A good, restful night’s sleep is something that everyone looks forward to. Recovering from the stresses of the day, and resetting for another busy day tomorrow. But too many people do not get those glorious hours of restful or uninterrupted sleep as often as they should. For some it has to do with filling their days with too much to do and not leaving enough time to sleep at night. Others have conditions like insomnia or other disorders that get in the way of a full night of rest. And for about 18 million people in the United States, the obstacle that stands between them and feeling refreshed and healthy in the morning is sleep apnea.
Understanding sleep apnea and the tools to help
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the normal breathing is interrupted with periods of pauses or extremely shallow breathing. It can lead to serious health issues, as the body and brain endure repetitive and extended periods of time without the proper amount of oxygen intake that allows them to function as they should. The strain on the body, especially when the disorder goes untreated over an extended amount of time, can prove to be too much. The National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research reported that somewhere around 38,000 people die each year as a result of issues related to cardiovascular problems that can be connected to sleep apnea.
But there are ways to deal with this disorder. If you visit your doctor and discover that you experience sleep apnea at night, chances are your doctor will recommend that you try out a few different types of products to see what works best for you, including BiPAP machines, nasal pillows, and CPAP masks.
BiPAP vs CPAP machines
People with sleep apnea need assistance controlling their breathing while they are asleep. CPAP and BiPAP machines are tools that help sleep apnea sufferers enjoy full nights of sleep that are restful and allow them to breathe well. Both kinds of machines include types of masks that deliver air pressure, forcing the person wearing the mask to breathe. A CPAP machine, or continuous positive airway pressure machine, provides steady, constant air pressure to the individual’s airways so that those airways stay open and clear. A BiPAP machine, or bilevel positive airway pressure machine, on the other hand, is similar in that it delivers the necessary air pressure, but not in a constant flow. The two different pressure settings of the BiPAP machine are the ipap, or the prescribed pressure that allows for proper flow of oxygen, and epap, or a lower setting so that exhaling becomes easier.
Making your life better
Understanding the risks of health issues associated with sleep apnea can help those who suffer from it get the proper help. It can seem like an inconvenience, as some of the machines are a bit bulky and take some getting used to, but it is worth it for the sake of your health. In order to see the most positive results, and in order to guarantee that your insurance will continuously cover the costs of the machine, you should be wearing the machine at least 70% of the time during a month, and for four or more hours each night. Once you grow accustomed to it, and develop a good habit of wearing it consistently, you will begin to notice that you feel more rested, and your overall health will improve, lowering the chances of sleep apnea related issues later on.
Your sleep apnea does not have to reduce your quality of life or put your health at risk. Having an honest conversation with your doctor about your sleep issues, and finding the right machine that will work for you could end up saving your life.