You may have been told many times over to take your vitamins as a kid. But as it turns out, this advice may be more important than you’d think – especially if you have obstructive sleep apnea.
For obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) sufferers, a vitamin deficiency can compound an already troublesome issue with your sleep in more ways than one, depending on the individual, as well as the specific vitamin.
Take a closer look at how vitamin deficiencies can affect your OSA, and what you can do to reverse any impacts.
How Vitamin Deficiencies Can Affect Your Sleep Apnea
A number of recent studies has found that a lack of Vitamin D can increase a person’s risk for obstructive sleep apnea. And it can actually make current cases of OSA noticeably more severe.
Luckily, there is good news. Corresponding research has also found that treating obstructive sleep apnea can go a long way in increasing the amount of Vitamin D that your body is able to retain, naturally diminishing the deficiency.
People who have obstructive sleep apnea tend to have lower levels of Vitamin E. This can exacerbate an existing snoring and sleeping problem. This is because an influx in Vitamin E can actually help improve nighttime breathing, as well as the severity of obstructive sleep apnea in individuals.
A lack of vitamin C will not only harm your immune system, but it can increase your snoring while affecting your ability to breathe through the night.
Conversely, a combination of Vitamin C and Vitamin E has been shown to reduce episodes of apnea, making it easier to sleep soundly.
This all-encompassing vitamin has a big role when it comes to sleep.
Not only does it aid in immune system function and cognitive health, but it also helps with melatonin and serotonin production.
As such, a deficiency in Vitamin B6 for sleep apnea sufferers can lead to a noticeably higher risk of depression and other mood disorders. This is because both OSA and a lack of Vitamin B6 have been linked to changes in mood and depression. And the two issues combined can enhance this risk significantly.
Vitamin B12 is helpful in regulating sleep cycles, ensuring that people can fall and stay asleep throughout the night. And several studies have linked a lack of Vitamin B12 to a heightened risk of insomnia.
As such, it’s especially dangerous for OSA sufferers to have a Vitamin B12 deficiency. This is because their already poor quality sleep will diminish even further.
What to do if you think you have OSA, a vitamin deficiency, or both.
The best thing that you can do if you’re concerned with a vitamin deficiency or obstructive sleep apnea is to talk to your doctor.
In addition, take an at-home sleep test. Your doctor will be able to recommend vitamin supplements as needed. Meanwhile, a convenient at-home test can help you identify issues with your sleep in just one night’s time.
Addressing a vitamin deficiency as well as sleep apnea is essential. And it’s because the two problems can be so inherently linked. So take care of your sleep – and take your vitamins – to continually feel at your best.
Not sure how to determine if you have sleep apnea or what steps to take?Contact us to see how we can help.
Once you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), finding a treatment that is convenient, comfortable, and that works with your busy lifestyle is key. Your treatment is essential for mitigating the many risk factors to your health and your ability to sleep well. And once you know you have OSA, treatment is the only option to improve the quality of your rest.
But what if you aren’t one of the estimated 22 million Americans with this common condition?
Are there steps you can take to prevent developing OSA in the future?
The answer, essentially, is that it depends.
While there are some factors that are simply hereditary and which will inherently increase your risk of developing this condition, there are others that can be altered to reduce your likelihood of having OSA in the future.
Take a closer look at what you can (and can’t) change to prevent OSA later, and the things that you can do now to reduce your risks.
While there’s no absolute way to permanently prevent obstructive sleep apnea, there are a number of things that individuals can do to mitigate their risks as much as possible. Adopt healthy lifestyle choices, make alterations when it comes to bad habits, and remember to always see a doctor or take an at-home sleep test if you think there’s a problem with your sleep.
Do you suspect sleep apnea in yourself or a loved one? Don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can help you get back to sleeping great and feeling your best.
There are a million products on the market to help combat the effects of aging. From nutritional supplements to wrinkle creams, there’s a quick-fix solution for virtually all aspects of the aging process.
Yet there’s one simple thing that can counteract even the most expensive anti-aging treatments – namely, not sleeping well.
In fact, there are a number of sleeping habits that not only hurt your health and energy levels in the short term, but which can actually speed up the aging process on both a mental and physical level.
Do you want to be at your vibrant best, and even remain young at heart for the long term? Make sure you’re not partaking in these habits which can actually make you look, feel, and even act much older.
