors then one of the simplest things you can do is to buy a rug. Buy thick curtains to muffle any noises and if you only have windows with a single pane of glass, consider replacing them with double or even triple glazing. And if all else fails, consider wearing earplugs.

2# Room Temperature

Ambient temperature that is too warm or too humid can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Ideally, the room should feel slightly cool as this temperature more closely matches that of the body when it is in the midst of sleep.

Problems arise, however, when there is more than one person in the room. Some people love the temperature to be really toasty whereas others prefer to be cool. If you like to have an electric blanket on during the winter then you can shop around for one which has dual control. Alternatively wearing warmer clothes, and even socks, will help. Although you can use a heater or cooler you will need to find one which is quiet and won’t disturb you with the noise.

3# Bedside Clock

Depending on what type of bedside clock you own, there are two possible problems you can incur. The digital types with LED numbers can be a distraction in a dark room and can make you aware of how much time is passing.

Whereas the old fashioned wind-up clocks make a tick tock sound with can be very off-putting.

An alarm clock going off suddenly can also be a great shock to the body, so buying a “Sunrise Alarm Clock” will be much better. The National Institute of Health found that people respond better to a gradual increase in light instead of a sudden noisy beeping. Also these lights have been found to help with sufferers of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

4# Find the Perfect Bed

The size of your bed and the type of mattress on which you sleep can both impact the quality of your sleep. If your bed is too small and you feel cramped, you may not sleep as well as you could if you had room to stretch out. Likewise with the mattress.

Take a tip from Goldilocks and find a mattress which feels just right for you. There’s nothing worse than an uncomfortable mattress.

Getting a new bed and/or mattress is a worthwhile investment if doing so helps you sleep better. Perhaps indulge in softer sheets and fluffier pillows too. Go ahead and splurge. You’ll definitely feel better in the morning.

5# Sleep in bed

Strange as it may seem, but if you sit in bed doing various tasks such as working on your laptop, your body can equate bed with activity instead of sleeping. Find some other place to watch television or pay your bills and use your bed for its intended purpose!

6# Lighting

Make sure that your room is as dark as possible. This may involve buying new curtains or blinds which specifically block out light. If you work a night shift then this should your top priority.

There are many different types of sleep disorders that you might also suffer from so it’s well worth reading up about this subject so you can have a better understanding.