Is your Nightly Workout Affecting your Sleep?

Many people don’t like having to wake up earlier than they need to.  Between work, kids, and all of your other activities it can be difficult to fit in a good workout, which causes many people to have to squeeze one in before going to sleep.  Though it’s true that exercising during the day can help tire you out and allow rest to come more easily, it has often been thought that exercise before bed may make falling asleep more difficult.

Exercise has a number of effects on the body that alter your temporary chemistry and activity level.  Increases in certain hormones, blood circulation, and muscle use are all factors that are good for you in the long run and provide helpful benefits.  The increased heart rate and body temperature were once thought to cause too much excitement to allow sleep shortly after, but luckily a new study has helped to answer this age-old question.

It turns out that for most people, exercising late at night has little to no effect on their ability to fall asleep.  In fact, most studies show that any physical activity, no matter what time, actually helps you fall asleep more quickly and stay more soundly asleep since you’ve tired yourself out.  Some people, however, are more affected by the physical excitement that comes with exercise.  If you find you are someone who has a more difficult time falling asleep after exercise you may want to ensure it’s a few hours before your usual bedtime.  Exercise to help stay more soundly asleep is a great way to ensure wakefulness during the day.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better idea of how to stay as rested as possible. If you have individual concerns, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

________________________________________

If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

How Can I Have a More Restful Night’s Sleep?

Many people transitioning into CPAP therapy find it difficult to adjust to.  If you’re feeling restless, however, it may have less to do with your CPAP equipment and more to do with your daily habits.  It could be due to a number of little things you do during the day that don’t have an effect until much later at night.  Below, we outline a number of these common problems.  You may find that following these simple tips could help your body know when it’s time to rest.

Shut off your electronics

It is recommended that you have no contact with your cellphones, laptops, tablets, or other electronics at least an hour before you plan on going to sleep.  Many doctors think that the bright screens are capable of heightening your brain activity, making it harder to adjust back to a relaxed state for sleep.  By holding off on your electronics, you could help train your brain to know when it’s time for bed.

Keep the room dark

This follows a similar concept as above; by keeping the room as dark as possible, you ensure that you have as few disruptions as possible.  This can allow your brain and body to relax and settle down, allowing sleep to come easier.  If you sleep during the light hours of the day, try products like blackout blinds to keep the sun out.

Take a nap

This tip may seem counterproductive, but not if it’s done in the right way.  Naps under 30 minutes can actually help you sleep better at night by preventing exhaustion.  Sleeping more than 30 minutes during the day, however, can cause you to wake during the deeper parts of your sleep cycle, causing you to wake feeling less well rested.  Many doctors also recommend you nap in a different area than where you sleep.  This recapitulates your body’s understanding that when you’re in your bed, it’s time to sleep.

CPAP therapy can make great strides towards your feelings of restfulness and alertness.  It does take time to transition, but the benefits greatly outweigh any initial discomfort.  If you’re following these above tips and still finding it difficult to fall asleep, talk with your doctor about other things you might consider.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of a few things you can do to improve your quality of rest. It is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

________________________________________

If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

What is a BiPAP and is it Right for You?

There are many different types of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, each which has its own benefits depending on your personal and therapy needs.  A BIPAP, or Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure machine, has many similarities to a more traditional CPAP machine, but it also has important differences.  Both of these machines work to deliver pressurized air into your airway, helping to keep it open and prevent instances of apneas, when you stop breathing while sleeping due to airway collapse.  These apneas can occur up to hundreds of times per night and have dangerous health consequences if not faced head on with your doctor.

Respironics PR System One BiPAP Machine
Respironics PR System One BiPAP Machine

 

BIPAP machines are, in a way, a more sophisticated type of CPAP machine.  They still are delivering pressurized air to prevent apneas, but they are able to have dual pressure settings.  Some patients complain that with a traditional CPAP machine, they have trouble while exhaling or falling asleep due to the continuous, single pressure.  By having these two settings in a BIPAP machine, your doctor can set one pressure for inhalation and the other for when you exhale, helping to minimize any uneasiness during therapy.  The exhalation pressure is typically set lower which allows the user to need less effort to exhale while asleep and prevent any discomfort that can cause you to wake.  

These machines are often seen as the next step for patients who are having a difficult time with a CPAP machine, or whose OSA and OSA markers have not improved with the use of a CPAP machine.  They are also seen as a good option for users with low oxygen levels or even cardiac health problems.  Of course,  only your doctor can decide if a BIPAP machine is right for your OSA needs, but always speak with them about your concerns, especially if you believe your therapy is not working as effectively as it should be.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive checklist on whether or not you should be using a BIPAP, but hopefully you at least have a better understanding of its differences from a traditional CPAP machine. It is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

________________________________________

If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

How was CPAP Sleep Therapy First Invented?

Overview

If you are curious about the history of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy, you are not alone. Many CPAP patients often wonder as to the origins of their therapy, and how the underlying science was originally conducted that has transformed into today’s cutting edge Obstructive Sleep Apnea treatment culminating into products such as Resmed CPAP machines or Respironics CPAP masks. It all started with Dr. Colin Sullivan and his clinical experiments back in 1980, and has evolved into a group of more than 18 million americans alone.

