Snoring And Apnoea Blog

Sleep Disorders: Top Easy Detectable Symptoms

Posted on Fri, Mar 09, 2018

photo-1507915600431-5292809c5ab7.jpgAre you waking up a lot during the night? Have you experienced snoring, sleepwalking or even sleep talking?

News flash: You may be suffering from a sleep disorder without you even knowing it.

As of today, more than 1.5 million Australian adults are now suffering from sleep disorders and it’s time to do something about it.

You may not know but sleep disorders can have a damaging impact on your health, on your relationships and even on your work.

The worst case scenario is you having diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, clinical hypertensionimpotence, depression, and numerous other conditions because of your sleeping disorders.

Diagnosing sleep disorders can be quite difficult. However, the following are some simple signs of sleep disorder that you can recognise in yourself or even your partner before you consult your doctor:

 

Snoring

If you or your partner snores loudly enough to wake yourself up, it’s time to go to your doctor.

Almost one-half of people who snore loudly have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. Matter of fact, snoring is one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnoea.

In more severe sleeping disorder cases like obstructive sleep apnoea, the sufferer stops breathing while they’re sleeping. Their sleep quality is severely reduced as well as their blood oxygen levels.

If you’re experiencing symptoms like this, you should consider having a sleep study.

 

Waking Regularly

If you find yourself wide awake at least 3 times during the night during the night, it’s not something that you should ignore.

Waking regularly can be the effect of having a stressful day at work, family problems or any stressful situation that’s going on in your life.

But if that’s not the case, it might be a sign of having sleep disorders like the overproduction of melatonin, clinical insomnia, and sleep apnoea.

 

photo-1506024399685-c2095029481d.jpgCan’t fall asleep

We all have those days when we’re lying in bed thinking about so many things while staring at the ceiling as the hour's tick by.

But did you know that having difficulty with sleeping can also be caused by other sleeping disorders?

It may be because of melatonin deficiency, where there isn’t enough melatonin in your system, therefore causing you to not being able to sleep.

If you find yourself worrying about not being able to get to sleep for a long time, it’s time to seek medical advice.

 

Restlessness

If you find yourself tossing and turning in bed, it can be a sign Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) or Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD).

RLS is a condition where there’s an irresistible urge to move your legs at night and it can last for years or your whole lifetime. You can easily mistake it as a strange cramp or crawling sensation in your calves.

While PLMD is a disorder where you move your limbs involuntarily every 20-40 seconds while you sleep.

If you’re feeling these symptoms, you can try alternating hot and cold compresses, taking a hot bath or massaging your muscles can help ease the pain that you’re feeling.

But if the pain is getting harder to handle you need to see your doctor for a medical diagnosis.

 

Waking Tired

Admit it, we’ve all had mornings where we wake up feeling tired.

We’ve all had those days but is if you’re waking up without feeling refreshed consistently, you might be suffering from a sleep disorder.

Waking up feeling tired all the time means you’re not getting the rejuvenating periods of sleep that everyone else experiences.

It can be caused by sleep disorders like sleep apnea, PLMD and any various forms of clinical insomnia.

If you’re unsure what’s causing your consistent tiredness, consider having a sleep study to track what’s going on.

 

Sleep-Talking or Sleepwalking

If you’re sleepwalking at night and doing more than just walking a few steps around your room, you might need to consider consulting a sleep specialist.

Sleep-talking and sleepwalking is a symptom of REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD), it can be a sign of your body acting out your dreams while you sleep.

Talk to your doctor if you find yourself excessively sleep-talking and sleepwalking at night because the results can be very dangerous to you and to those around you.

photo-1502666689584-945597854f01.jpgDaytime sleepiness

Feeling sleepy during the day is a common thing if you’re working late, partying or binge-watching last night.

But if you find yourself going to bed, feeling sleepy during the day, while driving, while at work, during a meal, you may have Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS).

If you’re experiencing EDS, it can be characterized by ongoing sleepiness and lack of energy.

EDS can be a condition that includes several sleep disorders like narcolepsy, sleep apnoea or a circadian rhythm sleep disorder.

If you or your partner have any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical advice or have an in-home sleep study.

 

Sleeping is not a luxury that we can’t afford, it’s an essential that we must have. It’s time to start improving your sleep health not only for yourself but also to those around you. Start by taking our free Sleep Self Assessment Questionnaire today.

 

Tags: sleep disorders, sleep disorder symptoms, sleep disorder signs

Why and How Your Genes Could Be Affecting Your Sleep

Posted on Thu, Feb 15, 2018

Not surprisingly, scientists have been working hard to solve the mysteries of sleep for a long time. There are countless sleeping disorders including narcolepsy, sleep apnea, insomnia, snoring... the list goes on. But what you might not know is that your genes may be the reason why you’re having trouble sleeping at night.

