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Can’t Sleep?

If you can’t sleep, you may be wondering if you have insomnia. Insomnia is a complicated condition. What is the definition of insomnia? According to guidelines from a physician group, insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when a person has the chance to do so. People with insomnia can feel dissatisfied with their sleep and usually experience one or more of the following symptoms: fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and decreased performance in work or at school.

How long does insomnia last? Insomnia may be characterized based on its duration. Acute insomnia is brief and often happens because of life circumstances (for example, when you can’t fall asleep the night before an exam or after receiving stressful or bad news). Many people may have experienced this type of passing sleep disruption, and it tends to resolve without any treatment.

Chronic insomnia is disrupted sleep that occurs at least three nights per week and lasts at least three months. Chronic insomnia disorders can have many causes. Changes in the environment, unhealthy sleep habits, shift work, other clinical disorders, and certain medications could lead to a long-term pattern of insufficient sleep. People with chronic insomnia may benefit from some form of treatment to help them get back to healthy sleep patterns. Chronic insomnia can be co morbid, meaning it is linked to another medical or psychiatric issue, although sometimes it’s difficult to understand this cause and effect relationship.

People with insomnia tend to have difficulty falling asleep (onset), staying asleep (maintenance), and/or they wake up too early in the morning. Treatment for insomnia can include behavioral, psychological, medical components or some combination thereof. You and your doctor will need to talk about your particular situation and history of insomnia, as well as its causes, to decide on the best treatment plan.

What are some facts about insomnia? Insomnia is a common sleep problem for adults. The National Institutes of Health estimates that roughly 30 percent of the general population complains of sleep disruption.

Insomnia is a common problem encountered in family medicine that causes significant morbidity for patients. A survey of Canadian adults found that 40.2% met at least one symptom of insomnia, 13.4% met all criteria and 13% had consulted a healthcare provider for sleep difficulties at least once in their lifetime. Patients with insomnia have daytime fatigue, increased physical discomfort and increased psychological distress.

Patients with Chronic Insomnia have an increased risk of major depression, anxiety and substance use disorders. Chronic insomnia often has a bi-directional relationship with co morbid chronic disease including chronic pain and mental illness. Treating insomnia can provide relief to the direct symptoms of insomnia but also improve the suffering from co morbid disease.

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Why Sleep Apnea is Dangerous.

Why Obstructive Sleep apnea is dangerous.

There are seven health problems linked to Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

High blood pressure:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea can contribute to high blood pressure in people who have it.

Frequent night time waking that plague people with Sleep Apnea  cause hormonal systems to go into overdrive, which results in high blood pressure levels at night. A CPAP Machine may be an option.

Low blood-oxygen levels, caused by the cut off of oxygen, may also contribute to hypertension in people with Sleep Apnea.

Some good news … some people with high blood pressure who are treated for Sleep Apnea can cut back on their blood pressure medications. CPAP Machines may help in this area.

Heart disease:  

People with Obstructive Sleep Apnea are more likely to suffer heart attacks and even die in the middle of the night. The causes may be low oxygen or the stress of waking up often during sleep.

Stroke and atrial fibrillation: 

A problem with the rhythm of the heartbeat is also associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The disrupted oxygen flow caused by Sleep Apnea makes it hard for your brain to regulate the flow of blood in arteries and the brain itself.

Type 2 diabetes:

Sleep Apnea is very common among people with type 2 diabetes – up to 80% of diabetics have some obstructive Sleep Apnea. Obesity is a common risk factor for both disorders. Although studies haven’t shown a clear link between Sleep Apnea  alone and type 2 diabetes, sleep deprivation can cause insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. A CPAP Machine may help.

Weight gain:

Adding weight raises your risk of Sleep Apnea, with up to two-thirds of people with Sleep Apnea severely overweight. Obstructive Sleep Apnea can often be cured if you lose enough weight, but that can be tough to do. Being overweight causes fatty deposits in the neck that block breathing at night. In turn, Sleep Apnea impairs the body’s endocrine systems, causing the release of the hormone ghrelin, which makes you crave carbohydrates and sweets. Also, people with Sleep Apnea who are tired and sleepy all the time may have a lower metabolism, which can also contribute to weight gain. Getting treatment for Sleep Apnea (CPAP Machine) can make you feel better, with more energy for exercise and other activities.

Adult asthma:

Although the link to Obstructive Sleep Apnea is not proven, people who are treated may find they have fewer asthma attacks. Acid reflux:

There’s no proof that Sleep Apnea causes acid reflux, persistent heartburn, but many people complain of acid reflux, and treating it seems to improve Sleep Apnea symptoms, say sleep physicians.

Car accidents:

Daytime tiredness can put people with Sleep Apnea at increased risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. People with Sleep Apnea are up to five times more likely than normal sleepers to have traffic accidents. A CPAP Machine may give you more restful sleep.