Author Archives: Respshop

About Respshop

We are a CPAP supply Company who Operates Out of Redmond, Washington. Our Staff is Well Equipped to Answer Any Questions You May Have on Sleep Apnea! Reach Us At: 866-936-3754 Keep Up With Us on Social Media: -Like Us On FaceBook: www.facebook.com/RespShop -Follow Us On Twitter: twitter.com/RespShop -View Us On Youtube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCH-Hgc8gGl6782_Vs6f8XHA -Follow Us On Instagram: www.instagram.com/Respshop -Watch Us On Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/respshop/pins/

Why Sleep Apnea is Hurting Your Heart

Picture this: You are sound asleep, dreaming of a beach paradise, when all a suddenly your partner is shaking you awake. You look at them through bloodshot eyes, and they explain -for the tenth time that night- that you have been snoring. You nod sleepily, change your position, and go back to bed…only to get up that next morning to worship your coffee like a god because it is the only thing that will keep you awake that day.

Sound familiar? Well you are not alone! According to the American Sleep Apnea Association 22 Million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and the American Heart Association states that 1 in 5 adults suffer from, at the very least, mild sleep apnea. Evidence of this can be seen in a variety of ways, as you would know from previous posts. Symptoms range from daytime fatigue, insomnia, snoring in the night, headaches, mood swings, and more. For those of us who are used to no sleep, however, this can seem like not a big deal.

“So what if I’m always tired,” we tell ourselves. “Lack of sleep won’t kill me!” The only problem with this mentality is the less sleep you have the more certain science has become that it will, in fact, effect your heart.

The American College of Cardiology, The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and even the American Heart Association have all linked sleep apnea with heart conditions. The AHA even states on their site that sleep apnea has been linked to arrhythmia, high blood pressure, stroke, and even heart failure. In fact, another study confirmed that male adults age 30-70 were at an extremely high risk of having a stroke or heart attack if they already had obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring in particular is a great sign you have obstructive sleep apnea, yet snoring is not your only problem. Central sleep apnea (which in my personal opinion is far harder to detect and is more damaging) rarely even presents itself through snoring. In fact, while obstructive sleep apnea is more common among over weight individuals, central sleep apnea can present itself in all shapes and sizes, which is a problem.

Experts agree that sleep apnea begets high blood pressure, and vise versa. It becomes a never-ending cycle of health problems and brings one closer to ever serious heart complications. Statics even show that 30-50% of adults with high blood pressure will have sleep apnea. With this news it can be overwhelming! It can almost feel like if you won the unlucky cosmic lottery and now if you have sleep apnea, or high blood pressure, you are doomed to have a lifetime of health problems along with a shorter lifespan which begs the question: What am I left to do?

The solutions may not be easy, but thankfully they are simple.

  1. Exercise

I’ve heard it, you’ve heard it, we’ve all heard it! If I had a dime every time my physician told me I need to get physically active, I’d be rich…Unfortunately they are right.  Exercise is important for all aspects of your health and it is also very important for those with sleep apnea. Making sure you throw in cardio will also give you the double benefit of keeping your heart healthy, so get running!

  1. Limit Alcohol and Avoid Caffeine Before Bed

We all love our beer, but our beer does not love us. Same goes for that double-crossing coffee cup! If you are pulling a late night for work, or if you are wanting something to relax you when you get home from that same job you may want to reach for a cup of decaffeinated tea instead. It comes in a lot of great flavors, and chamomile may even give you the added benefit of helping you sleep later that night!

  1. Get a CPAP Machine

Out of all of these options, this may be the most important. CPAP machines, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machines, really save lives by keeping you breathing at night and helping you stay asleep. The American College of Cardiology has even gone as far as to state that treatment lowers high blood pressure! You will need to talk to your doctor and schedule a sleep study, or take a home sleep test, which will let you know exactly what therapy is right for you. Once you have learned what type of sleep apnea you have and what type of machine you need, ask about what features you can get and determine what is right for you and your budget. And of course, those of us at Respshop.com are always here to help you with any questions you may have and can easily be reached at 866-936-3754.

 

It is almost a universal truth that sleep apnea is hard to live with. It makes us tired, it makes us cranky when we least expect it, and it can affect our health. However, it is manageable! Through proper life changes, open conversations with our doctors, and CPAPs we can take back control of our lives and our health. We can even make our hearts healthier one night’s sleep at a time.

Sleep Apnea & Women

There is one universal truth for every working woman: That alarm clock rings just way too early! Often, it seems, you can go through the day groggy, tired, and a little irritable at times. This appears to be normal, but when the third coffee cup just doesn’t seem to cut it many people are often left to wonder if this guise of “normal” really isn’t normal at all.

The simple answer, however, is nothing more than a suspicious maybe; The straight forward answer is a little more complicated than that.

For women especially, sleep apnea is hard to diagnose. Not only are symptoms often different than a man’s, but according to the National Sleep Foundation oftentimes sleep apnea for a woman is misdiagnosed. In fact, they have stated that 8-9 men per 1 woman were originally diagnosed, and while research is showing that gap is closing there are still women who are getting missed. Though these patients who fall through the gaps are facing more than just lack of sleep. Depression, complications in pregnancies and menopause, heart disease, diabetes, and even a shortened life span are all side effects of sleep apnea. So, what’s a lady to do?

