Category: Sleep Health

The Zombie Youth: Do Devices Cause Poor Sleep?

Teenagers have been a breed of excessive sleepers since the dawn of time. Whether they’re outside until the crack of dawn or staying up far later than they probably should, there are a lot of ideas on what can cause a poor night’s sleep. Parents and guardians around the world have been increasingly concerned about the use of electronic devices and how they impact sleep. Whether these well-meaning adults are concerned with video game usage or texting on smartphones late at night, the fact remains that they believe that this overuse of technology must be having a negative impact on the young mind.

Honestly, if little Evan could just pull his eyes away from his table for 24 hours he’d sleep better and if little Chantelle could just put the video game controller down for once, it would be better for her, right? Well, that’s not necessarily the case:

Taking away a teen’s phone or tablet at night does not make them sleep better or longer nor does it mean they will perform better in sports the following day, a new study of young ­athletes has found.

The investigation into the ­impact of electronic devices ­revealed no change at all among the Australian Institute of Sport’s junior judo champions.

The teens whose phones and tablets were taken away for a few days continued to fall asleep at exactly the same time at night and performed just as well as before in training, according to lead researcher Ian Duncan from the Centre for Sleep Science at the University of Western Australia.

“We thought they would go to sleep earlier … because that’s what middle aged and older people do in similar studies,” he said.

“However, these guys were so young — between 16 and 19 — and they did go to bed earlier but they didn’t fall asleep and we think that’s because teens have that locked-in owl-like sleep ­behaviour … it’s like asking a 30-year-old to go to sleep at 5pm. They just can’t do it.”

The researchers monitored the effects of the removal of electronic devices for 48 hours in 23 judo athletes during a six-day training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport. The athletes wore an activity monitor to ­measure sleep quality.

The researchers found that although athletes went to bed earlier when the devices were ­removed, they fell asleep at the same time as those who had ­access to electronic devices. Removal of the devices did not ­affect their sleep quality, or next-day physical performance ­compared to those who continued to use electronic devices. The ­athletes did not have televisions in their shared rooms throughout the study.

Via: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/digital-devices-have-no-impact-on-teenagers-sleep/news-story/d3636b8bbefddb7328c3bc5779612b82

So take that, concerned adults! Even if your kid is up until the wee hours of the morning that doesn’t mean they’re getting a poor sleep based on device usage alone. Chalk this up as another sleep myth. It seems to be just a part of their biological structure to stay up late. You can’t go fighting your biology and at this age, a youths body is going to tell them when they should be sleeping. So should you probably lay off? Well, keep in mind this article has everything to do with lack of sleep and nothing to do with lack of attention span, which of course seems to be generated by these devices.

So be hard on your kids more because their brains are being damaged by too much device time. Not because it is stopping them from sleeping, but because, come on! There’s no need to be looking at a screen 24 hours per day. A good parent understands that this simply does not make any sense.

Battle For The Future: Snore Mouthpieces Vs. The Smart Bed

No matter how you look at it, technology has changed our lives immeasurably over the past 20 years. Just think of it: now, we carry 6-10 ounce devices that have about 50-100 times the computer power that a laptop in 1995 did. I mean, that’s simply amazing (and please, don’t take my “computing power” estimates as fact: I ain’t no computer scientist! 😉 ).

So what does technology do? It solves problems. Or at least it disrupts and creates new problems that can be solved (I hate to go back to cell phones again, but yep, for many people they’ve BECOME a problem).  And what is one of the biggest problems for many people in Western societies? Snoring. Yes, I said it. And yes, it is a little “First World”, but the fact is, snoring STILL affects such a large percentage of the population that it’s almost crazy. I mean, come on! Shouldn’t we have done a little more about this by now?

And did we? Yes. First, we created the mandibular advancing snoring mouthpiece, which remains an extremely effective device, especially with solid entries recently such as the Zquiet, VitalSleep and SnoreRX. Then we adapted and made it better by creating the Tongue Stabilizing Device Mouthpiece, or TSD, an example well represented by the Good Morning Snore Solution.

