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Tired All the Time? You Might Have Sleep Apnea

Do you frequently fall asleep during the day?
Are you tired all the time, even when you get a good night’s sleep?
Have others noticed that you snore or make choking noises when you sleep?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you might have sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Apnea is a medical term that refers to a pause in breathing. Those who suffer with sleep apnea stop breathing 10 to 60 times every hour and those stoppages can last between 10 to 20 seconds.

Sleep apnea is characterized by the upper airways closing off during sleep, causing a brief interruption of breathing and, often, loud snoring. Frequently waking up at night from lack of oxygen can rob you of restful sleep and leave you feeling sluggish, inattentive, and forgetful throughout the day.

Sleep apnea costs the U.S. economy $87 billion a year. Common symptoms include:

• Loud snoring with snorts or gasps
• Periods of not breathing during sleep
• Morning tiredness and/or headaches
• Significant daytime drowsiness
• Attention and/or memory problems
• Mood issues and irritability

What’s particularly harmful about sleep apnea is that when air can’t reach the lungs, it also can’t circulate to the rest of the body, including the brain. Chronic lack of sleep is a serious condition that can lead to an irreversible loss of brain cells. If you have sleep apnea, you could be starving your brain of oxygen and not even know it.

Sleep Apnea Stats:

Sleep apnea affects between 12 to 18 million Americans every year. Sleep apnea doubles your risk for having a stroke and triples your risk of dementia and depression. People who are obese have four times the risk of developing sleep apnea than people who are a normal weight. And sorry guys, men are twice as likely to have sleep apnea as women.

Long-term complications of sleep apnea can include an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and memory problems. Sleep problems also increase your risk of developing psychiatric disorders. Chronic sleep loss can lead to car accidents, poor job performance, low grades in school and higher susceptibility to other mental and physical conditions.

Since missing out on sleep can have a devastating impact on your life, here are 5 ways to avoid the dangers of sleep apnea:

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight increases your chances of developing sleep apnea since fat deposits around the upper airway can obstruct the natural breathing process. One of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight is to eat a diet high in fiber and healthy fats. Also, using adaptogen herbs, such as ginseng and Rhodiola, can help with conditions that lead to weight gain (like thyroid issues, leaky gut and cellular toxicity).

Humidify Your Room

Sleeping with a humidifier in the room has been known to decrease snoring and congestion. Using essential oils in a humidifier, such as eucalyptus oil (which is an active ingredient in Vicks VapoRub), can help to open nasal passages and improve breathing while you sleep.

Avoid Substances

Don’t drink any caffeinated beverages and avoid chocolate, nicotine, and alcohol in the late afternoon and evening. One reason why people get lower-quality sleep after drinking alcohol is that it blocks REM sleep, which is often considered the most restorative type of sleep. With less REM sleep, you’re likely to wake up feeling groggy and unfocused.

Don’t Take Naps

Taking naps is one of the biggest mistakes you can make if you have trouble sleeping. Daytime naps will disrupt your nighttime sleep cycle.

Adjust Your Sleep Position

Sleeping on your back tends to make snoring worse because the tongue slides toward the back of the throat. Sleeping on your side with a pillow that keeps your head slightly elevated is usually recommended to reduce snoring and the symptoms of sleep apnea.

If you aren’t getting enough sleep, or if you’re not feeling refreshed after sleeping, Amen Clinics can help. Our goal is to help you achieve and maintain peaceful sleep without the use of sleeping pills or sedatives. One of the best ways we can improve the quality of your sleep is with brain SPECT imaging.

If you or someone you know is struggling with the effects of sleep apnea, find out how we can help improve the quality of your sleep. Call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit us online to schedule a visit.

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COMMENTS

  1. Bruce McEachern says:

    For the last few years I have not had a good night`s sleep very often. I usually wake up after sleeping for three oe four hours and the I go back to sleep. Even if I get a total of seven hours sleep I do not feel totally rested. Sometimes I fall asleep around 4 PM. It will not be a fifteen minute nap, but more like two hours. I am 68 years old and working 24 hours a week at a Deli. I work 2:30 PM – 11:00 PM.

    Thank-you, for your time.

    Yours
    sincerely,
    Bruce McEachern

    • Amen Clinics says:

      Hello Bruce, thank you for reaching out. Our Care Coordinators are available if you’d like to discuss treatment options for possible sleep disorders or other symptoms you’re experiencing. They can also set up a consultation for you. Please call 888-288-9834 or complete this form on our website – https://www.amenclinics.com/schedule-visit/.

      • Diane H. says:

        I am baffled as to how a trip to the Amen Clinics can help with a medical condition like sleep apnea. If you think you might have sleep apnea, you need to see a sleep doctor, not a psychiatrist! It’s not a mental disorder. I have severe obstructive sleep apnea (SOSA), and the treatment for me is a CPAP machine, which completely eliminates my sleep apnea and snoring while I use it; same goes for my brother. The suggestions in this article above are just general recommendations for good sleep, and will do nothing to treat actual sleep apnea. Once properly diagnosed (following a sleep study), it can only be treated by using a CPAP machine (the most common treatment) or surgery (less common, usually less successful, and more risky). And, just for the record, my sleep apnea is not caused by being overweight, and neither is my brother’s. It’s just the way our airways are constructed, so we’ve both had it since birth, but were only recently diagnosed, and we’re both in our 50s. Thank goodness we finally got diagnosed and treated! I know the CPAP machines are literally saving our lives, and have hugely improved the quality of our lives.

