Sleep Apnea can cause what…?

At this point we know that there are numerous things that can cause sleep apnea, and that sleep apnea can cause numerous other conditions as well. With as much as I have learned about this disease – for a lack of a better word – what I have recently discovered is the most surprising; there have been a few different studies that have linked sleep apnea to cancer.

While the research linking sleep apnea to cancer is not as pronounced as the link between sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease, it is most definitely something to take under advisement and treat said condition.

There have been two different studies conducted – one in Spain and the other in Wisconsin. Both studies followed a number of patients that suffer from breathing issues, like sleep apnea. The results from the study conducted in Spain showed that about 65% of the patients who suffered from the most severe form of sleep apnea were at a higher risk of developing cancer. The study in Wisconsin was conducted among government workers, and the results showed that those with the most breathing abnormalities had five times the risk of dying from cancer compared to their counterparts that do not have any breathing abnormalities. There was no specific type of cancer linked, they study was a general observation of the link between sleep apnea and cancer.

Renowned scientists have said that more research is needed when linking the two together – something more sustainable. However, there have been a few animal studies that have shown some connection between low-oxygen environments (similar to what someone with sleep apnea would experience throughout the night while sleeping) and the progression of cancerous cells at a rapid pace. Another study conducted at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health found that “the more severe a person’s breathing problems at night, the greater likelihood of dying from cancer.”

As if not wanting to get a solids night sleep was not enough, I would think that this is would be the deciding factor to see your physician concerning your possible sleep apnea symptoms. I know in this day and age a new study is done every other day linking everyday, simple things to cancer. Most people I know choose to ignore said studies, but this one is not something that we should ignore.

Find out more about the studies here: https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/20/sleep-apnea-tied-to-increased-cancer-risk/

Hello, Spring!

Winter has come and now it is gone. While I do love hauling out my winter wardrobe from the depths of my closet (I mean way back in the back of my closet because do we even winter in Houston!?), not having to make an excuse for wearing a dark smoky eye, and the seasonal drinks at Starbucks I would much rather it be nice and warm because I am from the south and I wouldn’t have it any other way no matter how much I might complain about it being too warm. So who’s happy that spring has finally arrived? This girl!

Spring means longer, warmer days filled with lots of sunshine! I am looking forward to walks in the parks, trips to the beach, and actually spending time outside. The only thing that I do not look forward to with the beginning of spring is all the pollen… And the allergies…

If you are a CPAP user AND suffer from allergies, well, buddy, I feel sorry for you. You, my friend, are in for a rough few months. Here are a few suggestions that may help relieve the torture that are you doing to experience:

• Create a schedule for replacement supplies. Yes, you sleep inside the comfort of your home, not outdoors where the pollen and other allegiants are lurking, but once you’re exposed for the day there is no going back. Do yourself a favor and replace your cushions/pillow and filters every two week like you are recommended to do. It is solely for your benefit.
• Consider using a full face mask if you aren’t already doing so. Nasal masks during this time of the year is not a good idea because with all the sneezing and excess snot that you will be carrying around. You don’t want all of that on the inside of your cushion/pillow, am I right? Yes, I am, so do yourself a favor, and go on ahead and get that full face mask.
• I’m sure you already do this, and I don’t have to say it, but just for the heck of it… keep your environment clean. Dust and tidy, your bedroom especially, your home. This will allow for you to be in a clean setting, which will allow for less sneezing and irritation.

So while spring will bring many new and exciting things, there is always one thing that we expect. However, with a little combative planning, we can prepare for the worst of it and be able to enjoy the best of it.

Check out our website for all your CPAP needs – www.cpapoffice.com

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia

Insomnia, in simple terms, can be defined as not being able to sleep. The medical definition, according to the National Sleep Foundation, is “difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even with a person has the chance to do so.”

Insomnia is a major problem facing many Americans today. About one in four women show signs of insomnia, and one in seven adults suffer from long- term (chronic) insomnia. There are some who rely on natural sleep remedies such as a diffuser with calming scents to induce sleep, and others rely on prescription medications to help them fall asleep and stay asleep. And then there are some that try an alternative form of ‘therapy’ – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia or CBT-I for short.

CBT-I, according to the National Institute of Health, “is a safe and effective means of managing chronic insomnia and its effects.” The way CBT-I works is similar to seeing a therapist. You go in and speak with a clinician and go through a number of assessments. You will keep a sleep diary, it should track if/when you have trouble falling asleep; how many time you wake up throughout the night; and when you get into bed to actually go to sleep and when you wake up to begin your day, which you will reference through the sessions with the clinician. Essentially, you are retraining your brain on how and when to sleep.