But people are always looking for a better, more comfortable way. It simply makes sense, and apparently technology is looking to provide this. So you have a smart phone, right? What about a Smart Bed? Sleep Number thinks it’s got one:

the invention of a bed that automatically moves to adjusts a sleeper’s position when it detects a snoring fit, saving their partner from decamping to the sofa in an attempt to get a good night’s sleep.

The 360 Smart Bed, which can adjust its mattress to fit different body positions, track its owner’s sleeping habits and wake them at the optimum time, can detect the sound of snoring and in response raises the sleeper’s head by a few degrees to clear the airwaves.

Developed by mattress company Sleep Number and due to be put on sale this year, it can also warm up owners’ feet and send data about their sleeping patterns to an app.

It’s an interesting move, for sure. And we applaud Sleep Number for giving it a shot. As we have noted just recently in our post about the Snore Circle, tech companies seem to be going whole hog looking to sell products to help people sleep.

They also have what I would call “creative” ideas about how snoring can be stopped. Now don’t get me wrong: these folks don’t invest millions of dollars in a product that they think is not going to work (or sell, for that matter).

So, let’s jump ahead and propose hypothetically that the Sleep Number 360 does stop your snoring. Great! Fantastic even. The real question, though, is how many people can actually afford the Sleep Number 360. When you look at the snoring mouthpiece market and see that it is rare for a mouthpiece to cost more than $100, and compare it to Sleep Number, which currently runs models anywhere from $1000-3000USD, you can see that this is probably going to be ridiculously unaffordable for all but the richest folks out there.

The key question here for many people will be: Which is more affordable, snoring surgery or the Sleep Number 360? It sounds crazy, but when you consider it is very likely that the costs are similar, maybe it ain’t so bad sticking to a tried and true device that costs less than $125?

Wake Yourself Into Snore-Free Sleep?

So why is snoring a big problem for people? Well, there are certainly a number of reasons, a major one being the fact that snoring frequently coincides with lack of breathing during sleep. Also, if you sleep with a partner, it can be annoying to the extreme and keep your partner up all night, whether he or she has a snoring problem or not! This is bad for you, of course, but definitely worse for your relationship.

However, one of the main issues that people find tough with snoring and sleep apnea is a lack of sleep. A lack of sustained, restful, full-blown, relaxed sleep. The kind where the dreams are strong and restful. The real reason for good sleep, after all.

The consequences of missing out on this kind of quality sleep can be killer for a lot of people, and result in lost productivity, moodiness and not to mention total lack of energy during the day. It’s enough that people frequently look to snoring mouthpieces like this one to calm their snoring and ensure a solid bunch of winks.

A Chinese company called VVFly, meanwhile, has a different way of tackling snoring: instead of attacking the issue at the core like a mouthpiece, they have a device called the Snore Circle that actually “transmits beeps and vibrations into a snorer’s ear to stop snoring when it detects it.” It’s an interesting approach, for sure:

The CEO, Johnson Luo, who is also a snorer, said that the device doesn’t wake the snorer up, but just irritates the snorer enough to change position and stop snoring. The beeps and vibrations sent by the device vary in 54 forms according to the seriousness of the snoring.

According to the article on Forbes.com, the massively different customer experiences may be par for the course with this device:

Professor Li Taoping, director of the Respiratory and Sleep Research Center at Guangzhou Southern Medical University, said that snoring results from various causes, such as having narrower air passages, being overweight or out of shape, use of certain medicines, excessive drinking or smoking, and sleeping in poor positions. As a result, different methods and tools have varying influence on different people. That is why the users of Snore Circle have such different experiences from the device.

Now, this is certainly a device that we wouldn’t recommend (especially because it never really addresses the initial or main cause of snoring), but that’s OK, as it’s only available in Mainland China at this point. But, there does seem to be one very interesting and frankly, useful reason to consider the Snore Circle:

What is also special about the Snore Circle is that it has Bluetooth that can send data to its mobile app, also of the same name, which can track and record one’s sleeping quality and snoring reduction.

So the power of a sleep lab in a Bluetooth device? Why yes, friends. Very, very cool. Cool enough, apparently, that the company as of this writing has already raised over $250,000 on funding site IndieGoGo to potentially get the product to more people.

