Weight Loss and Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a severe sleeping disorder that disrupts breathing while a person is sleeping. This disruption can be due to a number of reasons which include abnormal growth of tissues or muscles in the airways, hyperactivity of the autonomic system or obesity. If not treated beforehand it can definitely lead to fatal consequences as the required amount of oxygen does not reach the brain.

Sleep Apnea and Obesity – Is there a connection?

  • According to a study, it has been found that majority of the sleep apnea cases are caused due to the patients being obese or overweight. It has been proved that almost up to 20% of them were cured of the disorder after undergoing an extensive weight loss program. Majority of these patients also reported that while weight loss might not have cured the disorder completely, it helped in decreasing the severity of it.
  • Pregnant women are highly prone to sleep apnea as they gain weight right at the beginning of the third trimester.
  • It is noted that people who are obese do not exercise often which is a leading cause in developing sleep apnea. Hence, fitness is also important while controlling and maintaining weight.

The Link – What is the connection?

When a person is overweight or obese, the body accumulatesextra mass around the neck and the throat. There is also a likely chance of mass being accumulated around the veins and arteries. Once this mass gets accumulated, it tends to squeeze the arteries closer, restricting the passage way for the blood to flow.

Often fat and cholesterol tends to get accumulated around the throat and the neck, which is why the airway through which you breathe gets squeezed and narrowed down. The movement of air in and out of the throat gets highly restricted due to this accumulation.

Treatment – Possible Cures for Obesity and Sleep Apnea

There are also times when this airway gets blocked completely and in such cases CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) andBiPAP(Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure) treatment are recommended. In severe cases, surgeries are also recommended to help patients lose their body mass but the success rate is comparatively low and puts the patient at a higher risk.Moreover, these surgeries are often very painful and the recovery time could last up to weeks. Surgery for weight loss is an option which should be chosen only under severe conditions and under strict guidance of your physician.

Change in Lifestyle – Mandatory for Improvement

Weight loss treatment has proven to be the most beneficial treatment amongst the rest. One must make sure that he/she in takes a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals. Patients are also advised to exercise daily and try to keep themselves as fit as possible. There are several exercises also that are recommended for sleep apnea which have over time turned out to be very helpful to cure or reduce the severity of the disorder. These lifestyle changes must be deemed serious and stuck to with determination and hard work.

Sleep Paralysis

What Is Sleep Paralysis?

Sleep Paralysis is a sleeping disorder in which a person develops a temporary inability to talk or move while falling asleep or right after waking up. This has been found to be a very common sleeping disorder; and there almost around three million people in America every year who suffer from this discomforting disorder. Sleep Paralysis can actually be a terrifying experience for the person who suffers from it because it renders them immobile and makes their body seem useless as they have no control over it.   This condition usually lasts for around a minute or two but as mentioned; these few minutes can be quite frightening.

Sleep Paralysis commonly happens to people who are suffering from Sleep Apnea or Narcolepsy but it is not a hard and fast rule that only these people can. Recently, it was found out thatanyone can suffer from Sleep Paralysis irrespective of their gender or age. It has also been found that individuals from the age of three to thirteen are relatively less affected than those who are fourteen and above.

Symptoms of Sleep Paralysis

Sleep Paralysis like any other disorder has its own defined signs and symptoms. Medically, the most common symptoms of Sleep Paralysis are hallucinations, anxiety attacks and panic attacks. However, over the centuries there have been symptoms which are described as presence of evil demonic creatures in a human’s body. These “symptoms” were believed back in the ancient times but up to some extent even in today’s day and age, they are thought to be true.

How Is Sleep Paralysis Caused?

Sleep Paralysis is directly linked with Rapid Eye Movement (REM). This is the state of a mammal’s mind in which their muscle tone relaxes while their eyes move rapidly. REM causes a person to be able to dream properly as it allows a soothing state of mind. Sleep Paralysis occurs when parts of Rapid Eye Movement state of sleep persists until the point of wakefulness. This means that a person is fully awake, however, their body is temporarily paralyzed because it is not responsive to the neurological function as of yet. In order to know how Sleep Paralysis is caused in a better way it is imperative to understand what REM sleep is.

