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Do You Have Sleep Apnea?

By Expert HERWriter
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Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder in which those affected actually stop breathing for a few seconds throughout the night. Commonly told they snore or gasp for air, those with sleep apnea usually wake up fatigued, with a morning headache, have mood swings/feel depressed, memory difficulties, or feel exhausted throughout the day from the poor sleep quality and lack of oxygen. It’s thought that nearly 20 million Americans are affected however 80 to 90 percent are undiagnosed and untreated properly with a sleep study.

The risk for having sleep apnea rises with obesity, large neck circumference (16 inches in women, 17 inches in men), age, alcohol consumption and smoking.

In general, sleep apnea greatly increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, arrhythmias (irregular heart beat) and diabetes. Those with diabetes or borderline diabetes have up to three times the risk for obstructive apnea. There is a 30 percent higher risk of heart attack as well.

The April 8 American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine showed that sleep apnea more than doubles the risk of stroke in men. Five thousand four hundred middle aged men with no history of stroke took part of in a sleep heart health study. Researchers found that even mild sleep apnea had a greater risk of stroke and that risk increased as the severity of apnea increased.

If you suspect you have sleep apnea or someone close to you has it, talk with your healthcare provider about having a sleep study done. This overnight test could save your life. Also called a Polysonogram, this test requires you to stay overnight at a sleep center so your nighttime patterns can be monitored. They will note your brain activity, eye movement, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, heart rate and rhythm, breathing rate and rhythm, body movements, airflow through your mouth and nose, and chest movements.

Having sleep apnea corrected can make a huge impact in your life. Imagine waking up with energy, no headaches, no sleepiness, and in a good mood. When you get enough sleep and enough oxygen (hello!), your whole body is happy. Don’t suffer another night!

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EmpowHER Guest

There really is a better way to deal with sleep apnea than CPAP or surgery. I spent 4 years studying sleep apnea and I believe that the root cause is due to the attenuation of the signal from the brain to the diaphragm muscles when the sleeper enters stage II sleep. This un-intended side-effect of the "reduction of muscle tonus" that occurs during this transition causes breathing to stop. Then, when the CO2 level gets too high, the sleeper makes a rapid inhalation DRAGGING the soft tissue into the airway, obstructing it and waking them up. The reduction of the signal from the brain is causing the problem.
So... I found this herbal combination product that INCREASES the signal and keeps the breathing going. This addresses the root cause so you don’t make a rapid inhalation and drag the sagging tissues into the airway. The stuff is called Sleep Apnea Relief and I buy it from Nature's Rite. I've been using it for 4 years and it is really great. So you don't have to use CPAP. I just wanted to let you know.

April 15, 2010 - 8:55am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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