So is the Snore Circle a stunning snore-killer like we’ve never seen before? Er, probably not. And the idea of “slightly bothering” the snorer perhaps up to a hundred times per night doesn’t exactly sound like an experience most of us would like to be a part of.

But, in our eyes, what makes the Snore Circle so interesting is the fact that it uses your smart phone to track exactly how your snoring patterns work. Like a sleep lab in an earpiece’s clothing, if it actually works as stated.

And that may be well worth the money for many folks.

Dispelling Some Sleep Myths With Professional Help!

There are a lot of myths about virtually everything – let’s face it, when you live in a world where “fake news” is not only more popular, but more believed than real news, you’re going to get some fake-outs. But in the world of sleep, there are always ways to second guess. Am I getting enough sleep? Is my health destroying my sleep? And it goes on from there.

sleep-mythsThere are some simple truths, however, and a key one is that we all need a good amount of sleep to survive. For most people, that means anywhere from 6-8 hours of sleep per night. This is the same kind of sleep that can be easily interrupted by snoring, which is why many people may be overestimating the sheer amount of sleep they’re actually receiving.

But, leave it up to this Fortune Article to go all Myth-Busters on sleep:

If you can’t recall your dreams, you’re not sleeping deeply. Not true. It’s normal not to remember your dreams, but most likely you are still having dream sleep otherwise known as REM (“rapid eye movement”) sleep every night. In fact, most people remember their dreams only because they may be waking up frequently in the middle of the night (from disorders such as sleep apnea) or because they were in the last stage of sleep when the alarm went off.

Frankly, I’d never heard of this one before. But there you go… the folks behind the fake news sites must be cooking away in their fake sleep lab with this one. Not as bad as this one:

You can’t have sleep apnea if you’re not fat. Not true. Sleep apnea may be related to being obese, but it can also be found in children and thin adults. Facial bone structure related to a small upper airway also contributes to sleep apnea. Physicians who diagnose and treat sleep disorders look for signs such as a small jaw, a recessed chin, teeth crowding, small nasal passages or a deviated septum (which means the thin wall between the nasal passages is displaced to one side).

Yep, that one is a bit of a shocker. It’s important to remember that snoring usually comes from your jaw and epiglottis region, and has nothing to do with obesity at all. That’s why mouthpieces like the Good Morning Snore Solution are in such popular demand by our readers. While obesity does mean the likelihood that you snore is much higher because it’s also likely you have more movable fat cells in your neck and throat region, it certainly isn’t a guarantee, either. No matter your body shape, you’re at risk of obstructive sleep apnea – whether you like it or not.

You can make up for lost weeknight sleep on the weekend. Not true. While you may be able to work off some sleep debt by sleeping more on the weekends, such sleep deprivation during the work week and binge sleeping on the weekends can contribute to insomnia. It disrupts circadian rhythms and makes it hard to fall and stay asleep. It’s best to set the same wake time seven days a week and get into bed when you’re feeling sleepy.

This one is interesting as well. My wife is a big proponent of this one, and I frankly can’t wait to show it to her. Sleep daily, folks, and you’ll be much better off than if you think that you can somehow “catch up”.

Alcohol helps you sleep better. Not true. A nightcap before bed may calm you down and make it easier to fall asleep, but it tends to disrupt the quality of sleep. The depressant effects of alcohol may wear off in the middle of the night, increasing nighttime awakenings. Alcohol also reduces REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and increases sleep-disordered breathing, which may lead to even more nighttime awakenings. And for some people, it can induce gastroesophageal reflux, which can cause discomfort and awakening.

About this one, all I can say is I find it all a bit hilarious. Apparently the myth-meister that started shilling this one has never come by my bedside after a couple of good whiskies!
See the rest of these myths at http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2016/11/30/a-bakers-dozen-important-facts-about-sleep-and-sleep-disorders/, and learn a little something.

Remember that checking a couple of sources, especially when it comes to health decisions, is ALWAYS a great idea. There is never a need to diagnose yourself with a dire fatal illness when a second source might dispel that kind of madness.

And remember also: worrying causes a ton of stress. Stress can make sleeping difficult. So don’t believe everything you read, OK?