  • REM Sleep

When we sleep, there are many cycles that take place in our body physically as well as neurologically. In each cycle there are two main phases which take place. These cycles are:

  1. REM Sleep
  2. Non-REM Sleep

Our brain is highly active during the REM sleep phase. Most of the dreams that a person sees happen during this particular phase of sleep. It is quite interesting to note that our body is almost completely paralyzed during this phase except for the eye movement and movement of thediaphragm muscle which helps us breathe. Our body is paralyzed in order to prevent us from acting out our dreams which can lead to a possibility of serious injuries.

Major Factors Causing Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis is mostly caused due to various physiological and psychological reasons. In order to understand the gravity of this disorder, it is imperative to fully understand these factors which lead up to it. Here is a list of the most common factors which cause Sleep Paralysis:

  • Age: Age is a major factor in causing Sleep Paralysis. It has been found that majority of the people who suffer from this disorder are teenagers and young adults.
  • Sleep Deprivation: Sleep Deprivation has been found to be a major leading factor in causing Sleep Paralysis. Sleep deprived individuals and those who have not been able to get the required amount of sleep often find themselves suffering from the discomforting feeling of sleep paralysis.
  • Irregular Sleeping Patterns: Irregularity in sleep patterns on itself is a very unhealthy condition. However, what many people don’t know is that these irregular sleep patterns can actually cause them to suffer from Sleep Paralysis.
  • Narcolepsy: Narcolepsy is a condition in which people suffering from it find it very hard to stay awake, especially when they are in relaxed and soothing surroundings. People who suffer from narcolepsy often have a tendency to suffer from Sleep Paralysis as well.
  • Genetic Linkage: There is a large debate on whether Sleep Paralysis is passed down the family tree. While some experts are of the opinion that it is in fact hereditary, there is more research that needs to be done to prove these beliefs.
  • Anxiety or Stress: Anxiety and stress are one of the most leading causes of Sleep Paralysis. People who are highly stressed often find themselves suffering from Sleep Paralysis on the exact same night while others face these episodes for weeks if they are stressed.

Is Sleep Paralysis Hereditary?

Yes, there is a very high chance of sleep paralysis being inherited and transmitted genetically. Doctors and sleep experts conducted an extensive research study to find the link between these two.

According to this study, researchers collected data from around eight hundred twins and siblings and conducted an experiment in which they learned that genetics is somewhat responsible for causing Sleep Paralysis in siblings as well as twins. It is not however to be forgotten that most of these patients were also suffering from high levels of stress and anxiety which could either be an added factor or the root cause of Sleep Paralysis for them. This is why this research needs more backing up with scientific evidence in order to make more headway in the medical world.

There was an additional finding in this study; scientists repeatedly found out that in the case of each and every individual, Sleep Paralysis was caused during the REM sleep stage.

Is The Body Functional During Sleep Paralysis?

The human body is quite functional during Sleep Paralysis. However, the major question should be whether the body is mobile during sleep paralysis. The human body goes numb during Sleep Paralysis. Eye movements and diaphragm movements are the only two movements which take place during the time a body is in state of Sleep Paralysis

Is Sleep Paralysis Linked With Epilepsy?

In order to answer this question and determine if there is a link between the two disorders, it is necessary to understand Epilepsy in a wider perspective.

  • What Is Epilepsy?
  • Epilepsy is a common serious neurological disorder in which the patient tends to suffer from sudden seizures. This is caused mainly due to disturbance in the brain’s electrical activity. Epilepsy is one of the most serious neurological conditions known to medical history and has been proven to be extremely dangerous and fatal. It cannot be stressed enough how imperative it is to get this condition diagnosed and treated immediately. Additionally, it is extremely common in America. According to recent statistics, almost two hundred thousand to three million people suffer from Epilepsy in America alone every year.

Sleep Paralysis and Epilepsy are similar in the feeling they cause for the patient, however are very different from each other and less likely to be linked. While Sleep Paralysis renders a person motionless during the time they sleep, an Epileptic patient can suffer from seizures any time of the day. While some people who suffer from Epilepsy have been known to experience Sleep Paralysis and vice versa, there have been no confirmed links between the two conditions.

Is Sleep Paralysis An Indicator Of A Serious Neurological Disorder?

While sleep paralysis alone is not harmful, it is quite a jarring experience for the person who suffers from it. Additionally, it can lead to serious neurological disorder such as Apnea and Narcolepsy.

Can Sleep Paralysis Cause Hallucinations?