Well, first, you can recognize the symptoms. As stated prior, sleep apnea is often quite different in women, so while a woman can have the traditional symptoms like snoring, often their symptoms are less pronounced. Symptoms to look for are:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Morning Headaches
  • Mood Disturbances
  • Restless Legs at Night
  • Depression
  • Lack of Energy
  • Light or even Subtle Snoring
  • Tiny Breaks in Breathing at Night

These symptoms can present themselves as many things, which is a leading reason for misdiagnosis,however, one should still remind their doctor not to rule out sleep apnea if you have one or multiple of these symptoms. sleep apnea is common with ¼ of women over 65 estimated to have this problem, and with 14% of them experiencing severe sleep apnea. Still, sleep apnea affects all ages so if you are having symptoms don’t wait to talk to your doctor.

So, you’re a woman and you think you might have sleep apnea. What now? In this case you would request a sleep study. If you’re short on time or can’t get your insurance to pay for one RespShop does offer our own sleep study for as low as $249. Sleep studies are crucial to understanding how severe your sleep apnea is, what type you have, and how to best combat it. If it is determined that you do, in fact, have sleep apnea you will be presented with a shiny new prescription and with this you can finally move on to your last step: Buying the right equipment!

What you need and what you should buy all depends on the aforementioned prescription. If you have central sleep apnea you will need a BiPAP/BiLevel machine. However, if you have the more common Obstructive sleep apnea a manual or Auto will be more appropriate, again depending on your prescription. However, if you have Obstructive sleep apnea and are a woman you are in luck.

The Airsense 10 Autoset for Her

Realizing the difference in Women’s sleep apnea, ResMed rose to the challenge of creating the first machines made specifically for women. This machine is one of the first such machines! The Airsense 10 Autoset for her uses a specialized algorithm that can detect an episode in a single breath. This allows the CPAP to adjust as needed to what you need that night! It also comes with an EPR feature- or Expiratory Pressure Relief- that allows the machine to adjust for comfortability! Other great features include the RAMP, Mask Fitting Feature, and Smart Start/Stop! Added to the ResMed AirView data sharing service, which is free with this machine, and you (and your doctor) will love how easy it is to get readings, adjust therapy, and get you sleeping like a baby again!

For Her Mask Line by ResMed

ResMed did not stop with the CPAP machine, they also completely revamped the mask sizing. Since sleep apnea was wrongly considered a “man’s disease” for many years sizing was, in most part, designed for men. Realizing the folly with this mindset ResMed got to work creating Full Face, Nasal, and Nasal pillow masks designed specifically for Women’s more petite facial features. Because of this, if you have ever had problem finding a mask that fit your face, we would highly recommend trying the For Her line.

Sleep Apnea

By Nicolas V,

That Sumday morning I awoke in the cheap motel and glanced over to a cold and lifeless George. It was hard to say that I was surprised. Grandpap George was well over eighty, and not in perfect health. We were a state away from home. But it was worth the drive, West Virginia’s postcard shows were legendary compared to Pennsylvania’s. Since George has been retired, the one thing he lived for was these postcard shows all over the tristate area.

I was the son-in-law, and I just liked the postcards and company. There is no way I can break this news to the entire family by myself, I barely even know the guy. I called my wife, Karen, and told her she needed to come to West Virginia. She knew something was wrong, she could feel it. She knew about George’s lung cancer. She knew about his sleep apnea. She knew his days were numbered.

“Karen…” I muttered.

“Wha—what happened?” Her voice barely audible, “He was doing so well recently…”

“He went on his terms. The way he wanted to go. He wouldn’t have wanted you to be sad. Celebrate his life, don’t mourn his death.” Were the only words of encouragement I had. I knew how it felt. I’ve lost a newborn child to sleep apnea.

Karen collapsed on the floor next George’s Motel 6 bed for the night. His body still around, but his soul wasn’t home. I threw my arm around my wife to try to calm her down, but she was in hysterics. Nothing prepares you for losing a father, even if you knew it was coming eventually.

The next few days were a blur. I’m still not certain how Karen told everyone so quickly, but before that Sunday was over, every relative, friend and coworker from both sides of the family knew about George’s passing. It successfully tore the family to shreds. Granpap George was a phenomenal guy. He didn’t take anything from anyone, and he loved everyone in his life up until his last moments. The first days are always the hardest. Coping with the death of a loved one is such an odd thing that no one can prepare for. It’s one of the few things that, no matter how many times it happens, you don’t get used to it.

Grandma Ronnie was the center of attention, even though all she wanted was to be alone. She has the wisdom to celebrate the lives of everyone that she meets, instead of mourning the losses. Grandma has outlived almost all of her friends, cousins and siblings. But the loss of a significant other for more than 50 years? Now, that would be devastating. Although she has gone through a lot in her lifetime, this one of the moments that changed her for the rest of her life. Grandma has never been the same, and it’s too late to start over.

