Sleep Apnea - An Extremely Common and Dangerous Sleep DisorderWritten by Donald Saunders
Sleep apnea refers to a sleep disorder characterized by interruption of breathing during sleep, such that respiration stops for ten or more seconds, cutting off valuable oxygen supplies to brain. This interruption of body’s breathing cycle can recur hundreds of times each night, with potentially fatal results. Even more alarming, sleep apnea, most dangerous of all sleep disorders, also represents one of most commonly identified sleep disorders, affecting as many as eighteen million Americans each year.
This condition can be divided into two primary categories. “Central sleep apnea”, caused by a neurological malfunction in which brain somehow disrupts normal signal to breathe and “Obstructive sleep apnea”, characterized by excessive relaxation or collapse of muscles around windpipe, which in turn causes windpipe obstruction. Both forms involve frequent cessation of breathing and temporary suspension of oxygen supply to brain, putting sleep apnea sufferers at a significantly greater risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
Diagnosing sleep apnea can be difficult. Snoring, one of most common symptoms associated with sleep apnea (resulting in many people referring to this as “the snoring disease”), often leads to an erroneous diagnosis of condition. In fact, snoring can be associated with a variety of other sleep disorders and conditions unrelated to sleep apnea.
When brain senses a lack of oxygen, as a result of an obstructed windpipe, it reacts by waking suffer sufficiently to start breathing again, often causing snoring or sometimes coughing. As a result, sleep apnea suffers enjoy a very poor quality of sleep and wake up feeling even more tired than before they went to bed.
Feelings of exhaustion, fatigue and an overwhelming desire to sleep during day, known as excessive daytime sleepiness, characterize sleep apnea; especially if seen in conjunction with other symptoms such as morning headaches, noticeable lethargy, loss of interest in sex, forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating.
The ongoing exhaustion and physical fatigue brought on by undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea can also lead to onset of serious psychological symptoms such as depression, irritability and changes in mood and behavior.
Overcoming Jet LagWritten by Donald Saunders
Jet lag can be one of worst, and certainly one of most frustrating, aspects of long distance travel. Also called desynchronosis (meaning “out of time”), jet lag occurs when travellers pass through multiple time zones, arriving several hours ahead or behind their “home” time.
Travelling across several time zones upsets your body’s internal clock, which relies on a variety of environmental cues such as daylight and temperature. The degree of jet lag suffered can be measured in terms of time change you undergo - greater difference in time between your home and your new location, more disoriented your body clock becomes and more jet lag you are likely to experience.
One major feature of jet lag is seen in your body’s struggle between emotional energy and physical lethargy. While your mind is able to process change in time and location relatively quickly and can rationally appreciate environmental cues such as daylight (or lack of it) and time of day, your body will be much slower to respond. Although time to recover will vary from person to person, most people agree that overcoming jet lag, adjusting to a new time zone and resuming a regular sleep cycle can take two or three days or, in severe cases, an entire a week.
Although not necessarily serious, insomnia caused by jet lag can interfere with mental clarity and efficiency and may have some bearing on your emotional state. Jet lag can also make it difficult for business travellers and tourists alike to maximize opportunities afforded by their stay. What's more, if insomnia caused by jet lag does not pass, or recurs frequently for more than a couple of weeks, it could be indicative of a more persistent sleep problem.
Natural sleep remedies and approaches can be used to effectively manage jet lag and, by taking a proactive approach, you can significantly decrease or limit severity and number of symptoms – not to mention shortening duration of your jet lag.