Yes. Hallucinations have always been a discomforting companion of Sleep Paralysis. A person who suffers from Sleep Paralysis usually feels these three types of hallucinations:

  1. Presence of an intruder around them.
  2. Pressure on the chest, caused due to some entity which holds them down
  3. Levitation or an out of body experience

Usually, when a person freshly wakes up from an episode of Sleep Paralysis they feel that something or someone is on top of them and is rendering them immobile. Due to their immobility they feel like they cannot move from the bed and often feel a strong sense of suffocation.

Sleep Paralysis Myths

Sleep Paralysis for centuries has been commonly associated with horror ghost stories. The condition’s discomforting state makes a person feel that maybe some sort of demon or an evil presence has taken over their body. Superstitious people still believe that rather than a sleeping disorder, these episodes are the cause of some supernatural activity.

However, as mentioned above, the gravity of this condition is not to be taken lightly and it should be diagnosed and treated effectively.

Can Sleep Paralysis be treated?

Yes. Sleep Paralysis is in fact a very treatable disorder. There are various lifestyle changes which one can introduce in their lives in order to fight sleep paralysis. Here are some of the most trusted and prescribed tips to keep Sleep Paralysis at bay:

  • Maintaining a regular sleeping pattern
  • Reduction of Caffeine intake
  • Reduction of Tobacco intake
  • Prohibition of Alcohol before bedtime
  • Comfortable sleeping conditions

Sleep Paralysis Treatments

Sleep Paralysis is a non-fatal sleeping disorder in which a person tends to lose the ability to talk or move temporarily as soon as they wake up from their sleep. In this condition, the person is completely aware of his or her surroundings but is temporarily paralyzed. This effect lasts for around thirty seconds to a minute or so but it has been referred to as the most terrifying experience. Sleep experience is very common among teenagers and young adults especially in America.

Researchers have learned that apart from the usual factors which cause sleep paralysis like stress or anxiety, there is an involvement of genetics in causing Sleep Paralysis as well. Although, as stated previouslySleep Paralysis does not harm people, it can definitely indicate a trigger of some severe neurological disorder like Narcolepsy or Sleep Apnea and is very discomforting as well.

Can Sleep Paralysis Be Treated?

Sleep Paralysis can in fact be treated; however, the cause for a person’s Sleep Paralysis is a major factor to be kept in mind. Researchers and scientists have investigated that there has not been a proper treatment revealed yet. However, there are various lifestyle changes which a person can introduce in their life in order to fight Sleep Paralysis.

Lifestyle Changes to Treat Sleep Paralysis

  • Sleeping for an adequate amount of time of around seven to eight hours, can help decrease the severity of Sleep Paralysis significantly.
  • Doctors and Sleep Experts also suggest following a proper sleeping routine and pattern.
  • Reduction of Caffeine intake before bedtime.
  • Prohibition of Alcohol and Smoking before bedtime.
  • Regular physical and mental exercises.

All these little habits help significantly in decreasing the severity of Sleep Paralysis.

Medication for Sleep Paralysis

It has also been found out thatNarcolepsy is a major factor which attributes to Sleep Paralysis as well. In such cases, doctors and Sleep Experts usually prescribeanti-depressants medication to eliminate or reduce dream sleep. Contrary to popular belief, being prescribed anti-depressants does not necessarily mean that a person is depressed. For such cases, anti-depressants actually help in reducing the severity of a person’s condition.

It can be safely concluded that Sleep Paralysis is a disorder which can only be treated if the causes for it are determined. For instance, a person with a Bi-Polar Disorder also sometimes suffers from Sleep Paralysis. In this case, the Bi-Polar Disorder needs to be treated first and only then anything can be prescribed to reduce the severity of Sleep Paralysis.

Natural Remedies for Sleep Paralysis

There are various natural remedies for Sleep Paralysis which help with keeping the intensity of the disorder at bay.

  • Comfortable Sleeping Conditions
  • Comfortable Sleeping Position
  • Chamomile Tea and Herbal Tea are often a helping factor.
  • Use of Valerian which is herbal often used to decrease nervousness and insomnia. It is best advised to combine this with some other supplement in order to ensure full efficacy.
  • Use of Melatonin which regulates sleep by balancing the body’sCardiac Rhythm.

Sleep Paralysis is not a life threatening sleeping disorder and can be cured with natural remedies or medication.

Sleep Paralysis and Islam

Among the basic teachings of Islam, it is expected from Muslims to believe in Angels and Demons (Jinn) as creations by God like humans. Not only in Islam, but in many other religions including Christianity, believing in demons as a creation of God is fundamental part of people’s faith. According to Islam, God has created humans with water and sand, angels with light and demons with fire.