Back To School Sleep: What You Need to Know

studentIt’s almost that time of year again. Soon campuses across the country will be abuzz with new students and old students alike. For many, this is their first time on their own without parents to tell them what to do and when to do it. Many students relish the ability to throw a schedule out the window and taste that freedom that comes with being in charge of all your choices. While there is still some structure to their lives like when classes are held or when the meal hall is open, there are a lot of things that were once monitored that no longer seem important. Doing laundry, showering, and sleeping are three major tasks that fall to the wayside.

This can be a major problem.  Not just because there will be thousands of smelly kids trying to figure out how to write that final paper just like the professor wants but because a lack of proper sleep can be devastating to the mind and body:

This month, millions of teenagers across the country will make the transition from high school to college. And between living in a new environment and the new-found freedom to attend parties and other late-night activities, getting enough sleep can be a challenge, and even a health risk, experts say.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not getting enough sleep can even contribute to chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and depression.

‘Regular sleep is essential for your physical and mental health,’ wrote Dr. Carmen Burrell, medical director of the West Virginia University Student Health Service, in an email to the Gazette-Mail. ‘The current recommendation is seven to nine hours of sleep a night, which is not achieved by a large percentage of the population.’

According to a 2009 study, 43.7 percent of people aged 18 to 25 surveyed reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once during the previous month. About 5 percent of people the same age reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving.

Dr. Imran Khawaja, a professor of internal medicine at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, said a lack of sleep can cause people to have a lack of attention, poor motivation and memory that can negatively affect a student’s grades.

To get enough sleep, Khawaja recommends that students make a fixed sleep schedule for themselves and stick to it. They should set a fixed time to go to sleep and to wake up in the morning, he said.

Burrell agreed.

‘Good sleep hygiene can start with a simple nighttime routine to wind down,’ she wrote.

People should keep their cell phones, laptops and other electronics away from their bed when they’re trying to sleep. Looking at bright screens can keep people awake much the same way that bright light keeps a person awake in the day time, Khawaja said.

Via: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/news-health/20160808/sleep-essential-for-college-students-physical-mental-health#sthash.LPpEiWjF.dpuf

In order to keep performing at peak mental and physical health sleep cannot be ignored. The problem comes when you have millions of teenagers that have to learn how to manage their own schedules for the first time in their lives. It’s not an easy process and some schools will have workshops and clinics on time management. It’s very important that new students take advantage of this. When school is done and they’re out in the working world their poor sleep habits may be harder to change. If they can nip it in the bud now, they should be doing everything they can to manage this very real, almost grown up, problem.

Suicidal Thoughts and Sleep Problems: A Deadly Combination

depressionHave you ever wondered what happens while you sleep? It’s simple really: your brain cells replenish, your body grows and your mental state resets for the day ahead. There are recommended hours of sleep for specific age groups for a reason. The younger you are the more your body needs to develop and therefore the more sleep you need. Ignoring your sleep, like most teenagers and young adults do, can impact your health in ways you probably haven’t thought about before.

There are various disorders that can affect your sleep like insomnia, sleep apnea and snoring but did you know sleeplessness can severely impact those suffering from depression? Depression on it’s own can be a debilitating illness. Couple that with sleeplessness and you’re facing a huge wall:

The link between sleep problems and suicidal thoughts and behaviors is made starkly clear in new research from The University of Manchester, published in the BMJ Open.

In this study, conducted by researchers from the University’s School of Health Sciences alongside the University of Oxford, 18 participants were interviewed about the role sleep problems have on suicidal tendencies.

Three inter-related pathways to suicidal thoughts were identified arising from sleep problems. The first was that being awake at night heightened the risks of suicidal thoughts and attempts, which in part was seen as a consequence of the lack of help or resources available at night.

Secondly, the research found that a prolonged failure to achieve a good night’s sleep made life harder for respondents, adding to depression, as well as increasing negative thinking, attention difficulties and inactivity.

Finally, respondents said sleep acted as an alternative to suicide, providing an escape from their problems. However, the desire to use sleep as an avoidance tactic led to increased day time sleeping which in turn caused disturbed sleeping patterns – reinforcing the first two pathways.

