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What Happens If you stop breathing in your sleep

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment Natural


Sleep apnea cures come in the form of lifestyle changes. Quitting smoking, if you smoke, and losing weight to decrease obesity can be enough of a change to eliminate sleep apnea and allow you to sleep better at night. If, on the other hand, these measures are not enough there are treatment options available to reduce the life-threatening effects you are susceptible to.

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of treatment is a CPAP machine. CPAP stand for continuous positive airway pressure and you must wear a mask that fits snugly over your nose and/or mouth attached to a machine that blows air continuously into your nose and/or mouth when you are sleeping so your airway stays open and you do not suffocate in your sleep.

That does not happen often. What usually happens is the oxygen levels of your blood drop at least 4% and then your brain signals you to wake up so you can resume breathing. This can happen as much as thirty times per hour for as long as you are asleep. Do the math, if you will. If you are asleep for eight hours and you stop breathing 30 times every hour, you stop breathing 240 times per night. If each stoppage lasts one minute and your brain wakes you up each time, you miss out on four hours of sleep every single night of the week for weeks or months on end.

If you only have a mild form of sleep apnea you could probably get away with wearing an oral device as one more sleep apnea cures to keep your tongue from falling back and blocking your airway. These devices either hold your tongue down or change the way you hold your mouth when you are sleeping to give you more room behind your tongue, keeping your airway open that way.

You may be encouraged by your doctor to teach yourself to sleep on your side instead of rolling on to your back. A good idea is to sleep with a rolled up blanket or towel behind your back to "remind" you when you are sleeping to stay on your side.

If you have a moderate to severe case, surgery may be necessary to remove the obstruction. Obstructions can include a deviated septum in the nasal passages or tonsils and adenoids in the throat and sinuses. Removing the tonsils and adenoids will allow for more room in the airway and make a collapse of the airway less likely.

Central sleep apnea or complex, or mixed, sleep apnea is the most dangerous kind of apnea. This is the type where your brain fails to signal the muscles that control your breathing to initiate a breath on a consistent basis throughout the night.

In the most severe cases as in central sleep apnea or complex, or mixed, sleep apnea, a tracheostomy with placement of a trach tube in the throat or below the obstructed area may be necessary as sleep apnea cures go.

Sleep Apnea Effects - Be Warned


Sleep apnea effects on your life and livelihood can be devastating. Such side effects as decreased mental acuity or inattentiveness can have serious consequences on your life or the lives of others if you put yourself in their path and the situation becomes dangerous, as in putting yourself behind the steering wheel of a car and then falling asleep at that same steering wheel.

Sleep apnea affects approximately 18 million people and causes several problems with the people who have it including the two listed above and the most serious of all, death. If you have sleep apnea and know it, you should be treating it with the help of your doctor and/or dentist. If you have sleep apnea and do not know it, you need to get diagnosed as soon as possible so you can start treatment right away.

So how do you know what the sleep apnea effects are? In other words, what are the symptoms?

Sleep apnea means that you actually stop breathing when you are sleeping for at least ten seconds and can occur 30+ times per hour. The length of time you stop breathing can be even longer, maybe even as long as a minute. Think about it, if you stop breathing for a whole minute 30 times an hour, you are in serious trouble. Your blood oxygen level drops and in severe cases you could go into respiratory arrest and become cyanotic, or turn blue.

Every time you stop breathing your brain signals you to wake up to resume breathing normally. You may not wake up fully but when you are out of the REM sleep cycle you are not getting good sleep and you will wake up tired. Sometimes even more tired than when you went to sleep. Sleep apnea makes you work very hard for the little sleep that you do get.

Sleep apnea is characterized by the reason you stop breathing. The sleep apnea we have been discussing is called obstructive sleep apnea and happens because your tongue and the muscles in your neck relax to the point where they block your airway when you are in a deep sleep.

Another form of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea and happens because the brain does not signal the muscles responsible for breathing to initiate a breath. Central sleep apnea causes you to awaken very abruptly and may be accompanied by shortness of breath or night sweats or both. This type of sleep apnea can be especially scary and may make you afraid to even go to sleep. Which makes the situation so much worse.

Like I said, sleep apnea effects on your life can be absolutely devastating. You will have an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke due to the extra work required to get and keep enough oxygen circulating through your body. Treatment is very important and can include a surgical procedure to remove whatever is causing the blockage or a machine and mask to force air into your airway continuously throughout the night.

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