As the concept of Jinn is deeply rooted in Muslim societies, many Muslims mistake sleep paralysis with possession of body by demons. In reality, sleep paralysis is a medical condition in which the person is unable to move or speak for sometime while going into sleep or just waking up. It mostly happen to people who sleep on their back. The condition is temporary as within seconds or minutes, the person can feel himself/herself and can move or speak. As some people can also hallucinate during the paralysis due to the panic and fear resulting in experiencing weird stuff which makes them believe demons possessed them.

For example, some people can feel if someone is sitting on their chest, a common feeling by people suffering with sleep paralysis. While experiencing if someone is sitting on their chest, some people can also hallucinate animals, other people or creatures sitting on them which makes them believe if they are possessed by jinn.

As the belief in Jinn is mandatory in Islam which is taught from a very early age, Muslims quickly link sleep paralysis and resulting fear and hallucination with possession of Jinn. On top of that, in some third world Muslim countries like Bangladesh, religious leaders take advantage of low literacy rate of the masses to link sleep paralysis with possession of jinn. These so-called religious scholars than sell their services in order to help the victims to get rid of possessions of demons.

Is There Any Evidence in the Source Books?

Even though, many Muslims believe that sleep paralysis is actually a demon (Jinn) attack but in reality, there is nothing in the source books that can connect Islam and this common belief among Muslims. The source books like Quran and Hadiths (Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH) talked about demons as the creatures of God but the sources never linked the condition of sleep paralysis with possession of body by demons.

Even though, night is often associated with demons in religious texts, but there is nothing specific that can link sleep paralysis with possession of demons. Reports from many Muslims that they could feel better during their experiences when they recite verses from Quran also makes many people believe that sleep paralysis is actually an attack of jinn.

All in all, sleep paralysis is commonly linked to demons in Muslim world especially in third world countries but in reality, there is no actual evidence from the source books that can back this common belief. In reality, sleep possession is a medical condition and nothing more and requires a medical treatment. The top and educated religious scholars also rated sleep paralysis as a medical condition instead of a jinn attack.

Sleep Deprivation

Just as important it is for humans to eat, drink and breathe it is as important to have a sufficient amount of sleep every day. Ample amount of sleep brings considerable change in a person’s health and social and professional life. It definitely helps perform better in studies, work and other daily life activities.

On the other hand if a person does not get enough sleep, it can horribly go against them. Since the urge to sleep cannot be neglected, it can disturb a person’s routine throughout the day. It keeps people from performing well in all daily life activities and therefore it can become a seriously dangerous disorder.

Such a condition where people do not get sufficient amount of sleep is called Sleep Deprivation. It has severe impacts on a person’s health and can initiate several serious health issues such as Diabetes, Depression, Insomnia and other Sleep disorders. While carrying out tests, researchers observed death of animals who suffered from long term sleep deprivation. The longest recorded time where person has gone without sleep is 449 hours. There is an astonishingly lengthy episode of sleep deprivation where a Vietnamese had claimed to have not slept for 11,700 nights. However, the fact was never scientifically proven.

General causes of sleep deprivation are related to mental and physical health. Often stress is a major reason for people not getting enough sleep. One of the more common causes is setting sleep low on our priority list. When people focus more on completing their studies and professional work, they often do it at the expense of sleep. It results in muscular fatigue and day time drowsiness as well.

One very serious cause of sleep deprivation is often overlooked by people. People may not be able to sleep because of other sleep disorders which may result in lack of sleep and ultimately a person may fall victim to sleep deprivation. This is a serious concern as these causes generally remain unidentified and patients actually do not know what they may be suffering from.

Stages of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep Deprivation is generally characterized in to two different stages namely, Acute Sleep deprivation and Chronic Sleep Deprivation. During chronic sleep deprivation, a patient may experience intense muscle fatigue and drowsiness. It is more common of the two stages of sleep deprivation. Acute Sleep deprivation is sudden and for a short period of time.

Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation can have some dangerous consequences and it mostly affects negatively to a person’s health. These symptoms are related to a person’s brain health and physical conditions. Interestingly enough, sleep deprivation is also used as tool for curing mental stress and it was observed to have worked effectively. Having said that, there are mostly unhealthy effects of Sleep deprivation some of which are mentioned below:

  • Sleep deprivation is said to have played a major role in traffic accidents. Since patients may feel drowsy while driving, the rate of car crashes and fatal injuries is dangerously high.
  • Sleep deprivation causes laziness and patients face a hard time concentrating in activities. Social life is greatly affected as people may not actively participate in family gatherings and social events.
  • A person may not remain as aware of the surroundings as before. Alertness decreases as a result of sleep deprivation. It is sometimes also accompanied by memory weakening and forgetfulness.
  • There are a lot of heart problems related to sleep deprivation. Intense sleep deprivation can cause Stroke, High Blood Pressure, failure of Heart as well as Diabetes.
  • Sexual life is also greatly disturbed by Sleep deprivation as lack of sleep can cause reduced periods of sex drives. Since a person feels drowsiness, there is absence of energy that can also result in lack of interest in having sex.
  • Skin aging is also a side effect of sleep deprivation and normally people get dull eyes and dark circles as a result of this sleep disorder. Scientifically, during sleep deprivation, the hormones responsible for human growth are released in a lesser quantity. This directly affects the skin and its ages quickly.
  • Depression is one of the major symptoms of sleep deprivation as people often concern about not having enough sleep.
  • Lack of sleep also adds body weight. One of the research concluded that people who do not sleep more than six hours daily have a 30 percent higher chance of falling to obesity than those who sleep for around eight hours every day.
  • According to a research, sleep deprivation increases the risk of death.

Side Effects of Sleep Deprivation

On most occasions, sleep deprivation can cause other physiological problems. Some of them are sleep disorders themselves while others may be related to general health. Some of the major side effects of Sleep Deprivation are given below:

  • Diabetes is a common problem these days and is known to affect people from any age group. During sleep deprivation, the glucose production in the body also slows down. As a result a person may be faced with lack of glucose which in turn can cause Diabetes.
  • Brain growth is also affected and people may face neurological and motor skill problems as well. A study concluded that the brains of the people who face sleep deprivation have to exercise more and work harder to achieve a task as compared to people who take ample amount of nap on daily basis. It also affects the ability to learn different languages. Generally, learning process slows down. Patients may have a better short term memory but in the longer run, they tend to forget things.
  • An experimental study on rats suggested that sleep deprived section of the subjects took more time to recover and heal from wounds.
  • There are a number of physiological disorders that result due to sleep deprivation. They include headaches, irritability, fibromyalgia risks,rise in hormone stress level, involuntary yawning, abrupt mood swings, muscle aches, indecisiveness, hallucinations and many others.

Stages of Sleep and its Connection with Sleep Deprivation

There are two main stages of sleep i.e. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and NREM (Non Rapid Eye Movement). Rem sleep makes around 25% of the total sleep time while the bigger share of sleep time is taken by NREM sleep.

REM sleep involves rapid eye movement. A person may move their eye in response to the happenings in a dream and these movements can be really fast.

NREM sleep is further divided into four stages. The first stage is pretty short of about five to seven minutes where a person goes through a transition from being awake to sleepiness. The second stage actually longs the most. It makes around 50% of REM cycle. The third and the fourth stage are named as slow wave sleep. Sleep researchers observed waves in the ECG which they named as Delta waves.

Sleep deprivation has to do with the first stage of NREM sleep cycle. A person may not be able to complete this first cycle and his sleep is disturbed causing him to wake up. This results in a person not being able to sleep at all. Sleep deprivation has no direct link to REM sleep cycle as it only initiates when a person is in deep sleep.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Cognitive Response

It mainly refers to the mental health of a person suffering from Sleep Deprivation. People may go through depression. It has direct effects on the auditory as well as divided attention. The auditory attention decreases with the increase in sleep deprivation.

Sleep deprivation also affects endogenous attention. However, it has no sever impacts on exogenous attention in the human brain.

The ability to correct errors also decreases with increase in sleep deprivation. The brain takes more time to adapt to a condition and therefore its ability to distinguish the right from the wrong also decreases.

Planning and strategizing can also be negatively affected by Sleep Deprivation. According to an experiment Sleep deprived patients take longer time and more energy to solve a problem than a normal person.

Sleep deprivation can also cause a person to face more difficulties with a complex or logical problem as compared to a person who take enough sleep.


Treatments for Sleep Deprivation

Scientists suggest that the key to tackle Sleep deprivation is to enhance and improve the alertness of a patient. For this purpose, Caffeine is considered a helpful ingredient as it improves the brain activity and keep a person awakened so that short spells of sleep are avoided causing a person to sleep better for a longer period of time.

