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Sleep Apnea, Sleep disorder

Learn about Sleep Disorder

Many medical conditions may lead to a disruption of sleep, or an excessive amount of daytime sleepiness, and are called sleep disorders. The common sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, etc. Consult a sleep specialist should you suspect yourself having sleep disorder.

Snoring: a real nuisance

Darling, you’re snoring again! Who has never been disturbed by a snorer?

As a rule, we snore when we breathe in, but snoring can also occur when we breathe out, or even during both of the respiratory phases. Between 60 and 100 dB, snoring is as loud as a lively conversation, or even a vacuum cleaner or a lawn mower.

But why do we snore? It is a matter of poor “plumbing”. Our anatomical make-up or obstacles in the throat can inhibit the flow of air and make a noise.

There is a clear hereditary aspect, and other factors such as obesity, smoking, drinking, certain drugs or just extreme tiredness can all contribute to snoring. Finally, we are more likely to snore if we sleep on our back.

Snoring may be a sign of sleep apnea, but only specialised doctors are qualified to draw any conclusions. CPAP treatment usually cures snoring.

The right kind of afternoon nap

Afternoon naps: necessity or luxury?

Regular afternoon nappers know how to choose the type of nap that best suits them. Remember that sleep must remain a source of pleasure!

Flash naps last less than 5 minutes and are not really sleep, but  a moment of total relaxation that take us to the frontiers of consciousness. With the right relaxation techniques and a little practice, it is quite possible to take a flash nap on public transport or at the office. They help to stimulate the memory and better adapt to restrictive environments.

“Power” naps last between 10 and 20 minutes and are very effective, which is why they are so popular! Taking a power nap in the early afternoon will not prevent you from falling to sleep in the evening. They are a form of light sleep that provides an opportunity to recharge your physical and intellectual batteries. Ideally, drink a cup of coffee just before nodding off, before the caffeine has time to kick in!

“Sleep cycle” naps are more common at the weekend. Lasting about 90 minutes, a sleep cycle nap includes all the forms of sleep (light, deep and REM sleep) and is a good way to recover from the fatigue accumulated during the week. If taken in the early afternoon, it is far more beneficial than a morning lie-in, provided that you force yourself to get up as soon as you wake up.

Monitoring my CPAP

You can treat your sleep apnea by CPAP. You now have your machine and your mask at home.

First, remember that your machine will record the length of time you wear your mask and the rhythm of your breathing, if you continue to suffer from apnea when asleep, night after night. Your technician can then provide valuable input for your doctor.

Doctors usually propose an appointment to observe how you are getting on, and in particular to make sure you can tolerate the CPAP. But they will also check whether the symptoms have been reduced and whether you still suffer from drowsiness during the day. The treatment can also improve your blood pressure.

You will then see your doctor less frequently. If everything goes according to plan, one appointment per year is usually sufficient.

If you are unsure of the efficiency of the CPAP, the oxygen level in the blood at night can be measured at home, or recordings (respiratory polysomnography or ventilatory polygraphs) can be taken during the treatment. These measures can be used to check whether the number of apneas has decreased and/or to diagnose an underlying sleep disorder (restless leg syndrome, hypersomnia, etc.).