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What Is Sleep Apnea?

   

Sleep apnea (AP-ne-ah) is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.

Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.

Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep. When your breathing pauses or becomes shallow, you’ll often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep.

As a result, the quality of your sleep is poor, which makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.

Sleep apnea is often diagnosed with an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram, or "sleep study".

As a result of a polysomnogram I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. In my case it's between mild to moderate. The number of times I stop breathing completely per hour is only about eight times with about eight more episodes of partial breathing per hour. However, when I stop breathing it can be as long as 45 seconds. The way my body reacts to this is with a startled response which again in my case includes leg kicking and a loud snore (according to the sleep techs my snore is in the upper ranges of loudness of snores). I shouldn't be surprised that I have sleep apnea because I have siblings who have been diagnosed and are using a CPAP machine. I now have the pleasure of using a CPAP when I sleep. It's been only three days so it's a little early to tell you of any major benefits personally.

However...

Untreated sleep apnea can:

Increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes

Increase the risk of, or worsen, heart failure

Make arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs), or irregular heartbeats, more likely

Increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents

What has caught my attention is the correlation between sleep apnea and arrhythmias. While it's too late to prevent my A-Fib, it may lessen the future episodes. It may also allow me to reduce of eliminate my blood pressure medications as it has many others.

As I have many times here I bring my situation to light so others may benefit from my experience. If your family or others complain of your snoring or if you feel excessively fatigued even tho' you "get" eight hours of sleep a night, ask your Doctor if you may be a candidate for a sleep study. There are several per study evaluations before the study itself, so you probably won't go from asking right into a study.


Here's to good health!

On with the games!!  

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MKinTN posted a diary to help everyone achieve greater success called How to Succeed at Mojo Friday Without Really Trying.    

For those of you new to MF (Mojo Friday) we have our own lingo about a few things. Thank's to MF'er Jez (the link will explain) go to this diary for a little more fun and explanation. Official Mojo Friday Snecktionary.    

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