Most effective way of reducing sleep deprivation is to ensure that a person takes a full night’s sleep. It has also to do with the Cyrcadian rhythm of our body which synchronizes with the amount of light that our retina receives. During night time, there is an automatic urge to sleep because there is less signal reception at the retina due to darkness.

There are certain medications and drugs which are recommended by doctors to overcome Sleep Deprivation. These drugs include Prophylactic agents.


Sleep deprivation is a major sleep disorder and affect about 25% of adults in the modern world. However, it is curable and it is advised not to ignore any symptoms that may lead to Sleep Deprivation.

Sleep Apnea in Children – Can Children Be Effected?

Yes. Sleep apnea is one of the disorders which can easily plague adults and children alike. Sleep apnea in children tends to be more discomforting in the case of children, given their tendency to be fragile. Similar to sleep apnea in adults, sleep apnea in children is characterized by infrequencies in breath during the night. These infrequencies might be caused due to any obstructions in the airways or other health conditions. Children between the ages of 2 to 8 tend to mostly suffer from sleep apnea however; older children are likely to suffer from it too. There are various signs and symptoms which might indicate if your child is suffering from sleep apnea.

Signs and Symptoms – How to know if your child is suffering?

There is a high chance that your child is suffering from sleep apnea if he is showing the following signs and symptoms:

  • Snoring: If your child is suddenly snoring throughout the night, it is quite possible that he is struggling to breathe which is an indication of sleep apnea.
  • Tossing and Turning: If your child tosses and turns all night long or for a major part of it, it could mean that he is suffering from sleep apnea.
  • Frequent night sweats which arise out of struggle for breath are indicative of sleep apnea in children as well.
  • Irritability and hyperactivity during the day is a possibility of sleep apnea as well.
  • Gasping and bed wetting during the night is also indicative of pediatric sleep apnea.

Treatment – How can you help your child fight it?

Your child can fight sleep apnea if proper treatment is provided to him/her. It is imperative to ensure that your child receives proper care and treatment for this disorder as it can lead to complications if it persists.

  • In case childhood obesity is leading to sleep apnea, limiting your child’s calcium intake and introducing dietary counselling could prove to be beneficial.
  • As mentioned above children with sleep apnea often find it hard to carry out their regular activities. To avoid this, their activity could be limited in order to save them unnecessary fatigue.
  • Oxygen therapy could be introduced to children suffering from mild sleep apnea.
  • In cases of nasal congestion, it is suitable to introduce antihistamine or antimuscarinic therapy.
  • CPAP for children can also be a good option for children as it is non-invasive and can help in regulating a healthy flow of air to their brain.

Long Term Effects – How dangerous can sleep apnea be to children?

As mentioned above, if not provided with proper care children might develop serious complications growing up due to sleep apnea. These long term effects include:

  • Social and Behavioral Deficiencies: Children with sleep apnea might develop behavioral issues such as irritability and attention deficiency disorders. These might cause children to become moody and anti-social.
  • Growth Hormone Deficiencies: Children who suffer from sleep apnea might develop growth hormone deficiencies which might prove to be challenging to their growth process.
  • Cardiovascular Diseases: Sleep apnea is known to have a stressful effect on the heart. If children suffer from it at an early age, it puts them at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Sleep Apnea and Diabetes – The Link between the Two

Sleep Apnea has been known to be closely related to various other diseases such as cardiovascular diseases as well as hypertension and diabetes. There are various risk factors which work with this condition hence leading to all the mentioned diseases and health conditions.

Sleep Apnea and Diabetes – Are They Related?

Yes, the two conditions have been known to be closely related to each other. Type 2 diabetes is the type of diabetes most likely to be caused by sleep apnea. There are two major reasons for this connection between the two. The first reason is that sleep apnea takes a direct toll on your metabolism, hence causing distress to the patient’s system which might lead to diabetes. The second reason is the common link between sleep apnea and diabetes which is obesity. Let us take us a look at the various ways Sleep Apnea and Diabetes are closely linked.

  • Type 2 Diabetes and OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea)

The most common type of sleep apnea linked with Type 2 diabetes is OSA. This is mostly due to the fact that OSA is caused by muscular or tissue growth which obstructs regulation of air into the passageway. Apart from this the obstruction may be due to constriction of the airways. This constriction is almost always caused due to obesity or excess weight. A person who is diabetic due to obesity is most likely to suffer from sleep apnea as well.

