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Sleep Disorders + CPAP

What Would You Do For a Good Night’s Sleep?

If you answered “Just about anything!” to the title of this blog you’re not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly 45 percent of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep is affecting their day to day activities.

In this blog, we will talk about what you can do to get the most mileage out of your shut-eye. Sleep experts call this “sleep hygiene.” While it might conjure images of getting a nice, deep bath, it actually refers to a series of habits one should practice before bed. These include:

Limiting Screen Time

Your body regulates the sleep cycle by releasing a chemical called melatonin. Light from computer, TV and phone screens interrupt your body’s production of melatonin because it signals your body that it’s still too light out to go to sleep. Limiting screen time before bed can go far in helping you get sleepy!

Avoid caffeine after a certain time

It might be tempting to reach for that cup of coffee when the post-lunch sleepiness kicks in, but caffeine has a half-life of five hours. That means it takes five hours to become half as effective as it was.  If you have caffeine sensitivity, this can mean that it can linger in your system for up to 10 hours.

Keep a regular sleep schedule

This can sometimes be easier said than done, but going to bed and rising at the same time—even on the weekends—will make it easier for your body to go to sleep on a consistent basis.

Avoid alcohol

A nightcap is a great way to make yourself feel sleepy, but alcohol actually messes with your sleep more than it helps. It keeps your body from going into a deep REM sleep, and once the effects of the alcohol wear off you may find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night.

Make the sleeping environment comfortable

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that the bedroom should be kept between 60 and 67 degrees for optimal sleep. They also recommend using blackout curtains, humidifiers and white noise machines to help you feel as comfortable as possible.

If you’re still having sleep issues after following these recommendations, there’s a possibility that you may have a sleep disorder. A trip to your physician should be able to pinpoint what’s keeping you up at night.

6 Step to a Better Sleep

“Nah, I don’t need my coffee. I got my 8 hours of sleep.” –Said No Adult Ever.

If you can relate to the above quote, you’re not alone. Most Americans don’t get enough sleep at night. Before you blow off a good night’s sleep, however, you might want to consider the health ramifications.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a lack of sleep can lead to a number of medical conditions, including heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, obesity and depression. If you love your heart, then that means you need to love your sleep as well!

Getting a good night’s sleep can be easier said than done, however. That’s why Advanced Sleep Medicine wants to help you out by offering tips on good sleep hygiene.

First, let’s define what we mean by sleep hygiene. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it’s “a variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness.” Some of these practices include:

  1. Avoiding nicotine and caffeine close to bedtime. Both can speed up your heart and make it harder to fall asleep.

  2. Don’t drink alcohol close to bedtime. While it can help you fall asleep faster, once your body has processed it, it can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.

  3. Do a little bit of aerobic exercise every day. Even 10 minutes is enough to help you sleep better. However, you should avoid strenuous workout late in the evening, as this can actually keep you awake longer.

  4. Keep the temperature of your room cooler at night. A colder room can help promote better sleep.

  5. Try to go to bed at the same time every night.

  6. Stop looking at all lighted screens about an hour before you fall asleep. This includes TVs, cell phones and computer screens. Instead, have a time where you wind down for an hour and read or meditate.

Put Down the Sponge & Pick Up the SoClean

Dishwashers, Roombas and self-cleaning litter boxes all have one thing in common: they’re there to keep you from having to do chores you either don’t like or don’t have the time to perform. But did you know there’s also a product on the market that automatically cleans your CPAP machine and supplies? Today, we’d like to talk about the SoClean CPAP Sanitizing Unit.

The SoClean uses atomized air to kill 99.9% of the bacteria that builds up in your CPAP supplies. It does this by using an activated oxygen generator.

 

What is Activated Oxygen?

This process works by breaking down air molecules, which are made up of two atoms of oxygen, and then reforming them into a molecule made up of three atoms of oxygen. This type of molecule is known as activated oxygen.

Activated oxygen is one of the safest methods of sanitation. In fact, many municipal water facilities use it to purify water. Oxygen doesn’t stay activated long, and breaks down into the regular, two-atom oxygen after a couple of hours.

The activated oxygen is circulated through the CPAP machine via the humidifier chamber. It eventually makes its way to the hose and mask, killing the organic matter it comes into contact with, including mold, bacteria and viruses.

 

How Do I Use It?

The SoClean looks like a rectangular-shaped box. To use it, you first connect your hose to your CPAP machine and your CPAP mask, as if you were about to use it for the night. Then you open up the top of the SoClean and put the CPAP mask inside. It then pumps the activated  oxygen throughout your entire device, sanitizing the water in the humidifier reservoir and killing germs on the surfaces.

It takes about 10 minutes for the air to cycle through the CPAP machine, followed by a two-hour waiting period for the oxygen to de-activate.

You have enough problems finding time for everything you need to get done throughout the day. Don’t let cleaning your CPAP machine be another one. Get one of these time-saving devices today! 

Myths About Snoring

Whether you find yourself unable to sleep because your sleeping partner snores so loudly it keeps you awake, or you’ve been told that you snore, snoring can seem like a minor annoyance. However, depending on the kind of snoring you are experiencing, it could be a sign of a more serious issue.

It’s true that when most people think of sleep apnea, the first thing that comes to mind is a person who snores heavily. Advanced Sleep Medicine here to help you learn what snoring means, or perhaps more importantly, what it doesn’t mean. Let’s take a look at some myths and facts associated with snoring.