        • JM says:

          Hi Diane,

          From my experience, I having been doing neurofeedback at a site in Michigan that is not affiliated with the Amen Group. I had been told that I would stop breathing during the night. After 30 sessions of neurofeedback, I was able to wake up without being exhausted, less anxiety, and no longer stop breathing in the middle of the night.

          J. M.

    • how can spect imaging help? says:

      I am not sure how spect imaging can help sleep apnea. Can you explain?

  2. Dennis says:

    Sleep apnea can be the most frustrating condition for anyone looking to get a decent night of sleep. My partner has been suffering from sleep apnea for years, and because of the loud noises he makes throughout the night, I end up sharing the lack of sleep with him, and have been struggling to find a solution. I often have to use my wireless headphone macbook accessory just to try and dull the loud sounds he produces, and get some sleep. I’ll be sure to show him this list and discuss, so maybe we could find a solution that works for the both of us.

    • Dee says:

      Nothing wrong with separate bedrooms. Lots of couples do. A good night’s sleep is important.

    • Diane H. says:

      Has your partner seen a sleep doctor and had an overnight sleep study? That’s the only way to properly diagnose sleep apnea. The most common treatment is a CPAP machine, which eliminates sleep apnea and snoring. I have sleep apnea, and that’s what I use, and it has completely improved my life 100%, and my boyfriend’s sleep as well. 🙂

  3. Linda says:

    I live in Canada and not able to
    visit a clinic…what is the second best way to get help…I dont sleep well and am up 2 to 3 times a night…I also think I have adrenal fatigue…as I carry my extra weight in the stomach area. Thank you.

    • Amen Clinics says:

      Hello Linda, our Care Coordinators are able to offer referrals for you of practices that utilize The Amen Clinics Method closer to your area. They can also offer treatment options and determine if a SPECT scan is a good starting point. You can reach our Care Coordinators at 949-266-3715 or by completing this form – https://www.amenclinics.com/schedule-visit/.

  4. Ted Behr says:

    I am puzzled by your not suggesting that someone who thinks they have sleep apnea should see their doctor and have a sleep study. You don’t even mention a CPAP machine as a treatment for sleep apnea.

  5. Anne says:

    I am also curious about why you say to contact your clinic – what are the treatment options you refer to, besides a CPAP machine, and the sleeping positions/weight concerns you mention?

  6. Sue Ellen Liss says:

    I agree with Ted. Not mentioning a medical sleep study and use of a CPAP machine is irresponsible!

  7. Paul says:

    My younger brother had to have surgery for his sleep apnea several years ago and is doing well. According to our wives we were both the same. A few years later, I removed wheat from my diet and within days showed improvement. A life long sufferer, I remember waking up choking when I was twelve. Nothing was found wrong and it improved to tolerable limits. In addition I have improved night vision, foot pain is gone although there is still numbness, brain is more active and my prostate is back to normal. My brother has not had those improvements. My point here is that a medical sleep study only indicates a problem, not the cause and the likely outcome is going to be CPAP or surgery or you are normal. At 63 I was sleeping one or two hours then getting up for your choice: stopped breathing, to pee, heartburn. So it turned out the wheat was poisoning me. Later I added vitamins and mineral supplements but the real improvement was in giving up wheat. Three years later my health is returning to better than twenty years ago.

  8. Catherine Santini says:

    My husband has been diagnosed with idiopathic hypersombalance. His brain wakes him up periodically throughout the night. I emailed your clinic and was told A) you do not deal with sleep issues and B) we can go through your brain scan process to see if the condition improves. I asked specifically if you had dealt with this issue before. No answer. Very disappointed in the response. My husband is really suffering with no sleep and the sleep doctors have an endless supply of drugs to “try”. Can you give me any advice about who to call?

    Thank you.

  9. Diane H. says:

    I have sleep apnea and I use a CPAP machine, and the same goes for my brother. If you think you or someone you love has sleep apnea, then you need to go to a sleep doctor (a neurologist who specializes in sleep disorders) right away and have a sleep study done, and get a CPAP machine if it turns out you need one. Don’t fool around, and don’t wait! Sleep apnea can be a killer. It contributed to my mom’s early death from stroke, and it nearly killed my brother with heart problems! I too was very surprised that this article made no mention of having a sleep study done, and made no mention of CPAP machines. The suggestions offered might help with mild sleep apnea, but anything above that needs serious medical attention. And, you need an evaluation first — an overnight sleep study, to find out the type(s) and severity of your apnea, if you have it. Using my CPAP machine eliminates the sleep apnea (and snoring) completely while I am using it, and I feel 100% better, and so does my brother. It has made a world of difference.

  10. Joan Pennings says:

    Why do you not mention a sleep study?
    My CPAP saved my life.
    J.

  11. Sally says:

    I only had an ‘at home’ test with an Oximeter clipped to my forefinger overnight to test oxygen levels & revealed Severe Sleep Apnea – seems to be better when I am able to tolerate the CPAP mask all night.

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