Sleep Apnea Forest Lake MN

When the British author Anthony Burgess wrote, “Laugh and the world laughs with you; snore and you sleep alone,” he struck a sympathetic chord with fellow snorers. But sawing logs is more than just a social faux pas if you’re one of the 12 million Americans with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

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Sleep Apnea

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By Leslie Petrovski

When the British author Anthony Burgess wrote, “Laugh and the world laughs with you; snore and you sleep alone,” he struck a sympathetic chord with fellow snorers. But sawing logs is more than just a social faux pas if you’re one of the 12 million Americans with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
If you suffer from OSA, you may not even be consciously aware of your many—up to 300 per night—“apnea” episodes. During those episodes, OSA sufferers actually stop breathing for a minute or more. Apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the rear of the throat relax and cut off airflow. OSA is linked to heart disease, depression, and high blood pressure, but given the number of effective therapies, the condition is nothing to lose sleep over. Conventional treatment usually begins with the continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP), a device that blows air into the nose through a face mask. When used correctly, the CPAP typically reduces apnea episodes, but not everyone can tolerate the noise and the discomfort of sleeping with the machine.

John Dye, ND, chairman of the Department of Mind-Body Medicine at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, looks at the problem differently. “We treat the whole person to reduce the symptoms,” Dye explains. Dye looks for root causes, focusing on such areas as diet, inflammation, possible allergies, and cardiovascular profile.

To take a holistic approach to the problem, start by taking a hard look at your lifestyle choices: Stop smoking, limit alcohol consumption, and lose weight if you’re carrying a few too many pounds. And don’t sleep on your back. All of these factors can worsen OSA.
Still not sleeping soundly? Try Dye’s regimen:

• Improve your diet by adding more fiber, eating colorful and nutrient-dense foods, and cutting back on red meat and sugar.

• Take 2 to 3 grams per day of krill oil capsules, a possible cholesterol fighter derived from tiny Antarctic crustaceans.

• Add anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric (Curcuma longa) and ginger (Zingiber officinale)—1,500 to 2,000 mg of each daily.

• Try 400 mg of vitamin E once or twice a day, plus 500 mg vitamin C two to three times a day.

• Practice playing the didgeridoo. In a study in the British Medical Journal, researchers discovered that daily practice on this indigenous Australian wind instrument reduces apnea, daytime sleepiness, and sleep disturbance for bed partners.

Author: Leslie Petrovski

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