Sleep plays an important role in our physical health as it heals our mind and body to feel rejuvenated for the next day. With interrupted sleep throughout the night, it can affect many different aspects of our body. As we are unaware of our body while sleeping, those diagnosed with sleep apnea stop breathing a few times per hour, and if severe up to over 30 times per hour. During every episode of apnea, our brain is reminded to wake up to gasp for air which continuously interrupts different stages of restoring our energy and repairing our body.
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy uses a machine to release constant pressure into the airway thus preventing the airway from collapsing when breathing. Using the CPAP daily will improve the symptoms of sleep apnea, cognitive functions, and the psychological well-being.
CPAP Therapy reduces:
- Sleepiness during the day which may lead to accidents
- Headaches and migraines
- Blood pressure
- Risk of heart disease and stroke due to increases blood pressure from lack of oxygen
- Possibility of getting Type 2 diabetes
Advantages of CPAP Therapy include:
- Having a well-rested sleep
- Increased energy level
- Increases memory and concentration
- Improves moods and emotions
- Better sleep quality
Using the analogy of a cell phone to better understand, imagine someone kept unplugging and plugging your charger several times while you are trying to charge your phone overnight. Due to the constant interruption, the battery was not fully charged and you have to limit yourself to use the device due to the possibility of low battery. This is akin to the human body not being able to be productive and perform its best when we are not well rested. If we remove the disrupting person, the phone would be fully charged ready for its best performance avoiding any tech issues, similar to our physical health being free of symptoms.
In addition to using CPAP machines, lifestyle modifications are encouraged such as avoiding alcohol, quitting smoking, and if overweight, diet changes. Although the machine may take some time getting used to, the results are often worth the difficulty as it notably enhances your quality of life. Soon, you’ll be saying “this is the best night sleep I’ve had in a long time.”
Written by Yvonne.