  • OSA and Insulin Resistance

Obstructive Sleep Apnea has also been known to be directly related with insulin resistance and SDB (Sleep-Disordered Breathing). Increased sympathetic nervous system activity is something which is closely related to sleep apnea. This is also directly linked to hyperinsulinemia as a result of stimulation of glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis. This in turn causes insulin resistance in the patient’s body. Insulin Resistance is also caused due to disturbed sleep routine. This is a clear and obvious side effect of sleep apnea.

  • Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy and Sleep Apnea

Most diabetic patients often suffer from Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy. These include patients of Type 1 as well as Type 2 diabetes both. While a person sleeps, their respiratory function is directly regulated by their Autonomic Nervous System. Patients who suffer from Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy are directly affected as their respiratory functions become weak. This could mean that their sleep is affected during the night. In some cases it might also directly lead to sleep apnea.

Improvement Tips – Can It Be Avoided?

While sleep apnea is directly linked to diabetes, the risks can certainly be avoided. The most important things to keep in mind if you suffer from either, is opting for a healthier lifestyle. Loads of exercise, taking care of your diet is the first and ultimate step. Weight loss in case of obese patients significantly helps too. It also helps if the patients minimize their intake of slow toxins such as alcohol and tobacco. While these tips might not be a direct cure or treatment, they have been known to ensure a healthier lifestyle to those who suffer from these disorders.

Sleep and Stress

Stress can have extremely negative effects on our lifestyle. In fact, it can influence our life so much that it might leave us completely isolated, not being able to do anything at all. One of the major problems caused by excessive stress is the lack of sleep. People, who are stressed, usually find it extremely difficult to sleep at night because they just can’t seem to get things out of their mind. Overthinking leads to depression, which requires a proper treatment.

Getting enough sleep is extremely vital for the brain to function properly. Lack of sleep can cause several problems in everyday life. Sleeping for at least 8 to 10 hours is extremely crucial for an individual’s mind to function properly. Not getting enough sleep can result in mood swings, lack of focus, inefficiency and tiredness. It also disrupts our metabolism.

There is a strong relation between stress and lack of sleep. As mentioned above, too much stress can actually keep you awake throughout the night and you might find it extremely difficult to sleep. Stress is also one of the major factors behind Insomnia and, in some cases, Narcolepsy.

Insomnia is the inability to sleep at night, whereas, Narcolepsy is excessive daytime sleepiness. Narcoleptics are usually seen sleeping for shorter periods during the day. Individuals suffering from stress can find themselves suffering from one of these conditions very easily, which is why it is extremely important to take measures right away. Stress itself can cause a lot of problems, and if you are not getting enough sleep on top of that, things can actually get worse.

Working out on regular basis can help release stress a great deal. You do not have to engage in intense physical activities. Even a simple morning walk can be a great stress reliever as it keeps your mind fresh. Also, it tires you out so much that you will go straight to sleep the moment you lay in bed. This will help you get adequate amount of sleep, which obviously keeps your mind fresh and stress free.

If in case, you have become a victim of insomnia due to stress, there are certain things you can do to sleep well at night. Adjusting your schedule is one of the major ways to get enough sleep in the night. Try not to take naps during the day. If you really want to, try to sleep not more than half an hour.

According to latest researches, Social Media has become one of the major reasons of stress and depression in people. Also, it has contributed to insomnia a great deal as people spent most of their time on their phones or computer during the late hours. Therefore, it is extremely important to keep yourself away from all these things at least before going to sleep. If you cant seem to find a solution to your problem consult a psychiatrist and discuss your situation. A clear head will not only free you of stress, it will also help you sleep better and eventually lead to a healthy lifestyle.

Sleep and Depression

Sleep and depression have an unusual bonding. Extensive research on this relationship suggest that following a proper sleeping schedule ensuring enough daily sleep is inevitable for a person to lead a happy life. A lot of people going through different mental and physical troubles have been observed to have insufficient daily sleep. It is as important for a person to sleep as it is for him to eat, drink and breathe.

Depression is characterized as a mood disorder where a person experiences sadness and stress. Depression has various signs and reasons. It can have severely negative impacts on a person’s social, professional and personal life. There can be several causes of depression ranging from personal relationships, to set backs in professional life. It may not seem significantly dangerous from the outset but continuous depression can lead a person to severe mental issues.

Does lack of sleep cause Depression?

Lack of sleep can be a cause of depression. A person experiencing sadness or guilt can face Insomnia or sleep deprivation. This adds to depression and can worsen its effects. People not being able to sleep for long intervals of time can be face with depression.

