Sleep apnea, a condition that affects some 18 million Americans, may have finally met its match.
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, “people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer”(Sleep Apnea). Usually, the person suffering does not even realize they have stopped breathing! This issue results from the muscles around the neck relaxing and, as a result, obstructing the person’s breathing.
Thankfully, the New England Journal of Medicine recently revealed that they may have found a solution for this troubling condition. By stimulating the upper-airway in the neck, researchers found that it “led to significant improvements in objective and subjective measurements of the severity of obstructive sleep apnea” (Upper-Airway Stimulation for Obstructive Sleep Apnea). Their results showed that not only was the severity lessened, but the overall “quality of life” of the participants improved. The data explains that the average number of events decreased from over 25 to just over 7 per hour.
So, for those of you suffering from this exhausting condition, have hope! A good night’s sleep is not out of reach.
In addition, there are a number of ways to lessen the severity of your sleep apnea all by yourself. For starters, make sure you’re sleeping on a good mattress. Be sure it isn’t too old and is giving you the proper support needed for a good night’s sleep. Another trick is to prop your head up. It’s not hard to find a perfect pillow to keep your airways as open as possible. Some experts even suggest sewing a tennis ball into the back of your pajamas in order to avoid sleeping on your back! And, whether you suffer from sleep apnea or not, one of the best ways to achieve a good night’s sleep is to establish good sleep hygiene in your lifestyle.
Cheers and sleep well.