Tag: healthy sleep

Obstructive Sleep Apnea 101: What You Need To Know About It

We are more familiar now with the sleep disorder that is sleep apnea. It is the most common diagnosed sleep disorder in sleep clinics and affects a great majority of the population wherever you are in the world. We know that we need sleep to function normally throughout the day but there are times when sleeping at night is easier said than done. Some people don’t have any problem drifting off to sleep once they hit the sack but there are also those who dread bedtime either because of sleeping difficulties or a snoring partner.

Snoring is the characteristic symptom of sleep apnea. While it is often annoying to sleep beside snorers, it is also a cause of concern as snoring is a serious sign of breathing issues. It has even been discovered that the heart of people who suffer from sleep apnea also temporarily stops beating when they sleep (which can be aided with this: https://snoringmouthpiecereview.org/snorerx). This condition is no laughing matter and requires immediate medical attention or risk not being able to wake up the following day.

If you stop breathing while you’re sleeping, you may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea affects over 18 million adults and can take three forms. The first is called central sleep apnea, which is where the brain fails to notify the muscles to control breathing. This type of sleep apnea is less common and does not cause snoring. The second kind of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the soft tissue of the throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway, resulting in snoring. Finally, the third form is called complex sleep apnea and is a combination of the two previous forms.

(Via: http://www.belmarrahealth.com/stop-breathing-sleeping-affect-body/)

Imagine how scary it is to find out that your life is in this much danger because of snoring. Not only you and your partner lose precious sleep and predispose you to other deadly diseases but the thought of your breathing and heart stopping in your slumber can send shivers down your spine.

He said: “Yes. It is estimated that five per cent of the adult population in the UK it  that is 1.5 million. 

“Of those, more than 600,000 will have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnoea which can be a serious threat to health. 

“Undiagnosed, it can lead to excessive tiredness, interfering with a person’s ability to carry out complex functions like driving a motorcycle, car, truck or bus, flying a plane, driving a train or tram or operating machinery.” 

If you have obstructive sleep apnoea which affects your ability to drive safely or obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome you must notify the DVLA. 

You could be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t tell DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving and you may be prosecuted if you are involved in an accident as a result.

Obstructive sleep apnoea can also lead to high blood pressure, irritability, under performance at work, diabetes, depression, extreme mood swings and other health problems.

(Via: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/743409/sleep-apnoea-definition-symptoms-apnea)

We now know what sleep apnea is:

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes you to stop and start breathing repeatedly throughout the night. For most people, sleep apnea is caused by “some sort of obstruction in airflow in the back of the throat which blocks air from getting into the lungs as you sleep,” Joseph Ojile, M.D., medical director of the Clayton Sleep Institute, tells SELF. This could be due to large tonsils, congested sinuses, or a variety of other factors. In rare cases, it can be caused by a problem in signaling, so that your brain doesn’t send the message to breathe correctly.

And the health risks involved:

Untreated sleep apnea can, over the years, contribute to chronic disease like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, so getting a proper diagnosis is important for your long-term health. Here are the top symptoms of sleep apnea you need to know.

Here are the common sleep apnea symptoms to watch out for:

  1. You’re exhausted all day despite getting plenty of sleep.

  2. You wake up with headaches.

  3. You wake yourself up gasping or choking.

  4. Your bed partner says you snore, choke, gasp—or stop breathing—when you sleep.

  5. You have high blood pressure.

  6. You experience heart palpitations, “fluttering” in your chest, or your heart is pounding for no apparent reason.

  7. You have high blood sugar.

  8. You have insomnia.

  9. Your mood is all over the place.

(Via: http://www.self.com/story/9-signs-you-might-have-sleep-apnea)

While it remains to be a serious health issue, there are different sleep apnea treatments and managements to choose from, so you can sleep soundly once again. It does not always have to be CPAP for all. There are more anti-snoring devices like https://snoringmouthpiecereview.org/zquiet that you can choose from like anti-snoring mouthpieces and mouthguards that are more convenient to use and provide the same benefits as other traditional treatments.

It is not the end of the world if you have sleep apnea. Many people are also diagnosed with it and many have managed to overcome it for good. Technology – although a major distraction in itself – has provided us with effective and affordable snoring solutions that fit most lifestyles. You can sleep soundly at night knowing you can possibly beat sleep apnea and get the sleep your body needs and deserves.

Hello Sleep: Bedroom Tech for Everyone

A downside to any wearable device that can help you track your sleep is that many of them are uncomfortable. Comfort is of the essence when you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep and having something bulky on your wrist or something wrapped around your head isn’t necessarily going to make things any better for you. Comfort is one of the biggest challenges that all sleep aids face. Mouthpieces are being made in different sizes with softer materials and wearables are getting thinner and lighter. Sleep monitoring gadgets are everywhere. What if you didn’t have to strap something your your body to find out how you’re sleeping or if you need to do anything to adjust your sleep posture? With this clip on your pillow and an interesting glowing ball on your nightstand, you can:

James Proud is a man on a mission to fix our sleep. This one-time recipient of Peter Thiel’s “skip-college-and-build-things-instead” fellowship is convinced that building gadgets for the home is the best way to improve our lives through tech. And improving sleep, he’s sure, is the place to start.

