Friday, January 22, 2010

Getting A Good Night’s Sleep…part two…

I blogged about sleep apnea yesterday  (please read the first post before this one) and today I’m continuing  with more information about it. I covered the symptoms and some causes of sleep apnea so now I’ll write about the treatment.

I knew that I had sleep apnea because I often would wake up struggling to breathe. Some people don’t awaken when they quit breathing and the body automatically sends a message to the brain that it needs to breathe…NOW…



Every blog post needs flowers…

According to the Mayo Clinic… 

Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition. Complications may include:

  • Cardiovascular problems. Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) can be up to two to three times greater than if you don't. The more severe your sleep apnea, the greater the risk of high blood pressure. If there's underlying heart disease, these multiple episodes of low blood oxygen (hypoxia or hypoxemia) can lead to sudden death from a cardiac event.

    In contrast, central sleep apnea usually is the result, rather than the cause, of heart disease.

    Obstructive sleep apnea also increases the risk of stroke, regardless of whether you have high blood pressure.

To get the help you need --if you think you have sleep apnea--talk to your doctor or dentist. They should be able to refer you to a sleep clinic or a doctor who specializes in sleep problems. Educate yourself!!!  Ten years ago when I started seeking help for my sleep problem I went to at least five different kinds of doctors to get my diagnosis and treatment. Each one of the doctors agreed that I had apnea but had no way of referring me to a sleep clinic. In one case I couldn’t get the sleep clinic to return my call to schedule a sleep study. This past summer I had my second sleep study and my nurse practitioner scheduled everything without any problems. Things have certainly gotten a lot easier in a decade. Be your own advocate if you think you have apnea in order to get the help you need.

Sleep-deprived partners. Loud snoring can keep those around you from getting good rest and eventually disrupt your relationships. It's not uncommon for a partner to go to another room, or even on another floor of the house, to be able to sleep. Many bed partners of people who snore are sleep deprived as well. (Mayo Clinic)

The CPAP…Mayo Clinic…

  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). If you have moderate to severe sleep apnea, you may benefit from a machine that delivers air pressure through a mask placed over your nose while you sleep. With CPAP (SEE-pap), the air pressure is somewhat greater than that of the surrounding air, and is just enough to keep your upper airway passages open, preventing apnea and snoring.

    Although CPAP is a preferred method of treating sleep apnea, some people find it cumbersome or uncomfortable. With some practice, most people learn to adjust the tension of the straps to obtain a comfortable and secure fit. You may need to try more than one type of mask to find one that's comfortable. Some people benefit from also using a humidifier along with their CPAP system.

    Don't just stop using the CPAP machine if you experience problems. Check with your doctor to see what modifications can be made to make you more comfortable. Additionally, contact your doctor if you are still snoring despite treatment or begin snoring again. If your weight changes, the pressure settings may need to be adjusted.


The CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) is very quiet…mine has a water reservoir that humidifies the air that I breathe…


This is the mask…


The hoses swivel …while the mask stays in place …


The inside of my facial mask…it just fits around my nose…


  1. I am so glad that you have found something to help you! When did you find out that this is what you had? This seems to be more discussed as of late...but in the past i can recall hearing about it at all.

  2. I knew there were things to help those with Sleep Apnea, Becky. Glad you have some relief.

    Thanks for all of the great info.

  3. Good for you! So glad you find relief. Sleep apnea is a scary thing!

  4. I'm happy you found something that helps you, sugar!

  5. do ya kinda feel like darth vader while wearing it?

    i think you'll feel so much better, being able to sleep and getting a good nights rest, ready and refreshed in the morning!

  6. I use a nasal cannula and don't have that much difficulty with it - though, sometimes in the night, I will take it off! I've been using mine for about a year now. Last visit I had to Sleepquest where they checked the data from my machine, they said my periods of apnea had been reduced about 50% which is good, I think!

  7. I'm glad you were able to get relief from the sleep apnea. I'm also glad you posted this two-part series about a problem that is often unrecognized.

  8. Oh, Becky! I'm so glad you found this to help you. My son has sleep apnea and he has the same setup. It has really helped him.
    Now, as my sweet little Asian friend would say - Becky, YOU too funny! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  9. Often wonder what people did before they invented this machine. Seems like every doctor is pushing this contraption lately or else I am of the age that we all need them:) Hubby snores and keeps me up all night and swears he is not snoring. I keep telling him he should get himself checked for this condition and possibly needs a machine. He says he is too young and that makes me laugh since we are the same age:)

  10. More good info. Thanks for spreading the word.

  11. Becky I had never heard of this treatment before, thank you for sharing! I hope you are getting all the rest you need. We need our energy to take care of our little four footed helpers!!! xoxoxox

  12. PS - LOVE those sunflowers and Zoe's little picture zooming through the leaves....



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Tennessee, South, United States
Intense...the best description of living and loving life that I know...without intensity, life is mediocre and without definition...