Stay Younger By Avoiding These Three Bad Sleep Habits1. Sleeping In
Getting enough sleep is essential for looking and feeling young, (there’s a reason it’s called “beauty sleep” after all). But too much sleep or an irregular sleep schedule can actually reverse these effects, especially when it comes to cognitive functions.
Snoozing past your regular wake-up time can have a negative effect on your memory. And people who sleep for more than 9-10 hours per night actually have a higher risk of progressive diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s compared with folks who sleep an average of 7-9 hours per night.
So enjoy your sleep, but don’t enjoy it too much. Keeping a steady sleep schedule will ensure that your brain and mental capacities are operating at peak performance.
2. Nighttime Interruptions
Do you wake up multiple times per night due to a snoring partner, noisy neighbor, bathroom trips, or other interruptions?
People who have regular interruptions in their sleep have a higher risk of cognitive decline than those who sleep soundly. In addition, they tend to have reduced energy levels and a higher risk of long-term health problems, such as heart disease.
Undiagnosed and untended OSA leads to a much higher risk of heart-related conditions including: heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart attack. And it also leads to a higher risk of cognitive decline via conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Having OSA changes your physical appearance as well. Your body is unable to restore and regenerate cells when your brain is constantly active throughout the night.
Everyone wants to look and feel as young as possible, and with a good night’s rest, this feat is much easier to achieve. So skip the expensive products in the beauty and nutritional aisles, and focus on curbing any bad sleep habits instead.
By focusing on the quality and quantity of your sleep – and taking steps accordingly to curtail any sleep-related issues – you’ll naturally stay and even look young for years to come.
And as OSA becomes more common and more studied across the board, researchers are finding out answers to questions that have lingered about this condition for years.
A Study About Lapses in Breath During Sleep Apnea
In fact, a recent study may have uncovered the answer to a question posed by both doctors and patients alike. The question is: which is worse, shorter or longer interruptions in breathing during sleep?
On the surface, the answer would initially seem to be that longer interruptions are more dangerous. This is because of the immediate danger of going for long periods of time without taking a breath – which would seem to be an obvious concern.
However, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine recently published a new study regarding this query. Its authors found that in the long-term, it’s the shorter pauses in breath that can do the most damage.
The Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at OHSU orchestrated the study, with assistance from colleagues at OHSU and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Why Short Pauses in Breath Are More Deadly
The researchers used a common tool for gauging sleep apnea, a measurement called the apnea hypopnea index. Itdetermines the number of times a patient stops breathing during every hour of sleep. This measurement helps diagnose the severity of OSA across the board, and also helps forecast potential risk for other medical conditions.
Looking at this data, the researchers found that the number of breathing interruptions occurring during sleep is important. But the length of these interruptions is instrumental as well for predicting future health issues.
As it turns out, the researchers found that patients who have the shortest apneas were actually 31% more likely to die during the study’s 10-year timeframe of follow-up than those who had longer interruptions in breath.
The new research is fairly groundbreaking. And it’s also valuable information that will help doctors and researchers better understand this condition in the future.
For one thing, it will help to pinpoint treatment recommendations. For another, it will also encourage patients suffering with OSA to get tested and treated – particularly if they are in the shorter apneas group.
With obstructive sleep apnea, the best way a patient can decrease their risks is to seek treatment as soon as possible. This common condition does not go away on its own. And regular treatment will go a long way in mitigating any potential health issues in the long-term.
We Can Help
Have you been concerned about the quality of your sleep, and have experienced side effects such as loud snoring, morning headaches, or daytime fatigue?
Obstructive sleep apnea is garnering national and international attention, simply because it’s so prevalent. And this prevalence is continually increasing.
A recent study found that in the past two decades alone, the rates of obstructive sleep apnea has increased by 17% in females, and 34% in males. And this increase affects all ages and demographics. Even the younger generation (or adults and children under the age of 20) is seeing a noticeable uptick in this common condition. More kids and teens are being diagnosed with OSA than ever before – a prospect that was almost unheard of just a few decades ago.
So what is contributing to this national increase?
It’s a question both doctors and researchers have examined over the years as the numbers continue to grow. And there are a few key answers as to why obstructive sleep apnea is growing in prevalence, and notoriety.
Three Reasons There Are More OSA Patients Than Before1. Obesity
Obesity is a big factor when it comes to a person’s risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. And as obesity is on the rise across the county, so are the number of cases of OSA.
