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Sound Slumber Through Sleep Apnea Solutions

Last updated: March 6, 2024

If you experience daytime sleepiness or have been told you snore, it can be easy to dismiss these symptoms as nothing serious. In reality, though, they may indicate sleep apnea, a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.

According to the American Medical Association, about 30 million people in the United States have sleep apnea, but only 6 million are diagnosed with the condition.

This March, we mark National Sleep Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of quality sleep and its profound impact on health and well-being.

Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining physical, mental, and emotional health, and yet it often gets overlooked in our fast-paced lives. ThedaCare At Home invites you to join in honoring National Sleep Month by prioritizing your sleep health, including finding effective treatment for sleep apnea.

“Getting a good night’s sleep is something we all yearn for when we hit the pillow every night,” says Kathryn Weiher, Manager of Respiratory Services for ThedaCare At Home. “For those with sleep apnea, they often don’t realize what a ‘good night’s sleep’ can feel like until they are successfully treated.”

Importance of Sleep Health

Quality sleep is not a luxury. Instead, it’s a fundamental necessity for optimal functioning. Unfortunately, many people struggle with sleep-related issues, ranging from occasional insomnia to chronic sleep disorders like sleep apnea. Sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality can lead to many health problems, including:

  • Impaired cognitive functioning and memory retention
  • Increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and hypertension
  • Weakened immune system and susceptibility to illnesses
  • Mood disturbances such as depression and anxiety
  • Weight gain and metabolic disorders

Understanding Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. These interruptions can occur multiple times per hour, disrupting the sleep cycle and leading to fragmented, poor-quality sleep.

Sleep apnea can occur at any age, but risk increases with age. It happens in both genders, but it’s more common in men. Obesity also increases the risk for developing the condition.

Sleep apnea symptoms include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Observed episodes of stopped breathing during sleep
  • Waking during the night and gasping or choking
  • Awakening in the morning with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Morning headaches
  • Trouble focusing during the day
  • Mood changes
  • High blood pressure

One of the most effective treatments for obstructive sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. It involves using a CPAP machine, which delivers a steady stream of air through a mask worn over the nose and/or mouth during sleep. This continuous air pressure keeps the airway open, preventing the collapse of tissues in the throat that causes sleep apnea episodes.

By maintaining unobstructed breathing throughout the night, CPAP therapy restores normal sleep patterns and alleviates the symptoms associated with sleep apnea.

Benefits of CPAP Therapy

  • Improved sleep quality: CPAP therapy helps people with sleep apnea achieve deeper, more restorative sleep, leading to increased daytime alertness and vitality.
  • Reduced health risks: By effectively treating sleep apnea, CPAP therapy lowers the risk of developing serious health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke.
  • Heightened cognitive function: Restoring adequate oxygen levels during sleep improves cognitive function, memory consolidation, and overall mental acuity.
  • Enhanced mood and emotional well-being: Better sleep quality contributes to a more stable mood, reduced irritability, and improved emotional resilience.
  • Increased energy and productivity: With improved sleep, individuals experience higher energy levels and enhanced productivity throughout the day, leading to a better quality of life.

Connect to Care

If you’re experiencing sleep apnea symptoms, talk with your primary care provider. They can help connect you to referrals to get tested. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, ThedaCare At Home can help. The team of professionals is dedicated to providing comprehensive sleep solutions tailored to each individual’s needs.

“Having the energy to go for a walk, experiencing improved focus with relationships, and seeing better concentration at work can all have a ripple effect on so many aspects of quality of life,” Weiher says. “CPAP therapy can be that game-changer in helping people experience just how positively impactful a good night’s sleep really can be.”

Tags: National Sleep Month sleep apnea sleep health

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