One of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle is good sleeping habits. We are taught from a young age the importance of getting a solid eight to nine hours of sleep each night, but as we grow older, it seems that the demands of society encroach on those priorities. For some people, turning around their poor sleeping habits in order to improve their overall health is a matter of realigning those priorities. But things are not quite so simple for everyone.
Understanding sleep apnea disorders
When it comes to healthy sleeping, many people have their preferences that lend themselves to a more fulfilling night’s rest, such as the perfectly picked out pillow or an app or device that plays nature sounds. But for those with sleep apnea, fixing the way they sleep is much more involved. Sleep apnea is a condition in which an individual will actually stop breathing for seconds to minutes at a time during sleep. If breathing becomes shallow but does not quite pause, these spells are referred to as hypopnea, as opposed to the full pause that signifies an apnea. When five or more of these events happen over the course of one hour, the sleeping disorder can be diagnosed and then treated.
Dealing with a sleep disorder
There are over 18 million people in the United States who have sleep apnea, and that number is just a fraction of the 50 million to 70 million people who suffer from several different types of sleep conditions or wakefulness disorders such as insomnia. There are a number of different treatments for the varied disorders, but not all of them require extra equipment such as a sleep apnea device. A sleep apnea mouthpiece is often required for those who have been diagnosed, in order to allow the sleeping individual to get a normal and regulated amount of oxygen throughout the night. These devices apply a mild but constant pressure by way of air to ensure that the airways remain open.
Why correcting a sleep disorder is so important
It is pretty apparent to most people that getting the proper amount of sleep can have a positive effect on their mood or energy levels, but proper sleep goes beyond that as well. Those who suffer from sleep apnea are more often drowsy in their everyday actions, and have trouble concentrating as a result. Because of this, those with sleep apnea, particularly those who are not being treated for it and are thus feeling the full negative impact of the disorder, are six times more likely to be involved in a fatal car wreck. And even if you were to take care not to operate a vehicle while exhausted, you could still be wreaking havoc on your cardiovascular system. High rates of the occurrence of heart disease are found in sleep apnea sufferers.
Taking care of your health
Perhaps you don’t see it as a big deal. Or maybe the thought of getting a continuous positive airway pressure machine, or a CPAP machine, seems a bit excessive or bothersome to you. However the overall energy that you could inject into your days as a result of getting a real night’s sleep, or more importantly, the number of days or years that you could add onto your life by improving your overall health after addressing your apnea issues should not be taken lightly. And if you don’t want to bother to improve your health for your own sake, think of those around you who depend on you and care about you.
A better, more enjoyable and lengthier life could be right around the corner if you are simply willing to put in the little bit of work that is necessary to address the issues that affect your sleep habits and cycles. And while a sleep mask might seem bothersome or less than ideal, you may just find that once you do turn your sleep patterns around, it will be more than worth it.