Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which your breathing stops and starts again throughout the night. Sleep apnea significantly reduces the quality of the sleep you get, which leaves you feeling tired during the day.
People who snore loudly often suffer from sleep apnea, so it’s worth getting checked for this disorder if your partner or your family notices you snore a lot. If it transpires that you do indeed have sleep apnea, it is treatable, and there are a number of ways to deal with it.
This post will highlight three potential solutions that can help you better deal with sleep apnea and ensure high-quality sleep every night that rejuvenates you for the day ahead.
Wearable Sleep Technology
The growth of technology has benefited pretty much every facet of people’s lives in some way—even for sleep apnea, there’s now a technological solution. Fitbit, the company known for its health monitoring wristbands, has released a new Ionic smartwatch that can accurately identify sleep apnea.
One of the key challenges with sleep apnea is its initial diagnosis. You need to undergo an expensive sleep study, and you need to sleep overnight in a special sleep centre for accurate diagnosis. However, the diagnosis is challenging because many people have sleep apnea without realizing it, so there are many patients who don’t even get to the sleep study stage.
A device such as the Fitbit smartwatch could dramatically improve both the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea, markedly improving quality of life for many people.Even if the Fitbit doesn’t end up being recognized as an official diagnostic tool, it will still help inform patients and doctors about potential sleep apnea, helping doctors to identify patients who need an official diagnostic test in the form of a sleep study.
Elevating the upper body is one of the best ways to deal with sleep apnea. An adjustable electric bed is the perfect solution to help achieve the required elevation for dealing with sleep apnea. Lying flat encourages collapsing of the airways, which is what happens during obstructive sleep apnea, the most common subtype of this disorder.
An adjustable bed provides the support sleep apnea patients need to remain in an upright position for the duration of their sleeping hours. Adjustable electric beds are electric beds that you can profile to a number of different positions.
These electric beds use a multi-hinged structure, which can allow you to move the upper half and lower half of the bed independently of each other, with a simple remote control. Such control over the sleeping position with electric adjustable beds provides a great way for sleep apnea patients to alleviate the symptoms of their disorder, limit snoring, and ensure better quality sleep.
An adjustable electric bed can complement other sleep apnea treatments such as CPAP machines, which are used as at-home treatments for this sleep disorder. Some patients might find that an electric adjustable bed solves most of their apnea issues, but any potential discontinuation of other sleep apnea treatments should always be discussed with your doctor. You can find out more about adjustable beds from the specialist Adjustable Beds team here.
Surgery is a last resort treatment for particularly severe cases of sleep apnea that prove difficult to treat. A number of potential surgical solutions exist for sleep apnea treatment.
You might get tissue removed from the back of your throat, including your tonsils and adenoids. The removal of these tissues reduces the chances of your airways blocking due to collapse of throat structures while lying in bed.
Another potential solution is the relatively new development of an implantable device which stimulates the hypoglossal nerve, the nerve that controls the tongue. The device is implanted in the upper chest using a relatively simple surgical procedure. An important cause of sleep apnea is the tongue collapsing to the back of the throat while sleeping, blocking the airways temporarily. This device stimulates the hypoglossal nerve as you sleep, preventing the tongue from collapsing into the airways.
Jaw surgery is another way to treat sleep apnea that doesn’t respond to conventional therapeutic solutions. The surgery moves the upper and lower parts of your jaw forward from the rest of your facial bones, giving space behind the tongue and soft palate. The increased space makes sleep apnea attacks less likely.
Sleep apnea is an extremely common and treatable sleep disorder. Many people go through significant portions of their lives suffering from sleep apnea without even realizing it. Modern technology has paved the way for easier diagnosis, with data from new devices such as the Fitbit ionic smartwatch alerting patients and doctors to probable sleep apnea.
Once diagnosed, you can avail of several effective treatment options. An adjustable bed is arguably one of the most user-friendly solutions because it can alleviate sleep apnea symptoms without requiring you to wear an uncomfortable CPAP mask.
As a last resort, if both CPAP masks and adjustable beds don’t provide relief, you can undergo surgery, with a number of different procedures available.
Contact the Adjustable Beds team to learn more about how these electric beds can improve your sleep apnea symptoms.