In fact, more than half of the people who are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea are either obese or overweight. What’s worse, each unit increase in your BMI is associated with a 14% increased risk of developing sleep apnea.
Obesity has been a growing problem for the last several decades, especially in children and young adults. So naturally the uptick in obesity helps to explain the corresponding uptick in obstructive sleep apnea as well.
Stress can have a huge role in the severity of your obstructive sleep apnea and your ability to sleep well. And in our modern age, stress is more prevalent than ever.
A large portion of the population does not get the recommended 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night. Consequently, the production of excess stress hormones can both increase a person’s risk for OSA and make the symptoms more severe.
Another big reason why there is more diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea is simply because of awareness.
OSA has garnered attention by doctors, researchers, and patients across the board, which makes it much easier to identify and diagnose.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can affect workers of all varieties. From the morning commute to projects at the office, coping with OSA (especially undiagnosed) can have a lot of dangerous consequences. It hinders your ability to concentrate and focus during your waking hours. Plus, your daily fatigue can lead to hazardous conditions in the workplace. Worst of all, it could be deadly on the road to and from your job.
This is exactly why the transportation industry takes obstructive sleep apnea seriously. The U.S. Department of Transportation has been toying with the idea of creating rules for evaluating and managing obstructive sleep apnea while on the road over the last several months. And many private companies have their own policies in place to ensure that their staff can do their jobs without OSA-related incidents.
Here’s a closer look at how obstructive sleep apnea affects these professionals who spend their time on the highways, or in the skies.
If You Have These Jobs, You Must Treat Your OSASleep apnea on the road
Studies have found that fatigue is the most common cause of accidents involving truck drivers. And roughly 31% of all fatal truck driver crashes have been linked to excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue.
Another alarming study found that sleep apnea in truckers leads to roughly 1,500 deaths annually, and roughly $15 billion in associated costs for the industry.
This is exactly why more and more trucking companies take obstructive sleep apnea seriously.
A number of companies now regularly screen drivers for OSA, and require treatment if this condition is present. Because the trucking industry also tends to have a higher problem with obesity, (due to mostly sitting behind the wheel), the numbers of OSA cases is also higher. Several researchers have suggested that the number of truck drivers who have OSA is much higher than the national average at 28%. And this is why the problem of sleep apnea and trucking is coming to national attention.
Sleep apnea in the skies
In recent years, the awareness of obstructive sleep apnea has grown. So now, more industries are screening their employees for this potential condition, which includes the Federal Aviation Administration.
In fact, in 2015, the FAA heightened their guidelines for screening pilots and employees for obstructive sleep apnea. Their goal is to catch this condition before it turns into a life-threatening situation.
Today, instead of relying on BMI alone to determine OSA, the FAA uses trained Aviation Medical Examiners to look at more information. They check out more factors such as an individual pilot’s history, symptoms, and physical/clinical findings. Based on these results, the pilot or employee is then diagnosed and treated for OSA so that they can safely and effectively do their job.
With More Attention Come Safer Conditions Both on the Road, and in the Air
This new focus on obstructive sleep apnea in the transportation industry is clearly a good thing. By catching this condition early and treating it as soon as possible, everyone who shares the highway or skies is safer in the end.
And more research is coming out regularly on the dangers of OSA. So there’s reason to hope that fatigue-related accidents can be drastically reduced, leading to a healthier transportation industry overall.
Many health risks can develop as side effects of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In addition to heart problems, lower cognitive function, and depression, we can now add gout to the list of reasons it is so important to test for and treat sleep apnea.
A recent study published in the medical journal, Arthritis & Rheumatology, has found that people who have OSA have a much higher risk of developing gout.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis. It typically develops in people who have high levels of uric acid in the blood. This uric acid can develop spindly crystals in a joint, which leads to sudden and severe episodes of pain in affected areas. It also causes tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling.
Gout usually goes hand in hand with other conditions such as obesity or habitual alcohol use. However, the new study found its connection to moderate or severe cases of OSA as well.
A Study Linking Gout to OSA
Keele University conducted the study in the UK. It focused on the question of whether gout was likely to develop over a long term in folks with obstructive sleep apnea.
To answer this question, the researchers poured over the records of 15,789 patients who were diagnosed with OSA. In addition, they looked at 63,296 patients who did not have the condition. They observed a median time-frame of just under six years, following up with patients across the board.