The first step in CBT-I is known as Sleep Restriction Therapy. This occurs within the first six weeks of CBT-I. You will you utilize your sleep diary throughout this period discussing your results with your clinician. Based on the research that I found, one clinician told his patient not to go to sleep until midnight despite that patient having to wake up early everyday during the work week. The patient reported that she was getting less sleep than before she started CBT-I, however by the end of the sixth week she was finally able to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night.

Other parts of the CBT-I process are known as Stimulus Control Instructions and Sleep Hygiene Education. “Stimulus Control Instructions are created by looking at the patient’s sleep habits and pinpointing different actions that may be prohibiting sleep,” says the National Sleep Foundation. The answer for this is quite simple – no eating or watching TV in the bedroom. Anything other then sleep should not take place in the bedroom. If you find yourself wide awake and unable to sleep, it is advised that you leave your bedroom – this will help train your mind and body. Sleep Hygiene Education involves learning about the do’s and do not’s of sleep like sleeping in cool, dark room is the most ideal thing to do, and avoid caffeine, alcohol or heavy meals near bedtime.

There is much more to CBT-I then what we have discussed today. It is a long process, but with some time and continued effort, I think the results will be very promising.

New but a little familiar too

Is it just me that gets pretty hype whenever there is a new product launch in the CPAP world? I don’t use a CPAP, although depending on whom you ask they might tell you I should, but I can’t help but get excited for y’all CPAP users when something new comes out for y’all to try. I’m pretty much like a kid in a candy store for a lack of a better metaphor. That being said, you can imagine my excitement when I learned that ResMed was launching a new mask.

The N30i is the newest mask introduced to the ResMed line. The design is quite similar to Respironics’ Dreamwear mask. The frame is made of soft silicone material and is designed to cover less of your face; it sits right above the cheek bones, similar to a nasal cradle or cannula, to hold the cushions that will sit under the nose. It also allows for easy airflow throughout the night no matter what position the patient is sleeping in. There is a top-of-the-head tube design, again, similar to that of the Dreamwear mask, which allows ease of use for the patient through the night.

The top-of-the-head tube design allows you to sleep closer to your significant other without anything really getting in the way. At least, that’s what the website says. The website also mentions the mask is within the same sound rage as other nasal masks, but users have reported little to no noise at all. Another great feature, although this is nothing new to ResMed products, is the quick-release elbow connection via the tubing; it makes getting up in the middle of the night easier as patient will not have to not take of the entire mask, rather they just have to disconnect their tubing.

As of now, patients who have tried to mask seem to really like it. The cushion comes in four different sizes: small, medium, small wide and wide, and the frame comes in a small and a standard sizing. Thus far, the N30i seems to be very promising. If I were using a CPAP of some type, this is definitely something I would want to try ASAP!

You can find more information on the mask on our website – www.cpapoffice.com

Sleep8

Whoever came up with the phrase ‘the bigger the better’ obviously did not have CPAP machines and supplies in mind. We live a life of luxury and want things as convenient as possible; in this case, that means, we want to be able to breathe (hence the CPAP machine), but we don’t want to lug around some big bulky machine. We want something small and travel friendly. And heaven forbid, we actually have to lift a finger and clean the darn thing ourselves. Rather, we want a machine to do all the work for us, and of course, that too, needs to be small and travel friendly. Well, friends, I have the answer to your problems: the sleep8 machine.

The Sleep8 kills more than 99% of bacteria that can lead to mold, sinus issues, and upper respiratory infections. It is easy to use, with just one click one a button, you are good to go, and it was designed with silence in mind. Along with that, the Sleep8 is the smallest sanitizing machine on the market. It is comprised of three components – the machine, the sanitizing bag, and the power cord. The machine itself can fit in your hand, so traveling with it will not be an issue as it will take up a limited amount of space. The bag can be folded to take up less space, again, for your convenience.

The unit is easy to use. Simply unzip the bag and turn it inside out to find the round valve on the inside. You are going to want to connect your tubing to that valve. Your tubing, mask, and water chamber will be inserted into the bag before sealing the bag shut and connecting it to the device. Please note that all items should be completely dry before inserting into the bag. Once the bag is connected to the device, press start on the machine, and viola, your work is done. Your supplies will be sanitized in a matter of minuets.

Of course, you should still replace your supplies on a regular schedule like you would with any other sanitizing machine. The Sleep8 machine only sanitizes after all, it does not perform miracles and cannot prevent ware and tear. Sleep8 also advises to wait a few minutes after the sanitation process is complete before opening the bag to remove your supplies. The machine uses ozone to sanitize your supplies, so please be mindful of that before opening the bag! They do advise of a “smell” right after the process is completed – comparing it to that smell right after a heavy rainstorm… okay?

Patients who have already uses the Sleep8 machine have raved about it. They seem to really like and want others to get in on the experience as well.

Find more information here on how to use the Sleep8 machine.

Purchase the product here.

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