Here are a few studies that show how genes may affect your sleeping problems:


1. Early Bird or Night Owl?

A study led by Alina Patke of the laboratory of genetics at Rockefeller University found pexels-photo-842548.jpegthat being an early bird or a night owl can actually be linked to a gene mutation. It can cause your circadian or your internal body clock to run slowly resulting in either staying up really late at night or rising early every single day. And it's because of this that you may be losing more than two hours of sleep  every night.

One of the most common types of circadian rhythm sleep disorder is Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DSPD). This disorder affects about 10% of the world’s population. You may suffer from DSPD if you’re experiencing the following symptoms:

• You are unable to fall asleep between 2 am and 6 am,
• You sleep longer during the daytime, or
• You have long afternoon naps.


pexels-photo.jpg2. The FABP7 Gene

Another study where genes may be affecting sleep is led by Jason Gerstner, Assistant Research Professor at Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. Mr. Gerstner and his team tested the gene FABP7. They found that mice with a knocked out FABP7 gene slept more irregularly compared to mice with the gene intact.

Jason and his team then looked at data from a seven-day sleep study from 300 Japanese people. 29 of them had a variant of the gene responsible for the production of FABP7. Similar to the mice, they also experienced a series of waking events during the night.


3. Fruit Flies for Genes Study

In another study using naturally bred fruit flies, Susan Harbison, Ph.D., an investigator in the Laboratory of Systems pexels-photo-296817.jpegGenetics at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute identified differences between a group of genes. And, those differences explain why some people need less sleep while others need a lot more.

To produce a group of long sleepers (sleeping 18 hours a day) and short sleepers (sleeping 3 hours a day), Ms. Harbison and her team artificially bred 13 generations of wild fruit flies. They then studied the flies and discovered new proof of how genes and sleep duration are linked to a wide variety of biological processes.


These 3 studies show genes have a big impact on sleep. However, there are still far more discoveries to make about the mysteries of sleep.

Tags: sleep disorders, genes, genetics

Belly Fat Linked To Sleep Disorders

Posted on Wed, Nov 07, 2012

Numerous studies have found poor quality sleep leads to overeating and physiological changes that lead to heart disease, obesity, depression and Type 2 diabetes.  The ‘tricky’ part is that inadequate sleep actually disrupts the body’s balance and stimulates the appetite ... which leads to greater weight gain and consequently greater risks.  The good news is that the latest studies suggest a two way relationship between sleep disorders and weight gain – meaning improved sleep can help you lose weight, and losing weight can help you sleep better.

Independent scientific studies have consistently founds that sleep disorders are clearly linked to obesity and heavier individuals tend to report more problems getting a good night’s sleep.

Now, in a new study just released by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. It has been reported that weight loss, either through diet or a combination of diet and exercise, can lead to better sleep.

The researchers followed 77 overweight or obese individuals with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes over a 6 month period. At the start and end of the study, the participants completed surveys detailing their sleep problems such as sleep apn0ea, fatigue, insomnia, restless sleep, excessive sleep and use of sedatives.   Each participant’s body mass index (BMI) was also recorded so weight changes could be tracked.

The participants were then separated into two groups. The first group went on a weight-loss diet with exercise training and the second group simply stuck to a diet program.

At the end of the six months, both groups experienced a weight loss of about 15 pounds on average and a 15% reduction in belly fat. The researchers also authors found both groups had improved their sleep quality by about 20%.

“The key ingredient for improved sleep quality from our study was a reduction in overall body fat, and, in particular belly fat, which was true no matter the age or gender of the participants or whether the weight loss came from diet alone or diet plus exercise,” said study author Kerry Stewart, a professor of medicine at John Hopkins in a statement.

According to Stewart, belly fat is particularly concerning since it can be metabolically detrimental to health. “Belly fat is almost like a living organ. It produces proteins that cause inflammation,” says Stewart. “When you lose a lot of belly fat in particular, the level of those substances go way down and the inflammatory response is much less than it was before.”

"That means that rates of heart disease may decline as belly fat dissolves. Inflammation aggravates blood vessels, which can increase heart disease risk, and also  interfere more generally with the body’s normal physiological processes. The end result is obesity, and obesity in turn puts added mechanical pressure on the heart and lungs. “If you have a lot of belly fat, the lungs can’t expand as well, so it becomes harder to breathe when you’re sleeping, which is why more people get sleep apnoea,” says Stewart. “When you have sleep apnoea, you wake up more in the middle of the night and that leads to daytime sleepiness and fatigue. So people are feeling miserable because they haven’t had a good nights sleep.”

