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1.   Excessive daytime sleepiness - EDS  
2.   Loud snoring and / or resuscitative snorts
3.   Pauses in breathing and/or pauses in snoring
4.   Waking up gasping for breath
5.   Increased irritability
6.   Reduced memory, attention and concentration
7.   Morning headaches
8.   High blood pressure that does not effectively
respond to medication
9.   Heart failure symptoms, such as puffy ankles, that
do not respond effectively to medications
10. Depression
11. Sexual dysfunction
12. Frequent nocturnal urination
Frequent micro-arousals lead to occasional full
arousals.  People usually go to the bathroom
when they are that awake. The end result is that
the bladder gets re-trained to empty more often
& then it also wakes you up.

If you suspect you might have sleep apnea,
check out our free screening test.  

Sleep Apnea Syndrome (SAS)  Apnea literally means not breathing.  There are three varieties of SAS: obstructive, central, or mixed.  More than 18 million Americans suffer from this syndrome.  It can affect anyone at any age, but overweight, middle-aged males are the most at risk.  In obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), some portion of the upper airway, i.e. in the nose or more commonly soft tissues in the back of the throat, periodically relax during sleep, causing either total or partial blockage or obstruction of the airway.  In central sleep apnea, for some reason, the brain forgets to tell you to breathe and in mixed sleep apnea, there is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea

The most common causes of SAS:

Weight gain - usually 20 pounds or more in a 6 to 12 month period generally resulting in fat accumulation in the neck and around the abdomen.  Another physical clue that is highly suggestive of obstructive sleep apnea is a neck circumference of > 17 1/2 inches in men, >16 1/2  inches in women.

Physical abnormalities in the upper airway such as nasal polyps, a deviated septum, enlarged tonsils or adenoids are also common causes of obstructive sleep apnea.

Certain neurological disorders such as strokes and medication side-effects can also cause obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea tends to run in families and the likelihood of developing OSA is higher in males and increases with age.

The long term effects of SAS:

Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) due to the lack of REM
and Delta sleep.
Cardiac arrhythmias that usually only during sleep;
daytime EKG's are usually normal.
High blood pressure.  Some consider sleep apnea to be the
5th leading cause of high blood pressure.
Greater risk for strokes and heart attacks mostly due to
the untreatable high blood pressure.
Certain cardiac disorders such as heart failure due to the
low oxygen levels.

How to diagnose Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Home Screening Test

Sleep Study
Some insurances require this study, a polysomnogram, be done as an out-patient in a sleep lab rather than at home, but due to the large cost savings for home studies, this is starting to change.

How to treat Sleep Apnea

Weight loss
Positional therapy
Nocturnal oxygen
Medication elimination, adjustment or implementaiton
Positive pressure airway devices, i.e., CPAP
Oral appliances
Surgery, i.e., UPPP, tonsillectomy, tracheostomy

For more information on treating sleep apnea, go to Rx for sleep apnea.

Take the free screening test to screen yourself for sleep apnea.  Learn how to achieve better living through natural sleep with The Guide to Better Sleep Naturally or work with a Personal Sleep Trainer.
Sleep Apnea Syndrome
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