Via: http://www.news-medical.net/news/20160824/Night-time-sleep-problems-increase-risk-of-suicidal-thoughts-and-attempts.aspx

If you or someone you know suffers from depression you are most likely painfully aware of how difficult it can be to lead a normal life. There are plenty of treatments available, with or without medication, that can make depression manageable. But it’s difficult to completely get rid of it. When your enemy is your own mind it’s very difficult to win the war.

When you can’t sleep, you can’t quiet your mind. The dark thoughts tend to plague you in the night when you’re defenseless. Human beings are not meant to be nocturnal. We’re meant to sleep in the night and be productive in the day. Failure to adhere to this causes disruptions in our sleep patterns and makes it difficult to function as a member of society.

That is not to say that those who work strictly at night aren’t productive. Those who work during the night tend to sleep during the day for the recommended number of hours they are supposed to be getting. That’s completely different than someone who sporadically sleeps during the day in order to recover from the loss of sleep during the night.

Those who suffer from depression need to make sure they are sleeping properly. It may help to keep a sleep journal and log the amount of time, and when, they are actually sleeping and take it to their health care provider. If their sleep is too fragmented their health care provider can suggest other ways to obtain a consistent amount of sleep. What is the underlying sleep problem? Does the patient suffer from sleep apnea or snoring? There are simple ways to manage those disorders. The more information you can bring in with you to a medical appointment the better your health care provider can help you.

Let’s all try to get the best sleep we can to keep the dark thoughts at bay.

How Much Sleep is Actually Enough?

sleeplessDepending on what stage of life you’re at you might be thinking that it’s not a big deal if you sacrifice your sleep to get ahead in life. Sure, you can live on four hours of sleep a night so that you can make sure you watch all the episodes of that popular show on Netflix or work the three jobs to afford your fancy car. Our minds like to tell us all kinds of things and sometimes we shouldn’t listen to them. Is your brain a medical professional? Probably not. You might like to think you are because of your personal connections or what you read online but unless you went through grueling medical school, you probably aren’t a doctor or nurse.

There is a reason we’ve been told we need no less than eight hours of sleep. It’s not just a random magical number; it serves a purpose.

Humans need sleep just as much as they need food or water. Sleep is an indicator of overall health and well-being. The amount of sleep one needs depends on a number of factors like age, quality of sleep, previous sleep deprivation, etc.

Most people accumulate what is called “sleep debt” wherein people try to make up for sleep lost during the week during the weekends. But that doesn’t really work. In fact, getting as little as three to four hours of sleep a night is as bad as pulling an all-nighter. Staying up for 24 hours straight and then driving is like driving with a blood-alcohol content that is considered legally drunk in all 50 states.

Shortage of sleep can be blamed for nearly 100,000 traffic accidents, 76,000 injuries, and 1,500 deaths every year. So how much sleep do you need?

The National Sleep Foundation in 2015 came out with a study that recommends different amounts of sleep based on age. The study had 18 researchers comb through 320 research articles to come to its current “sleep time duration recommendations.”

Children aged six and above need at least nine to 11 hours of sleep and teenagers need eight to ten hours of sleep. Seven hours of sleep should do for some but sleeping for over 11 hours a day can cause health issues. But some teens may need some extra sleep during puberty.

Via: http://www.medicaldaily.com/whats-minimal-amount-sleep-we-need-stay-healthy-395429

It’s important to eat a balanced meal and it’s important to drink plenty of water. Just like these basics that have been drilled into us since our youth, sleep is something that is required to have a healthy life. It does get harder as we get older and various stressors come into our lives. Demanding jobs, young children or pets that require a lot of attention tend to eat into our sleep time.

You are the master of your body and it’s up to you to make sure that your temple is in great shape. As much as you schedule in your weekly workout or that coffee date with the guy/girl next door, you need to make sure that you get proper sleep or you’ll pass out into your latté which will probably end your dating chances for a while.

So draw yourself a nice lavender bubble-bath after dinner and try to leave the list of chores and to-dos out of your brain until you’ve had a nice soak. Have a warm cup of tea or milk before you head to slumber land and give yourself the appropriate time to nod off before your alarm screams in your ear.

