Sleep apnea is about more than snoring and restless nights. It can contribute to a wide range of health conditions, from type 2 diabetes to heart disease. Research has also indicated that untreated sleep apnea can even increase the risks of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Here is a look at what the research says and what you can do if you think you could have sleep apnea.  

What is sleep apnea? 

Sleep apnea is a condition in which the airway becomes obstructed when at rest, restricting the flow of oxygen. People suffering from this condition can wake up hundreds of times per night as they gasp for air, but the waking periods are so short that these individuals do not know that they are happening. Many people don’t find out that they have sleep apnea until a sleep partner tells them about their snoring and gasping episodes or when they see a doctor to discover the cause of their excessive daytime drowsiness.  

How does sleep apnea increase the risk of dementia? 

Multiple studies have shown a link between sleep apnea and amyloid deposits in the brain. These amyloid deposits are believed to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline. The risk of having high levels of amyloid deposits increases with the severity of the sleep apnea.

Although patients with sleep apnea have a higher risk of developing amyloid deposits, researchers have not found that one causes the other. People at high risk of having sleep apnea may also have other risk factors that put them at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.  

What should I do if I think I have sleep apnea? 

If you suspect you could have sleep apnea, the first step is to undergo a sleep study to receive a definitive diagnosis. If you do have it, treatments are available that can improve your symptoms and let you get the sleep you need. Getting treatment for sleep apnea is essential to reduce the risk of serious health complications.  

Learn more about sleep apnea treatments in Central New Jersey by contacting Sleep Dynamics. We offer overnight sleep studies as well as CPAP and oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea. For more information, please call (848) 217-0240. 

When you’re traveling, sleep apnea doesn’t take a vacation. Since you can’t leave your symptoms at home, your CPAP treatment needs to come with you, but traveling with your CPAP can be challenging. Fortunately, a few simple tricks can make traveling with your CPAP machine easier than you may think. Follow this advice for stress-free traveling with your CPAP as your companion.  

Make Your CPAP a Carry-On 

If you’re traveling by plane, take your CPAP as a carry-on instead of putting it in your checked luggage. Because your CPAP is a medical device, it doesn’t count as part of your carry-on allowance. Bringing it on the plane with you means you will have your CPAP even if your luggage gets lost. Keep in mind that your CPAP will need to go through the X-ray machine at security. Consider bringing your prescription with you in case the security agents want to see it.  

Bring Battery Packs 

You can make your CPAP portable and easy to use anywhere by bringing a battery pack. Battery packs can typically last from one to three full nights of use before needing to be recharged, and they give you the ability to use your CPAP even if you don’t have a power source. If you don’t have a battery pack and will be staying at a hotel, bring an extension cord, as hotel rooms often don’t have plugs close enough to the bed to plug in your CPAP. 

Prepare for Plane Use 

If you will be flying overnight, it’s possible to use your CPAP on the plane. Contact your plane in advance, as some airlines want to verify the usability of your device on planes before your trip. Your CPAP may also need a sticker saying that it meets FAA regulations.  

If you have questions about using CPAP therapy on the go, talk to your specialist at Sleep Dynamics. We’re committed to helping every patient fit sleep apnea treatment into their lives, whether they choose CPAP therapy or an oral appliance. Contact our sleep medicine team near Central New Jersey at (848) 217-0240.

In recent years, researchers have begun to discover just how many connections there are between sleep and diet. Failing to get sufficient sleep can throw off your levels of appetite regulating hormones, leading to hunger and unexpected weight fluctuations. People who are overweight often suffer from sleep apnea, which in turn can contribute to further weight gain. Now it seems that there may be connection between sleep and sugar intake as well.  

cientist at King’s College in London has discovered that people who regularly got less than seven hours per sleep a night were able to reduce their intake of sugar by extending the amount of time that they slept. This information contributes to the growing understanding of the important role of sleep in health and weight management.  

Don’t let inadequate sleep rob you of your health. Sleep Dynamics can help you identify the cause of your sleep issues through an overnight sleep study and help you find a treatment that works, including oral appliances and CPAP therapy in Central New Jersey. To learn more, call us today at (848) 217-0240. 

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