Monday, 7 January 2008

Common Sleep Disorder

A few of months ago, I went on a business trip with my colleague. During the trip I came to know a dark secret of my colleague in a hotel room on a hotel bed which gave me 4 sleepless nights by the way we are not sleeping on the same bed just to clarify this. The reason why I can’t sleep was is my roommate was snoring so loud in his sleep!!!! That kept me awake throughout for 4 nights, no matter what methods I use I just can’t stop him from snoring and eventually I have to tolerate with it for the whole trip…. What a great trip!!! Now whenever I go for an overseas trip I will make sure my roommates don’t snore…

Are you a loud habitual snorer? Do you sometimes wakes up in the night with the sensation of choking? Do you experience fatigue and feeling sleepy during working hours?

If your answer is yes to any of the above questions you may be suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a common sleep disorder

In a study performed by the National University of Singapore, the prevalence of snoring was estimated to be 4% for Female and 13% for male. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is more common for male, and obese individual, as well as those with habitual snoring.

How does Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs? It happens when our airways leading to our lungs closes repeatedly during sleep. Each time breathing stops for 10-30 seconds or longer until the airways opens to allow air to flow through. Some patient literately stops breathing hundreds of times each night without any recollection of any episode of breathing stoppages.

The hallmark symptoms of OSA are the following daytime sleepiness, thinking, concentration and decision making ability will be affected, I suspect the reason why Sir Winston Churchill took so much powernaps in the afternoon I guess is because he had a sleep disorder since he is fat. This may not sound very serious, but if OSA is left untreated I have bad news for you, there are consequences and it may lead to the following complications - high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure or shorter life span.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from a sleep disorder may a trip down to the doctor. The doctor will first get to know about your medical and sleep history, and perform a physical examination. Must likely an overnight sleep study in a sleep lab will be recommended. The purpose is usually to confirm the presence of a sleep disorder or to access how severe the problem is.

If OSA is suspected than the doctor will order a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis. It will require an overnight stay in a sleep lab. Usually starts at about 8 or 9pm and last until 6am after than we can return to our daily activities. In the lab monitoring device will be use to monitor patient brain waves, heart rate, eye movements, leg activity as well as chest and stomach movement Airflow from the nose, mouth and oxygen level will be recorded, so the patient will have lots of sensors all over their body.

The most common form of treatment use for sleep disorder is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) where the patient is required to sleep with a mask over the nose.

The mask is connected by flexible tubing to a machine about the size of a shoebox. The CPAP unit will transmits pressurized air through the nose to the throat to open up the airways to enable the patient to breathe normally, without any obstruction. CPAP therapy is usually highly effective if used properly every night. Other form of treatments available includes oral devices or surgery to enlarge the airways. On the other hand the best treatment available is no other than prevention, by living a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise, and eating the right food we can prevent sleep disorder from happening.

Last by not least I am glad to be able to share all this information with you and hope it will benefit you in some ways. If you need more information about sleep disorder you can logon to this website:

All these information didn’t really bother me until recently my parents have been complaining that, I have been snoring really loud in the night.

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