Shedding extra weight and increasing physical activity triggers a drop in inflammation, lowers insulin resistance and improves metabolism. “This can foster weight loss or prevent further weight gain,” says Stewart.

Whether sleep disorders cause obesity, or obesity causes sleep disorders isn’t clear, although it’s likely  both processes are at work simultaneously. “We are not exactly sure where the problem starts, but we think it is a vicious cycle. Regardless of where it starts, they feed off each other,” says Stewart.

If you are struggling to lose weight, it may be that an underlying sleep disorder like sleep apnoea is part of the problem.  If you are overweight, snoring, waking tired, and feeling sleepy through the day it is almost certain that you have an underlying sleep disordered breathing (SDB) condition.  Treatment of the SDB can help re-start the metabolism and reduce the risks associated with obesity.

If you think you have some sort of sleep disorder, give us a call on 1300 246 637 to talk things over with a friendly sleep therapist ... or request a sleep study online by clicking the button below.

 

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Tags: apnoea, sleep disorders, weight gain, obesity, belly fat

Sleep Disorders Tied to Alzheimers

Posted on Fri, Oct 12, 2012

'Sleep fragmentation' or broken and disrupted sleep, as occurs in people suffering from sleep disordered breathing conditions (such as sleep apnoea) has been clearly linked to an increased likelihood of Alzheimer's disease.

The findings are the result of a study done by the Rush Memory and Aging Project which presented the results of the study at the recent American Neurological Association Annual Meeting in Boston.

The lead researcher said the findings are consistent with animal studies that showed long-term disruption in sleep tends to lead to the more rapid development of Alzheimer's pathology.

Dr Andrew Lim, a neurologist from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, Canada, studied 734 elderly adults (mean age, 81.6) over 10 days.

During a follow-up around 3 years later, 96 people had developed Alzheimer's disease.  This correlated with the research, which found that being above the usual level of sleep disturbance was associated with a 21% to 26% increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. 

"One possible explanation is that individuals who are sleep-fragmented at baseline already have something wrong with them. (Sleep fragmentation) may be a marker of underlying pathology already," said Dr Lim.

"But of course the more exciting possibility, and the possibility that's raised by the animal work as well, is that sleep fragmentation or sleep disruption itself is harmful in terms of the underlying pathological processes of Alzheimer's disease, or the converse, that getting a good night's sleep may in fact be protective," he said.

This is extremely significant news for people suffering from sleep disordered breathing conditions, such as sleep apnoea.  The repeated arousals which are associated with sleep apnoea are obvious causes of sleep fragmentation and, as Dr Lim suggests, getting treatment for the sleep disorder could be protective. 

Dr Kristine Yaffe, a psychiatrist and director of the University of California, San Francisco Dementia Epidemiology Research Group, said basic science has suggested extended loss of sleep may lead to greater build-up of amyloid beta.

"We've had an accumulating body of evidence both from basic science and clinical studies like this that are showing us that there clearly is a connection between the sleep quality and prospective risk of developing dementia," said Dr Yaffe, who wasn't involved in the new study. "There's lots of converging data."

"This raises the question for anybody who takes care of older individuals of asking about sleep, and identifying sleep problems and treating them, with the idea that potentially it may be a risk factor for developing Alzheimer's disease," Dr Lim said.

If you suspect you have some form of sleep disorder, or if you know someone who does, it is vitally important the disorder is treated as soon as possible.  Proper, professional treatment begins with a polysomnogram (diagnostic sleep study).  New technology means this can now be done in the comfort, privacy and convenience of your own home, rather than in a hospital based sleep lab environment. 

If you'd like to arrange a sleep study, or if you simply want more information about sleep disorders and treatment options, please feel free to call us on 1300 246 637 or click on the button below to make an online enquiry.  Either way, we're here to help so contact us soon.

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Tags: sleep disorders, Alzheimers

Sleep Disorders Linked To Cardiometabolic Disease

Posted on Wed, Jan 25, 2012

According to a study published in the Journal of Sleep Research, how much we sleep and how well we sleep are directly associated with cardiometabolic disease.

In a study of 138,201 adult participants (mean age, 48.8 years) conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, it was found that sleep duration correlated significantly with obesity, diabetes, myocardial infarction, stroke, and coronary artery disease.

The researchers also found a significant association remained for obesity, myocardial infarction, and coronary artery disease even AFTER fully adjusting for variables that included physical health.

Notably, 'sleep disturbance' was defined very broadly as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and sleeping too much.  Fortunately, following treatment, the effects for obesity, myocardial infarction, and coronary artery disease were the most positive.

According to the researchers:  "These data suggest that sleep disturbance may be an important indicator of cardiometabolic disease risk." 

Tags: sleep disorders, cardio metabolic disease