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Could It Be Sleep Apnoea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Obstructive Sleep Apnoea - is a serious sleep disorder that interrupts your sleep hundreds of times during the night

If you snore - and it’s loud snoring - please keep reading.

Have you ever woken up gasping - as if you can’t breathe?

Do you have difficulty concentrating at work every day? So drowsy you can barely get work done? 

If these ring true, it’s a good possibility you have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). This is a serious sleep disorder that interrupts your sleep hundreds of times during the night.

Heavy-set men are most likely to develop OSA. During the night, the breathing pauses repeatedly as the upper airway becomes obstructed. Before these pauses, there will be a gasping or choking sound. At this point, the brain is reacting to the oxygen drop -- which wakes you up for just a moment. Scientists say this typically happens 100 or more times every hour.

Your body tries to drift into deeper sleep, but the pattern starts again -- pauses in snoring, then gasping/choking. You won’t realise this is happening; your body will merely return to lighter sleep -- which means you wake up feeling very tired -- as if you’ve had no sleep at all.

OSA robs you of the restorative sleep your body and brain require for optimal health and peak performance. When you suffer from OSA, your career, your life, and your enjoyment will suffer, too.

Health Risks of Sleep Apnoea

You’re at risk for serious health problems if you have OSA. That’s why it is critical to take this condition seriously. If you ignore your symptoms, you can increase your risk for:

  1. High blood pressure. It’s worse when you have sleep apnoea. The frequent awakenings at night put stress on your body -- which increases blood pressure. When oxygen levels in your blood drop (because you can’t breathe well) this aggravates the blood pressure problem.
  2. Heart disease. You’re at higher risk of heart attacks.
  3. Type 2 diabetes. You’re also more likely to develop diabetes.
  4. Weight gain. You’re more likely to crave high-carb foods, due to lack of sleep. This raises risk of obesity -- which raises your risk for both diabetes AND sleep apnoea.
  5. Road accidents. You’re at higher danger of falling asleep whilst driving -- 5x higher risk due to the drowsiness you’re trying to fight.  

Here’s the good news: treatment can make a difference. When you get treatment for sleep apnoea, you will sleep better at night and get the rest you need. Your blood pressure and other risk factors can improve when sleep apnoea is treated.

You must also make the effort to slim down, but if you’re getting adequate sleep, that will be easier -- as you won’t require extra food for energy, a hazard when you’re exhausted all the time.

Visit this site to learn more about the Home Sleep Test for Sleep Apnoea: https://www.cpap.co.uk/shop/home-sleep-apnoea-test.html

Sleep Apnoea Testing: The First Step

You will need medical testing to diagnose the condition. This list of questions provides a few insights to help you know if you should get that medical testing:

  • Do you wake from sleep with a choking sound or gasping for breath?
  • Has your bed partner noticed this pattern in your sleep at night?
  • Do you have morning headaches?
  • Are you sleepy during the day?
  • Do you have trouble concentrating at work?
  • Are you overweight?
  • Do you have a large neck?
  • Do you have any of these conditions?
    • Heart disease
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • Depression
    • Atrial fibrillation

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to most of these questions, please take the next step. Learn more about a Sleep Test you can do at home, to see if you should visit a doctor for treatment. Your responses show you are at high risk for OSA.

Next Step: At-home sleep test

You can take this initial screening test -- called Overnight Oximetry -- at home in your own bed. You will use a machine that measures the oxygen in your blood and your heart rate. The machine is connected to a simple device you will wear while you sleep for one or two nights.  

Visit this site to learn more about the Intus Healthcare Home Sleep Test for Sleep Apnoea: https://www.cpap.co.uk/shop/home-sleep-apnoea-test.html

With the Intus test, you will get the testing machine & apparatus delivered to your doorstep within days. There’s no waiting, so it’s become more popular than the NHS sleep test. Your test results will be analysed by trained NHS physiologists who will advise you whether you need further testing for sleep apnoea.

You’ll be quickly on your way to getting solutions (instead of waiting weeks to get the NHS testing apparatus)!

Third Step: Sleep centre test

If your home test indicates possible OSA, you will likely be referred to a local sleep centre for further testing. The sleep specialist will ask for your medical history and your symptoms. Your height, weight, and neck circumference will be measured. This will help the specialists know if you are obese, which is a risk factor for sleep apnoea.

The sleep specialists will then arrange for your sleep to be assessed overnight in the sleep centre. Keep in mind that this is an important step to getting the answers you need -- and the solution to your sleep problem.

Just think how much your life will improve when you get a full night of restorative sleep. You’ll feel human again! Imagine waking up feeling great instead of exhausted. You’ll be ready to enjoy your life, and better able to work a full day. Your life will get back on track when you’ve gotten treatment for OSA!

Here’s another link to learn about the Intus Healthcare At-Home Sleep Test:  https://www.cpap.co.uk/shop/home-sleep-apnoea-test.html


Author: Helen Clarkson

About author: Helen Clarkson is a Sleep Specialist at Baywater Healthcare. Ms. Clarkson has worked with Baywater since 2008, working closely with patients in delivering sleep/bi-level services including sleep and respiratory, both in the home and clinic setting. This includes therapy initiation and troubleshooting support. Ms. Clarkson is responsible for delivering the Baywater Healthcare patient adherence management programme to ensure continuing patient therapy compliance. works in conjunction with NHS clinicians and procurement to deliver excellence in home and clinic-based services. She provides training on all aspects of sleep including devices and interfaces. Previously, Ms. Clarkson served as Respiratory Physiologist at Pontefract General Infirmary. Her position was Senior MTO for lung function/sleep department, and she was responsible for performing simple and complex sleep studies, sleep study analysis, CPAP initiation, therapy adherence and troubleshooting/service clinics, spirometry, lung volumes and transfer factor, reversibility, CPET, hyperventilation testing, EIA testing, skin prick testing, 6 min walk tests. She has also held roles as Respiratory Physiologist and Respiratory Technician, working closely with patients with respiratory disorders -- including ex-miners. Ms. Clarkson has a BSc (Honors) in Applied biology from University of Staffordshire. She also studied Developments in Sleep Medicine (advanced course) at St. Thomas’ Hospital, and took the Edinburgh Sleep Medicine course. She completed the BSS: Advanced sleep course and the ARTP NIV Course.

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