Sleeping Before Dusk Can Cause Heart Danger

clockSurely you remember the prime of your youth: staying up until 3am working on that final paper for your course or playing video games until midnight. As we get older our bedtimes tend to creep ever forward. We have more stresses in our lives and therefore need more time to recuperate from the long days we sludge through. But having an early bedtime could be a massive warning sign, especially for men:

Men who want an early night could be showing a warning sign of heart problems, medics have warned.

A study of 2,400 adults found that among men, bed times were significantly earlier among those suffering from high blood pressure.

On average, those with the condition – one of the key risks for heart disease – retired for the night 18 minutes earlier than those without it.

And once they got to bed, those with high blood pressure were significantly more likely to spent the night tossing and turning, the Japanese study found. 

Researchers said the desire to turn in early could be a clue to health problems which might otherwise be missed.

While early nights were linked with higher blood pressure, getting more sleep was unlikely to do anything to help the condition, they cautioned. 

Despite going to bed earlier, those with high blood pressure managed no more sleep overall – and scored significantly worse in tools used to measure the quality of slumber. 

On average, those with high blood pressure – also called hypertension – scored 5.3 in assessments, where a score of five or more indicted poor sleep quality. 

Among those with normal blood pressure, the score was 4.7, according to the study findings, presented at the European Society of Cardiology, in Rome.

Lead researcher Dr Nobuo Sasaki, from Hiroshima University, said: “Early bed times were associated with hypertension independent of anything else.”

Via: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/31/early-bed-time-could-be-warning-sign-for-heart-problems-in-men/

It’s very important to listen to your body. Is it strained? Is it weak? Is it tired? If your body is trying to tell you something you might not be listening close enough. As we age, we start ignoring what our bodies try to tell us in favour of what our minds tell us we can and cannot do. There will come a point in your life where eating an entire large pepperoni pizza on your own is going to cause serious gastrointestinal problems. Sure, you might have been able to pack a whole pizza away in your twenties, but maybe now you’re in your forties and pizza is not your friend.

The same can be said for sleep. Are you really so tired that a 7pm bedtime is appealing? What kind of work do you do? If you don’t do anything overly physically taxing and your commute isn’t that long, wanting to hit the hay so soon after supper is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong.

Make an appointment with your medical professional about a sleep study. Remember, we’re supposed to have a full physical at least once a year, possibly more often if you have other health concerns. Sleep is a wonderful thing and lying around in bed every once in a while isn’t really a bad thing. But we’re not teenagers any more. Staying up late and sleeping in until lunch is only going to cause problems, not solve them.

Don’t put off what important concerns and make sure that you address them right away. Chances are if you want to sleep that early, and actually do, you might not be getting the restful sleep you want. This is only going to create more concerns. It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee, my friends.

 

Can A CPAP Machine Do It All?

CpapSleep is a precious commodity that we all need in order to survive. During sleep is when our bodies grow, our brain cells replenish and our emotions reset. Regardless of age everyone needs to get a good night’s sleep. There is a reason that children need to sleep more when they’re very young: they’re growing and without sleep those little bodies can’t get much bigger.

Even as adults if we neglect to get a proper sleep we can wake up feeling restless, irritated and just downright cranky. This will impact our daily lives in various ways. But what if you can’t get sleep? There are those who suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea and snoring. Suffering from a sleep disorder impacts your sleep. Either you can’t sleep or you can’t get quality sleep. Both are detrimental to your physical and emotional health.

When you have sleep apnea you actually stop breathing several times a night. Certainly, this is obviously very concerning and the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine was designed to blow continuous bursts of oxygen into the sleepers airways in order to keep them breathing through the night. Complicated and expensive, yes, especially when compared with something as simple as the ZQuiet mouthpiece (http://snoringmouthpiecereview.org/zquiet). But can CPAP machines do more than help with sleep apnea?

An international study led by Australian sleep specialists has shown machines designed to help people with sleep apnoea do not reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, but significantly improve quality of life.

The study of more than 2,700 sleep apnoea sufferers with cardiovascular disease estimated 25 per cent of middle-aged men and 10 per cent of middle-aged women suffer from sleep apnoea.

The Sleep Apnoea Cardiovascular Endpoints (SAVE) study monitored sleep apnoea patients with a pre-existing vascular disease over four years in 89 hospitals in Australia, New Zealand, India, the US, Spain and Brazil.