For me? Well, I had to tell my children that their favorite grandfather passed, and then be the anchor for the collective breakdown my family had. All of this commotion meant that I could never mourn the loss of a friend. I never got around to paying my dues, and I’d like to think that he prefers it that way.

Two Much

By Nickelis V,

I have this reoccurring dream. A classroom full of number two’s is being taught by me. I have the day’s lesson planned, but as soon as I walk into the classroom, all prior knowledge evades my conscious mind and I stair vacantly at the class. I am left barren, subjected to the stairs of these young living numbers.  The bell for recess slays my clarity and I awake in my bed next to Cheree.

 

My girlfriend, as sweet as a flower, snores like a bothered and grumpy bear most nights. I, on the other hand, cease to breathe for 20, maybe 30 seconds every so often when I sleep. Match made in heaven, I know. Recently the daily stresses of being two college student and holding glorious minimum wage jobs has begun to wane our sleep lust, and long hours staring at the walls have become customary. My mother suggested some all natural sleeping pills her homeopathic doctor suggested. On the cover in nicely fonted text you can read the phrase “All Natural Sleeping Aid” which is followed in a slick go cart green font “Dietary Supplement”.

They work great! Only recently did I notice the dietary supplement portion. This made me a little concerned, but I chose the path of least resistance, and blissfully ignored it. I would come home from a stressful 12 hour day of physics and chemistry to my lovely lady and some Netflix. Hours would fade the night into comfort, and soon the sleeping pills would be taken. Cheree and I would drift to sleep and all was right with the world.

In the mornings, both Cheree and I had a habit of talking about our dreams. The dinosaur solar plexus punches and cloud cotton candy crush nonsense awakened the day right up. Recently though, my girlfriend Cheree stopped having dreams. I took no notice initially, but after a few weeks it struck me. She was not sleeping through the night. I was falling asleep faster, and she was suffering intermittent nights of sleep.

Dreams, as some psychoanalytic psychologists believe, are composed of both unfulfilled wishes and reprocessing of that which our conscious minds were unable to fully comprehend.

The sleeping pills had worsened my sleep apnea and the gaps between breathless sleep had worsened. My lovely Cheree noticed, but was so happy to see me returned to hearty sleep she would lay awake at night assuring I would regained my lost breath. I had fallen asleep faster because the snoring had dissipated.

We have a mind within our souls. A heart beyond our chest. I knowing untouchable, but solid as steel. Love had granted me the dreams, and my hearts mind had enlightened me to its architect. The two’s were not numbers. I was telling myself two. Two! There are two of you! You have forgotten there are two of you!

Shortly after we stopped taking the pills. The snoring returned. The sleeplessness returned. This time though, it was together. Now when I dream I find myself in flight over water. Hopefully this means something good.

 

A True Blessing

By Nicholas T,

When I was in second grade, I wrote a story with illustrations about my father’s snoring.  The picture reflected not only Zs but Qs.  My mom and dad asked what the Qs were and I told them that was the extra sound dad made when he snored.  I didn’t realize he had sleep problems, I just knew there were two sounds to my dad’s snoring.

In our house, my mom occasionally slept on the couch when the noise was too loud that she couldn’t sleep.  My dad would often take naps on the couch during the day on weekends, and the snoring was so loud it would make my brother and I giggle.  Camping was always adventurous!  We would tease my dad that the bears would never come to our tent because his snoring would scare them away.

I remember my mom and dad talking about his snoring and about him always being tired.  We would go on a family bike ride but my dad wouldn’t go.  He always said he worked too much and needed a nap not exercise.  He always told my mom it was heredity and that his dad snored the same way.  It was nothing to worry about.  My mom read articles on the web and would share them with my dad.  He still wouldn’t take any action.

When we would visit my grandparents, I noticed they had two bedrooms.  I asked my mom why we had to sleep on the pullout couch when grandpa and grandma got two rooms.  My mom told me it was because grandpa snored so loud that grandma couldn’t sleep.  I remember she said, “that’s going to me and dad in 30 years.”

About 6 years ago, my mom gave my dad an ultimatum: either do something about his snoring, or she would permanently move into the spare room!  My dad did two things: my dad quit drinking alcohol and he started to exercise regularly.  Within 8 months he had lost 30 pounds and didn’t need naps on the weekends.  I also remember him finally joining us on family bike rides and he would plan hikes in the mountains for us.

What I didn’t realize right away was that his snoring had stopped.  We had planned a camping trip to Lake Moomaw and discussed sleeping arrangements.  My brother said that he was sleeping in the truck because of dad’s snoring.  I told him I was older and bigger, so I got to sleep in the truck. My mom quickly calmed us down and referencing my 2nd grade story said, “Well Daddy doesn’t Z and Q anymore.  Since he lost weight he has stopped.”  Needless to say, all of us slept in the tent and kept an ear out for bears.

My family’s issues and resolution with sleep problems are pretty mild compared to what I have read.  However, I believe it is important to realize the effects that alcohol and being overweight have on snoring and quality of sleep.  My father was able to reverse the effects of his sleep problems by losing weight and cutting out alcohol from his diet.  It has been a blessing for my family and for bears.