His company, Hello, makes the Sense, a glowing orb that pairs with a clip that you attach to your pillow and connects with a phone app. The system monitors the conditions in your bedroom and charts them so that, over time, you get a better handle on what helps you improve your sleep.

Proud’s sleep tracker is one of the latest devices to tackle what the Centers for Disease Control has declared a “public health problem”: insufficient sleep. Others have gotten into the act, including Fitbit, Apple and its “bedtime” feature, and many other apps. The desire for us to get better sleep is so great that sleep tech even has its own section at the tech industry’s CES trade show this year, for the first time in the show’s 25-year history.

But Proud envisions something different for Hello. “When looking at all of the wearables, we saw that people were fascinated with their sleep. But for all of these wearable devices, it was tacked on,” he said. “So we said, let’s focus on that foundation. We have to go further than what you would do with a wearable device, and find out what’s going on in the room.”

Sense gives you more information than just the number of hours you spend in bed. Besides tracking your room’s conditions, the orb half of the system doubles as a white noise machine and glowing alarm clock. The latest model can even take voice commands that will let you control the smart lights in your bedroom or lower the thermostat.

Via: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20161231/business/161239926/

Here we’ve got technology that is minimal on the invasiveness. Take this technology, add the VitalSleep mouthpiece to it (see a VitalSleep Review here), and your sleep apnea is bound to get under control. While it will bring your phone back into the bedroom, you get more information than just what you, as a person, are doing. By checking out the entire sleeping environment a picture is painted in it’s entirety. Maybe your room is too hot or cold, maybe there is a noise that happens at 3am that slightly wakes you up that you never noticed before. Compiling all the information in an easy to read format is one way to get your sleep concerns in one place. What you do with the information is up to you.

How Smart Is Your Bed?

Snoring is one of those issues that plagues more people than you probably realize. In fact, you may snore yourself and just not know it! If you sleep alone you probably are in the dark on any potential snoring issues. When there’s no one there to stab you in the side because you’re keeping them awake, it’s hard to see you have an issue. There are several causes, and treatments, for snoring. Some of the major causes are being overweight, smoking or drinking heavily before bed, stress and plain old muscle relaxation. You can exercise, scale back on bad habits and do yoga to reduce your stress but it’s a bit hard to combat muscles relaxing. Unless you have super control of your muscles. Then that’s a different story.

When your muscles relax too much your tongue will fall to the back of your throat and the muscles will loosen. This vibration on loose flesh is what causes the sound we’re all to familiar with. Various mouthpieces designed to either push your jaw forward to increase airflow (like: https://snoringmouthpiecereview.org/zquiet) or hold your tongue in place ((like: https://snoringmouthpiecereview.org/good-morning-snore-solution)can assist with this issue.

But what else can you do?

As our houses get smarter and smarter technology is slowly creeping into the bedroom:

After a full day of meetings at CES 2017, I noticed a few trends that could bubble up beyond some of the bigger ones that get a lot of the media’s attention. Roaming around a large hotel ballroom (The Mirage Events Center, actually) during the Pepcom Digital Experience event, I noticed a LOT of individual products, but some of them have coalesced into themes to watch during the year.

Technology hits the bedroom

Humans spend about 1/3 of their life sleeping or trying to sleep, so it’s been interesting to see that products are finally addressing our needs for a better night’s sleep. Companies and products like Smart Nora, the Zeeq Smart Pillow and Sleepace all have different approaches towards alleviating the annoyance of someone snoring (alleviating for the partner, since it probably doesn’t bother you if you’re the snorer). Different approaches are used by some of the products – the Nora device, for example, uses a small device that raises the pillow slightly to get you to move when snoring is detected through its sound sensor. The Zeeq includes speakers (which let you play music to help you get to sleep) that can activate when it detects snoring.

The big company in this space is Sleep Number Bed, which was at the event showing off its new Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed. The entire mattress system includes the anti-snoring approach (the bed adjusts the position when snoring is detected), but also includes a warming feature, biometric sensors and other health data abilities to help customers get their 40 winks in an easier manner.

Via: http://www.networkworld.com/article/3155005/consumer-electronics/ces-2017-early-trends-and-thoughts.html

A bevvy of cold-footed humans are very excited about the warming feature but for snorers, to have a bed that will automatically tilt you to help stop snoring is a great idea. If your bed does it for you there’s no need to stab  your partner in the ribs or be concerned that your snoring is shaking the windows and you don’t know it.

While some people might be hesitant to have technology in their beds, others will see it as progressive. There’s no denying that these are all fantastic ideas, but they are going to cost you a pretty penny. Before you get too wrapped up in the idea of buying a smart bed, maybe you should start saving your nickels and dimes. While it might take you a while to save for it, it’ll be that much sweeter when you can afford it.

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?

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.