Friday, March 12, 2010

Sleep Apnea and Behavioral Therapy

Dr. Oz recently shared two behavior changes that can help obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients treat their condition: side-sleeping and losing weight.

OSA happens when the soft tissue in a person’s throat collapses during the night. Every time the airway collapses, the person wakes up to breathe, disrupting their sleep patterns.

Obese and overweight people often suffer from OSA because they have excess weight around their neck.

If you have sleep apnea, sleeping on your side can remove the pressure from your airway. Losing weight can decrease that pressure altogether.

The AASM recommends that sleep apnea patients combine weight loss with another treatment such as CPAP or oral appliance therapy.

Sleep apnea should not go untreated. Dr. Oz explains that it can cause daytime sleepiness, mood problems, memory loss, heart disease, stroke and death. OSA can also increase a person’s risk for obesity, diabetes and work or driving-related accidents.

Common signs of sleep apnea include loud snoring, daytime sleepiness and morning headaches. Visit a sleep center near you to find out if you have this sleep disorder.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.