History

The therapy was actually first tested on canines to determine whether the basic hypothesis was sufficient: focused, pressurized air would be able to essentially push through any obstacles that obstructed the airways. If this method worked, the first non-invasive therapy could be developed and patients could opt out of a costly, invasive, and inconvenient surgery. The first human test subject was a perfect patient to undergo testing. Suffering from severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the patient wandered into Dr. Sullivan’s office in Australia and sought treatment, but refused surgery. After agreeing to test trails of the brand new CPAP machine (now primative by 2016 standards), the seven hour treatment was a resounding success. During the process, Dr. Sullivan continued to increase pressure until Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) symptoms decreased and the patient resumed a normal, healthy sleep cycle. After awakening, the patient reported that he felt the best that he had felt in a long time. Dr. Sullivan continued to innovate in the field for years to come following his initial positive trials.

surgery-676375_640

Modern CPAP Therapy

Soon after, the first commercially available CPAP machine was launched in the United States by Phillips Respironics, and companies began entering the market to compete for the ever-growing patient base. CPAP therapy was first thought to be a short term solution to satisfy a patient until surgery could be performed, but it has transformed into a new standard of living for many patients who previously dreaded their lack of quality sleep and the adverse effects on their daily life.

baby-19295_1280

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of the history behind the widely popular CPAP therapy that you might be using today. If you’re curious to learn more, the American Sleep Association (ASA) can provide more information on historic clinical trials and their outcomes.

The Basics of CPAP Therapy

When you’ve been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, it might be a little overwhelming seeing the huge amount of choices you have when it comes to your CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy.  When you break it down, though, it’s really not too bad once you have a grasp of the necessary equipment.

Your Machine

ICON Auto Machine
ICON Auto Machine

Your machine is really the core of your CPAP therapy, doing the bulk of the work to help keep your airway open as you rest.  Most machines run off of a traditional AC current where you plug your machine into the wall at home and you’re good to go, but there are a few alternatives.  All machines require filters that are specific to the individual machine or brand of machines and have a pressure setting designated by your doctor.  There are a few different types of machines, and typically the kind you need is determined by your OSA severity and individual preferences:

CPAP MachinesCPAP machines deliver a steady stream of pressurized air to treat your OSA by keeping your airway open while you sleep.  By keeping the airway open, the instances of apneas, where you cease breathing, are virtually eliminated.

BIPAP MachinesBIPAP machines work similarly to CPAP machines with one exception, it uses two pressure settings instead of one.  With the two settings for inhalation and exhalation, some users feel more comfortable and less like they are fighting their machine while exhaling.

APAP MachinesAPAP machines are essentially an evolving machine able to react and change your therapy pressure whenever needed.  They can adjust to variables like your weight loss or gain, sleeping position, or anything else that could change your pressure needs.

Your Mask

maskMuch like your machine, your mask is capable of being individualized to treat your specific preferences.  Your mask in most cases is worn over your nose or mouth and ensures the delivery of your CPAP therapy.  There are a few different kinds of CPAP masks:

Full Face Mask: Full face masks are typically worn over the bottom portion of your face and cover both your nose and mouth, but there are versions which cover the entire face.  These masks are good for those who breathe through their mouth while resting.  

Nasal Mask: Nasal masks are similar to a full face mask, but are worn only covering the nose.  They are ideal for those who breathe exclusively through their nose while sleeping.  These can also be used in tandem with a chin strap to ensure effective therapy delivery.

Nasal Pillow Mask: Nasal pillow masks are worn under the nose and have pillows that fit along your nostrils to form a seal.  They are the most minimally designed masks and can also be used in tandem with a chin strap.

Oral Mask: Oral masks seal outside of the mouth and along the inner lip.  They are good for those who breathe exclusively through their mouth.  It is often suggested that you use a humidifier if using an oral mask to minimize any discomfort from airway drying.

Humidifiers

CPAP humidifiers are devices that often fit onto your machine to add moisture to your therapy air.  Because of the pressurized air used in CPAP therapy, some users experience dryness of the air passages that can lead to sore throat or a desire to stop their therapy.  Luckily, humidifiers can help to eliminate any discomfort and create a more natural sleeping experience.  Whether you’d benefit from using a humidifier depends on a few factors like your personal comfort preferences and your location.  To learn more about the types of humidifiers and whether they would be of benefit to you, click here.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of the core items used in CPAP therapy. It is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

________________________________________

If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

Are Your Gadgets Affecting Your Sleep Quality?

Adjusting to CPAP therapy can be difficult, but it is often the case that beginning therapy can greatly increase your quality of sleep.  If you find that you’re still not feeling as restful as you’d like, however, there could be other reasons.  Did you know that if you get under seven hours of sleep per night you are considered sleep deprived?  If not, you’re not alone.  Over two-thirds of people fall into this category, making it a widely spread condition affecting adults worldwide.  It turns out that our culture’s obsession with electronics could be partly to blame – your cellphone, laptop or tablet could be one of the culprits causing you to have those restless nights.

The social aspect of these devices are partly to blame, with many people constantly checking their social media account, email, electronic news, or any other ‘app’ you can think of.  Many people don’t turn off their devices during the night which certainly can disturb your rest if they ring or vibrate, but more so to blame is the scientific side of these electronics.

The scientific aspect of this sleep disruption has to do with the screen of your device.  Most electronics emit light waves that are near the blue end of the spectrum.  This specific wavelength of light suppresses an important sleep hormone, melatonin, which has an important function in helping you to fall asleep.  This means that if you are checking your phone before bed or when you wake during the night, this blue light is stimulating your brain and causing you to become more restless.  Most doctors recommend that you set aside electronics about an hour before bed to ensure they are not negatively affecting your ability to fall asleep.  By following these guidelines you may be able to more easily adjust to your CPAP therapy, allowing it to make you feel your best.  If you’re having any continuing issues, however, speak with your doctor to see if there are other underlying issues that could be affecting your sleep.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of how to benefit the most from your CPAP therapy and get the best night’s sleep possible. It is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

________________________________________

If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.