Other medical conditions and disorders can also lead to sleeplessness which in turn can cause depression. Sometimes, the only reason for depression is the fact that the person worries too much about the inability to sleep. In order to obtain good sleep, pay attention to the mattress you are sleeping on. For example try reading Beautyrest mattress reviews.

In other cases, a study suggests that depressed people are also found oversleeping. According to a survey around 18% of depressed people tend to oversleep.

Does Insomnia cause Depression?

As mentioned before, depression can arise due to other sleeping disorders. Insomnia is one such sleep disorder that can cause depression. An Insomnia patient tends to have difficulty staying asleep. An interesting research suggests that patients having Insomnia are more likely to develop a depression than those who just have a history of Insomnia.

In some situations, It can be difficult to predict either which arrives first, Insomnia or Depression. However, most researchers suggest that Insomnia or lack of sleep can give rise to a number of mental and mood disorders. This can result in a person developing depression over a period of time.

Symptoms of Depression and Sleeplessness

Some of the major symptoms of Depression and sleeplessness are given below:

  • Feeling sad or guilty
  • Lack of concentration in daily life activities
  • Mood swings
  • Laziness and drowsiness
  • Suicide thoughts
  • Loss of appetite and diet irregularities

These are some major symptoms that help predict whether a person is going through depression. It is highly recommended that these symptoms are noted seriously and effective measures are taken to reduce its effects.

Treatment for Sleep and Depression

Depression and lack of sleep can be handled by consulting with a doctor or sleep therapist. There are certain mind exercises and medications that help reduce and get rid of depression. Some of them are given below:

  • Physical exercise and jogging can be helpful for depression patients.
  • Deep breathing and relaxation is also recommended
  • Avoid lying down on the bed except for when there is an extreme urge to sleep.
  • Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake.
  • Antidepressants such as Paxil and Zoloft can be used following a prescription from a medical expert.

Sleep and depression are interlinked and they have big impacts on a person’s health. It is important to diagnose the disorder and take effective measures to get rid of them as quickly as possible or else, they can bring down a person’s performance chart in professional and personal life.

Dementia and Sleep

There is a strong connection between sleep and dementia but to understand that better, it is important know exactly what dementia is.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a mental disorder that can be caused duehead injury or brain diseases. An individual suffering from dementia may experience loss of memory, difficulty communication, confusion and problems walking around. People suffering from dementia may also find it difficult to recognize people they are close with, even parents and siblings. Although the condition needs a proper medical treatment, you can take certain steps to make things better yourself. Try to understand what the person is going through and then adjust accordingly. Try not to stress them too much. Dementia cases can be of different nature, which is why it is important to treat every case differently.

Is Sleep for People with Dementia Any Different?

Sleeping patterns of about half the people suffering from dementia are not normal. They normally find very difficult to sleep for longer periods and are often sleepy and tired throughout the day. They are also unable to achieve deep sleep are usually restless during the night. REM (Random Eye Movement) is the deepest stage of sleep, which dementia sufferers hardly get to. This is the same stage of sleep when a person starts dreaming. Restless sleep could solely be due to dementia or due to changes in the mental state.

How Can The Sleep Problems Affect Their Daily Life?

Not getting proper or adequate sleep can lead to a lot of problems. Their quality of life gets affected and they are unable to carry out regular day activities. They find it difficult to function properly and are usually tired and sleepy. Lack of focus during work or any activity is another common problem that they might come across. Lack of sleep due to dementia also causes mood swings or severe depression. Also, they might wake up in the middle of the night and start walking around. Talking during sleep is another common habit that these people might develop.

How to Help People with Dementia Get Adequate Rest

In order for you to help people with dementia rest well, it is important to bring them back to their normal sleeping patterns. You can do that by helping them develop the same routine as they had when they slept well.

One way to help these people get enough rest is by providing them things that helps them sleep well. For example, if they were accustomed to falling asleep listening to music, then you should let them listen to their favorite music. If they were used to waking up early in the morning, then wake them up early. Make sure they are kept busy during the day so they don’t fall asleep.

Massage has proved to be very helpful for people with dementia. Giving them a massage right before bed will help them go to sleep. Make sure you they fall asleep at time that they used to. To avoid any sort of disturbances, keep their room completely dark and avoid any sort of noise during the night. All of these things along with medical treatment can help them get a lot better.