Researchers were looking at whether a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine would prevent major cardiovascular events including heart attack and stroke.

Irishman David Cahoon emigrated to Australia more than a decade ago after undergoing heart bypass surgery in the UK in 1994.

“I’ve always been a terrible snorer,” Mr Cahoon told the ABC.

In England he had been prescribed a rubber mouthpiece designed to hold his jaw forward at night to reduce his snoring, but until he came to Australia he did not realise he had sleep apnoea.

Early testing at the Flinders University Sleep Lab in Adelaide indicated Mr Cahoon’s breathing was being interrupted 53 times an hour while he slept.

Most days Mr Cahoon found it difficult to stay awake.

Via: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-28/cpap-machines-do-not-reduce-risk-of-heart-attack-or-stroke/7792624

Now that researchers know what a CPAP machine can’t do, they can focus on addressing those concerns. There is no doubt that the CPAP improves quality of sleep which in turns leads to a better quality of life. A better quality of life leads to a better outlook for the future and allows us to be more positive and productive in our everyday lives. You never thought that sleep could be so important, did you?

While it may be disappointing to learn about the shortcomings of the CPAP machine, it just gives researchers more drive to find a better solution to such an important problem. Perhaps an addition to the CPAP machine will address the issues with heart disease or maybe a new medication will do the trick. When it comes to research the disappointments are just as important as the discoveries: they can all lead to a solution. You can rest easy knowing that there are people hard at work trying to find out how to keep you healthy and hale, during your states of consciousness and unconsciousness.

The More You Know: Sleep Edition

We all remember that bright star and following rainbow that would dance across our screens, and interrupt our cartoons, when a public service announcement was played on NBC. Even now as adults we probably sing the little jingle in our head when we learn something new. Education is a positive experience, no matter what the moreyou’re learning about. People are starting to be more proactive about their health and are genuinely interested in finding out the reasons why something is happening to them. This leads to increased visits to their medical professionals and a Google search engine that is nearing the point of exhaustion.

You should never be ashamed to want to learn more about your health; especially if you suspect you may suffer from sleep disorders. These conditions are not widely discussed and often people who snore are used to demonstrate a joke or poked for a good laugh.  Your health is a serious matter and you should never be ashamed to learn more about it:

Sleep-disordered breathing is a problem that should not be taken lightly. In addition to leaving you feeling groggy during the day, untreated sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea can lead to several other health problems, including high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Effective treatments such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy and oral appliance therapy are available to treat obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused when the tongue and soft palate collapse onto the back of the throat during sleep, blocking the upper airway. The traditional treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is CPAP therapy, which consists of wearing a mask hooked up to a constantly-running machine that provides air to patients while they sleep, helping to keep the airway open. Patients can find the treatment to be uncomfortable and cumbersome, and up to 50 percent of patients do not continue to use CPAP treatment long-term.

An alternative to this treatment is oral appliance therapy. Custom-fit by a dentist knowledgeable in dental sleep medicine, this treatment – which uses a mouth-guard like device to hold the jaw forward and keep the airway open – is easy to use and quieter than CPAP.

Getting in the Head of a Snorer
Researchers are finding that a major obstacle to treating sleep apnea actually lies in the mind – and not the bed – of the patient. In a new study presented in June at the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine's (AADSM) 25th Anniversary Meeting, researchers discovered that a key to helping patients adhere to their sleep apnea treatment plan could lie in convincing the patient of the real and long-term effects of the disease if left untreated.

The study from Columbia University asked 80 people if they adhere to their oral appliance therapy. Fifty-eight patients responded that they are adherent to treatment, and 22 responded that they no longer use their oral appliance. Of these 22 respondents, 10 were not using any treatment at all.

Via: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/harold-a-smith-dds/research-reveals-that-inc_b_11392504.html

It’s about time we stopped laughing at Uncle Jeff who snores so loudly on the couch after Thanksgiving dinner he rattles the windows. He may be suffering from a serious health condition which could lead to even more serious complications. No one wants their loved ones to be ill or to suffer. It’s important to learn about sleep disorders, their causes, and what you can do to combat them. The more people that are educated the more information can be shared and potential risks identified.