January 31, 2012

The What and Why of Sleep Apnea

Two common questions I hear when talking to patients about sleep breathing disorders are: What is obstructive sleep apnea? Why is this happening to me?   Sleep apnea is a condition in which the upper airway collapses during sleep. This causes the sleeper to literally stop breathing. Each of these stoppages is called an apnea. Apneas can occur a few […]
December 22, 2011

Police Often Have Undiagnosed Sleep Disorders

It has been estimated that sleep problems affect one-third to one-half of all Americans causing a huge toll on the individuals and on society as a whole. In a recent screening of almost 5,000 police officers in the US and Canada, about 40% of them tested positive for at least 1 type of sleep disorder. The most common was obstructive […]
November 15, 2011

Mediterranean Diet May Help Sleep Apnea

Researchers have found that eating a Mediterranean diet and exercising  can improve some sleep apnea symptoms. The study published in European Respiratory Journal looked at the impact of the Mediterranean diet on obese sleep apnea patients as compared to patients on a prudent diet. Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep breathing disorders and becomes more prevalent […]
November 8, 2011

Psychiatric Symptoms Worsen With Sleep Apnea

The symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea can sometimes mimic those of mental illness – lethargy, irritability, forgetfulness. When those suffering from depression or another form of mental illness also have obstructive sleep apnea it can make the mental illness worse and possibly contribute to manic episodes. Unfortunately, screening for sleep disorders in psychiatric patients is rarely done. A new study […]
November 4, 2011

Sleep Apnea Increases Risk of Atrial Fibrillation

Sleep disordered breathing such as sleep apnea has been shown to increase the risk of heart arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation (afib). A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that the risk of having an abnormal heartbeat were 18 times higher immediately after an apnea episode compared to during normal sleep breathing. The apnea did […]
October 20, 2011

OSA Patients Likely To Have Health Problems

OSA stands for obstructive sleep apnea which is a condition associated with snoring and daytime sleepiness. OSA sufferers stop breathing many times each night because their airways collapse and stop the passage of air. It is estimated that almost 90% of people who suffer from this disease have not been diagnosed. A group of researchers in India found that OSA […]
October 1, 2011

Are We Learning During Sleep?

I have talked about the health hazards that come along with not getting enough sleep or when living with an untreated sleep breathing disorder like obstructive sleep apnea. A new research study reinforces the idea that getting a good night’s sleep is important. Resarchers reported in the Journal of Experimental Psychology that people may be learning while they are sleeping. […]
September 23, 2011

New Screening Tool for Sleep Apnea?

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night to visit the bathroom? This is called nocturia and new research suggests that nighttime urination frequency can help doctors screen for sleep apnea. Nocturia and sleep apnea have been linked before but this is the first time researchers have sought to discover whether it can predict if someone suffers […]
September 22, 2011

Proper Sleep Linked to Better Blood Sugar Levels

Three out of four high school students report that they don’t get enough sleep. Now researchers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have shown that obese teenagers who don’t get the proper amount of sleep may have changes in blood sugar levels and insulin secretion. This study suggests that these teens may be able to prevent or slow the development […]
August 30, 2011

Sleep Type Linked to High Blood Pressure in Older Men

Researchers have discovered that getting enough of a specific type of sleep is linked to high blood pressure risk in older men. The slow wave sleep is one of the deeper stages of sleep and individuals in this stage are very hard to wake up. According to researchers from Harvard Medical school elderly men who are not getting enough of […]
August 17, 2011

CPAP May Cause Facial Changes

Nasal CPAP is a common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. but a recent study has shown that using nasal CPAP for just three years can cause changes in the position of the jaws and teeth. These finding may raise concerns for patients because CPAP therapy for sleep apnea continues throughout the patients entire life. Other options for treatment include oral […]
August 13, 2011

Sleep Apnea Linked to Higher Risk of Dementia

Untreated sleep disordered breathing such as obstructive sleep apnea may increase the risk of dementia in the elderly. These sleep disorders have previously been linked to diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. This new study looked at 298 women over 65 who began the study without dementia or cognitive impairment. After four years had passed the women were monitored […]
August 9, 2011

Best Treatments for Sleep Apnea

Tufts University completed a review of treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea. The review was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Treatment using CPAP and oral appliances worn at night were backed by the strongest evidence. The report stated that weight loss and surgery may also be effective but the evidence […]
August 4, 2011

Weight Loss Linked to Sleep

Trying to lose weight and it just isn’t working? The reason could be the amount of time you are sleeping. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people who didn’t get enough sleep ate more but they didn’t burn off the extra calories. The study took a group of middle-aged men and women of similar […]
July 26, 2011

Memory Impaired by Sleep Interruptions

People with medical conditions that interrupt their sleep often experience memory problems. Scientists using new technology have concluded that sleep discontinuity does impair memory according to a report in the Proceedings of the national Academy of Sciences. One of the conditions that causes sleep disruption is obstructive sleep apnea. Scientists have long suspected that sleep and memory are connected but […]
July 13, 2011

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Linked to Blood Vessel Changes

New research reported in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association shows that obstructive sleep apnea may cause changes in blood vessel function that reduces blood supply to the heart. Treating the obstructive sleep apnea for 26 weeks improved blood supply. This study is the first to show blood vessel changes in sleep apnea patients. Researchers looked for changes in […]
July 6, 2011

Lack of Sleep Linked to More Pain

Poor quality sleep or not enough sleep may increase the perception of pain. A study from Harvard Medical School looked at health care workers and their length and quality of sleep. Sleep deficient was defined as sleeping less than six hours, feeling tired upon waking or experiencing insomnia (trouble falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night). […]
June 22, 2011

Why We Sleep

Humans need to sleep but researchers still don’t really know the reason why. New studies are emerging every day that show how learning is affected by sleep, how healing is affected by sleep, how memory is affected… you get the idea. It seems that sleep affects almost everything in our lives. We do know that sleep affords our brains time […]
June 17, 2011

Severe Sleep Apnea Treated with Combined CPAP and Oral Appliance

Research presented at the recent meeting of the American Academy of Dental Sleep medicine showed that patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea were improved more with a combination of a mandibular advancement splint (a type of oral appliance) and positive airway pressure (CPAP) than by CPAP alone. The results of the study showed that patients were better able to tolerate […]
June 14, 2011

Sleep Apnea and Pregnancy

A research abstract presented at a recent meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies showed that women with severe sleep apnea had a higher incidence of gestational diabetes and early preterm birth. The sleep disorder has been linked to heart disease and stroke in non-pregnant people but very few studies have looked at how sleep apnea affects women (and their […]