During these follow-ups, the researchers found that 4.9% of people who had OSA also developed gout. This compared to 2.6% of people without OSA who eventually developed gout.
Over time, the likelihood of OSA sufferers developing gout was determined to be 7.83%. So, this meant that a person with OSA had a 42% increased risk of gout than their non-OSA suffering counterparts.
The researchers also examined if this correlation had anything to do with weight. Both gout and OSA are products of having a higher body mass index (BMI) and obesity. However, the study found that the risk didn’t go up only for people who were classified as obese or overweight. It also went up for people who were at a normal weight.
The good news in the study was that gout was most likely to be a problem within a year or two of the initial diagnosis. In addition, the probability for developing gout was reduced the longer an OSA patient was undergoing treatment.
How You Can Lessen Your Risk For Gout If You Have A Sleeping Problem
Luckily, there are a few things that folks who may have a sleeping condition can do to minimize their risk of developing gout.
Get tested for OSA. The sooner you seek treatment for your sleeping condition, the sooner your risk for developing gout will start to go down.
Change your diet and exercise routine. Both gout and OSA are more prevalent in people who are overweight or obese.
Watch your alcohol take. Alcohol can increase your risk for developing gout. But it can also exacerbate your obstructive sleep apnea, making it more severe and life-threatening.
Above all else, if you think there is a problem with your sleep or your risk for other medical conditions like gout, see a doctor or reach out to a sleep specialist. By addressing a potential problem early, you have a higher likelihood of combatting both conditions for the short term, and in the long run.
Do you wake up feeling groggy all day or with morning headaches? It could be sleep apnea. Contact us today with your questions and concerns.
When it comes to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), there can be a lot of misinformation floating around. This exceptionally common condition affects millions of people around the country, with millions more undiagnosed. So it’s no why wonder so many people don’t have all the information they need for dealing with this life-threatening sleeping disorder.
This is why a recent study reached out to doctors and sleep specialists all across the country to find out what they thought people with OSA should know.
Out of the numerous interviews, here were the top answers from physicians when posed the question:
“What Do You Wish People Knew About OSA?”1. All ages are at risk.
No longer considered the “middle-aged man’s disease,” obstructive sleep apnea can affect people of all ages, races, genders, and lifestyles.
2. It might be the root cause of your psychological disorder.
Sleeping habits and routines can be linked to your mental health, and sleep apnea has been connected to a number of psychological problems, including anxiety and depression. As such, treating your OSA may relieve other symptoms of these mental illnesses as well.
3. Even if you don’t snore, you may still have obstructive sleep apnea.
Snoring is a common indicator of sleep apnea, but it isn’t the only one – especially for younger OSA sufferers and women. So be sure to look for other signs too, such as fatigue and daytime sleepiness, or morning headaches.
4. Sleep aids and alcohol will make your OSA worse.
Both sleep aids and alcohol relax your throat muscles, putting added pressure on your airways. Avoid these substances if you have been diagnosed with OSA, or even if you think you may have a problem with your sleep.
Here are more reasons you want to avoid taking sleep aids when you have OSA.
5. OSA is affecting your heart.
Obstructive sleep apnea has been linked to a wide array of heart problems, from high blood pressure to a drastically increased risk for a heart attack or stroke. As such, OSA should never be ignored, especially where your heart is concerned.
6. There are a number of factors that make your risk higher.
Many doctors attested that they wish patients knew of the risk factors that will increase their chances of developing OSA. These factors prominently included being overweight, having high blood pressure or diabetes, and their age.
7. OSA can cause road accidents
Drowsy driving was responsible for roughly 75,000 deaths last year alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and is a leading cause of accidents on the road. As such, obstructive sleep apnea isn’t just a dangerous condition for you – it’s also dangerous for everyone who is sharing the road.
Drink plenty of water! Water can help reduce the production of thick mucus, which in turn can worsen snoring as well as obstructive sleep apnea. Just don’t drink too much before bedtime. You don’t want trips to the bathroom interrupting the sleep your body needs.
9. Treatment is available, and affordable!
One of the number one items that doctors wished sleep apnea sufferers knew was: treatment was readily available! With modern treatments easy to use and often covered by health insurance, there are tons of help available to make sure OSA doesn’t affect your sleep, your life, or your overall health.
Do you have more questions or concerns about yours or a loved one’s sleep? Contact us here today.
