04 January 2011

CPAP Therapy Reduces Fatigue

This is so true. Like many others reported in this study, I can attest to the correctness of this. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy does wonders for feeling rested when waking in the morning.

The study reported in the January issue of the journal SLEEP provides the evidence of these reports. The study shows that in three weeks of CPAP therapy does significantly reduce fatigue and increases the energy in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

I have a problem with the number of people that have sleep apnea that do nothing to improve their situation. Many do not even know they have the problem. So if you are always tired during waking hours, you should talk to your doctor or sleep medicine physician to see if you have sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is common, even if you are unaware it is happening. When you pause in breathing, called an apnea, this can last for a few seconds to even more than a minute. These apneas can occur from five times to over 100 times in an hour. Thus in a night's sleep you can have hundreds of apneas. Each apnea causes the brain to arouse people to resume breathing. This in turn causes sleep to be extremely fragmented and of poor quality. This unrestful sleep results in day time fatigue.  Your body needs restful sleep to function proficiently.

Unless your spouse or sleep partner notices these apneas and gasps for air as you resume breathing, they can go unreported and undetected for several years. With approximately 18 million Americans undiagnosed as reported by the National Institute of Health, the US has about one in 15 people suffering from sleep apnea.

OSA, is the most common type and affects about 90% of total sufferers. It can impact one's daily routine and be fatal in some instances. Untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes. Sleep apnea can put you at risk for Type 2 diabetes.

With the improvements in CPAP equipment and accessories, everyone that may have sleep apnea should be tested in a sleep study to determine if they have sleep apnea. I have written about this in other blogs and the types of equipment. See blog 1, blog 2, blog 3, and blog 4.

Also read about the study here and here. Also read about sleep apnea here.

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