Myth #1: Everyone with Sleep Apnea Snores

It’s true that snoring is one of the most common symptoms associated with sleep apnea. What’s not true, however, is that snoring is the end-all, be-all indicator that someone has sleep apnea. The key to recognizing if snoring is a sign of sleep apnea is to examine the snoring. If the snoring is accompanied by gasping, or if the sleeper stops breathing briefly while snoring, it’s more likely an indicator of sleep apnea and should be addressed by a doctor.

Myth #2: People Who Don’t Snore Aren’t at Risk for Sleep Apnea

If you don’t snore, it doesn’t mean that you’re exempt from dealing with sleep apnea. One of the two main types of sleep apnea, known as Central Sleep Apnea, impacts millions of Americans and still requires the use of a CPAP machine. However, unlike the more common Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Central Sleep Apnea is less likely to be accompanied by snoring. If you wake up short of breath or gasping, you need to see a doctor.

Snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea, but isn’t always an indication of a problem. Still, if you believe your snoring is causing problems with your breathing or you find yourself tired during the day, it is a good idea to see your doctor. 

Stay CPAP Compliant with the 5 C's

With the New Year fully underway, we're help you better yourself and achieve your resolutions. If you have sleep apnea and vowed to lose weight and eat better this year, being CPAP compliant can help with both. Since that’s the top thing CPAP users struggle with, we thought we would help you by breaking it down into the five C’s of CPAP success:

  1. Communication. To be successful with CPAP therapy, clear communication is necessary with your doctor and Advanced Sleep Medicine. Having a problem with your machine or supplies? Never hesitate to get in contact with us.
  2. Cleaning. A CPAP machine and supplies cannot always function properly if they are not clean. That’s why we have a wide variety of cleaning products in our online catalog. One of the must-haves to keep your sleep apnea therapy in tip-top shape is the SoClean Sanitizer. It uses atomized air to automatically clean all your equipment for you.
  3. Consistency. The best way to get used to your CPAP equipment is to use it on a regular basis. The saying goes that it takes 21 days to form a habit and 90 days to form a lifestyle. By consistently using your sleep apnea therapy equipment, it will eventually become an indispensable part of your life.
  4. Comfort. We understand that you are less likely to use your sleep therapy device if it is uncomfortable. Advanced Sleep Medicine wants you to have the utmost comfort while sleeping with your CPAP therapy, so if your CPAP mask doesn’t fit well, let us know so we can replace it.
  5. Connect. Connecting with others can make your CPAP therapy less stressful. Seek support and advice from others in the sleep apnea community. You may learn something about CPAP therapy that you never knew before.

Can Snoring Kill You?

When you were younger, you may have giggled at the sound of a relative snoring loudly in their sleep. Unfortunately, many adults do the same without realizing the hidden danger behind the loud rumbling at night. Contrary to popular belief, snoring does not signify a quality sleep. Supported by specialists and sleep research, here are the hidden dangers to an untreated sleeping condition.

To fully understand the danger of snoring, it’s important to know the definition of sleep apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is “a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.” If you or your loved one snores, they may have OSA and should make an appointment with their doctor.

 

Heart health

If you are continually getting poor sleep every night, it is putting great strain on your heart. It has the potential to distort its function to the point of causing the heart to flutter, leading to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and the hardening of the arteries.

 

Brain Health

When you have OSA, your breathing is repeatedly interrupted. This causes a decrease of blood flow in the body. When your oxygen levels drop, brain cells can be damaged. This not only increases your risk of stroke, but basic memory and your ability to concentrate.

 

Emotional Health

You’ve likely heard someone tell a grumpy person that they need to go back to bed. This is partially true if they are not getting at least six hours of sleep each night. OSA can alter the chemicals in your brain (glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid) that impact your stress and depression levels.

 

Weight

OSA is most likely to occur in individuals who are obese. Likewise, if left untreated it can cause weight gain which only worsens other health issues. While there isn’t an extensive amount of research as to why that is, a recent study shows a decrease in OSA symptoms for sufferers that lose weight.

 

Diabetes

Did you know that if you are not getting quality sleep, you may be more likely to encounter diabetes in your lifetime? In fact, 71% of patients with OSA have type 2 diabetes.The quality, or deprivation of sleep can significantly impact glucose levels.

 

We urge you to take snoring seriously and see your doctor if you believe you have a sleep disorder today! 

What to Expect During a Sleep Study

If you sleep 8 hours and still can’t stay awake during the day, or your partner has been sleeping on the couch due to your snoring, you may need a sleep study to determine what’s going on. Often times, sleep apnea can cause these symptoms. Let us help you take the steps to treatment and better sleep today. However, before you go out and buy any CPAP supplies, your doctor will want to confirm this causation with a polysomnogram.

A polysomnogram, or a sleep study, is a non-invasive procedure.  During this process, you will be paired with various wires and sensors to match your head, nostrils and mouth.  You will also have cardio and pulmonary monitors, along with motion detectors on your eyelids, jaw and legs. Every breath, heartbeat, eye flicker, tooth grind and leg jerk is recorded for analysis. It’s very intriguing to examine how many brain waves you give off during your sleep.

Your doctor will help you find your own sleep center or refer you to a local practice.  It may feel strange being hooked up to wires and sensors, but participating in a sleep study where the patient rooms are hotel quality ensures that you will be able to move around, use the bathroom, and sleep in different positions with ease.  It always helps to find a sleep study lab that can work around your schedule, and offers a wide window for testing.

If you need assistance finding the best CPAP machine or CPAP mask for you, we’re here to help! With sleep therapy assistance in-house and CPAP supplies in our online catalog, our team has everything you need.