If you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and you haven’t sought treatment, then you likely already know how this condition can affect the way you think. Long periods of sleep deprivation lead to changes in all of our thought processes, from our reaction times to our ability to concentrate. And it’s not unusual to simply feel slower than normal when OSA is a continual issue.
But can the long-term effects of obstructive sleep apnea change your brain?
A new study has found some unsettling news about OSA and how it affects the ability of our brain to conduct business as usual.
A Study to Show the Effects of OSA on the Brain
Professor Sharon Naismith from the University of Sydney, Australia led the study. It focused on a group of roughly 100 patients who were in between the ages of 51 and 88 years old. These patients had visited a physician in recent weeks or months with concerns about their mood or memory. But they had not received an obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis just yet.
Scientists gave each of the patients a test to determine their memory skills, as well as their risk for depression. They also used an MRI brain scan to measure the dimensions of different areas of the brain.
In addition, the researchers looked at their blood oxygen levels, which can be a key indicator of obstructive sleep apnea. Patients who had low levels of oxygen in their bloodstream when they were fast asleep were likely suffering with OSA. Noting this was therefore important for the results.
And as it turns out, the patients who likely had obstructive sleep apnea had issues with their brain as well.
What Happens to Our Brains with OSA
The study found that the people who had reduced levels of oxygen in the blood while they were asleep, (as well as other more noticeable symptoms like snoring), also had an alteration in an area of the brain. This area relates to a person’s ability to retain new information.
Furthermore, these patients also had reduced thickness in the left and right temporal lobes of the brain. This is yet another area that links to memory storage.
The result, the study concluded, is that people with untreated OSA are likely to develop changes in the brain that are very similar to the first stages of dementia. The MRIs of the folks with low blood oxygen levels and MRIs of early onset dementia patients were nearly identical. So not treating OSA can have a long-term impact on your ability to remember new information.
The good news, however, is that the link between OSA and a decrease in memory function does not have to be permanent. The brain, like almost all organs in the human body, can grow, repair itself, and change with time and effort. And treating OSA can help improve a person’s focus, memory, and other cognitive functions.
So if you haven’t been tested or treated yet, and are concerned about your memory or concentration, it’s time to take an important step in regaining your ability to think clearly. With modern treatments for OSA readily available, protecting your memories – and your brain – is easy to achieve.
Problems with blood pressure affect millions of Americans. Stress and diet are often contributing factors to these problems. But there are also other health issues that can harm it.
It’s been well documented that a lack of sleep due to a chronic condition like obstructive sleep apnea can have a huge impact on your heart health.
In fact, researchers conducted a recent study of more than 3,000 adults. They found that individuals who received less than six hours of sleep per night had twice the chances of having a stroke or a heart attack as those who were able to get eight hours of sleep or more.
And when obstructive sleep apnea is present, these risks go up for a myriad of reasons. OSA even contributes to other health issues, which are also linked with the heart (such as obesity). Worse yet, the condition itself can cause a noticeable rise in your blood pressure.
Why Is OSA Connected to High Blood Pressure?How does it work? What happens with your breathing during sleep
Essentially, with obstructive sleep apnea, added pressure on the throat muscles causes a blockage in the airway. This makes it difficult to breathe when you are asleep.
As such, it’s not unusual for people with OSA to:
sleep with an open mouth;
have subsequently loud snores;
noticeably gasp for air while their eyes are closed.
But when this breathing is restricted, other parts of the body are affected as well. Your oxygen levels tend to dip, and these instances are what lead to higher blood pressure.
How oxygen levels and blood pressure are related
As these oxygen levels start to drop while you are asleep, signals are sent to the brain indicating that there is a problem that needs attention.
In response, the brain sends a message to the blood vessels in the body to increase all available oxygen to both the brain and the heart. This is so that the body can continue to function with the interruptions.
This increase in the flow of blood to the brain and body in turn puts added pressures on the walls of the blood vessels. And the end result is that the risk for high blood pressure naturally goes up.
What you can do about high blood pressure if you have OSA
High blood pressure can be the launching point for a myriad of life-threatening heart problems. Therefore it’s essential to get it under control.
Unfortunately, unlike other causes of high blood pressure like a poor diet or obesity, high blood pressure from obstructive sleep apnea will not go away with simple lifestyle changes alone.
Instead, the only way to reduce your high blood pressure as a result of OSA is to treat the sleep apnea itself. Thankfully, there are modern treatments available that are comfortable, easy to wear nightly, travel well, and which are affordable.