Living With and Managing Sleep Apnea
JIM: I had this problem throughout my life. Driving was always a problem, and I tried to make sure that no place I ever had to go was very far away because I knew I'd fall asleep. Carol Lynn was complaining about snoring and, more specifically, snoring and then long periods of nothing,
and then a gasp when I would, you know, start breathing again. Obviously, I wanted to enjoy my life with my children more than I felt that I was enjoying it. It's Saturday morning, and the kids are at your bed ready to do something, and I'm just like, quot;I gotta sleep, guys. I'm sorry. I can't play with you. I can't do this.quot; And I look back and I'm like, quot;This just can't be right.quot;
I had been talking to my about possibly having depression symptoms. I remember the other thing that I said to the when I went was that I no longer had any dreams. If you're not getting into REM sleep, you have no dreams. And so she's the one who then said, quot;Okay, we're gonna send you for a sleep study.quot; I spent the night there.
The amount of times that I was technically waking, and as low as my blood oxygen levels were, it was extreme. I was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea. Surgery, as it turned out, really wasn't a good option for me. The next step was that my did prescribe a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure.
The idea is they have to get the air pressure to your nose or your mouth or both in order to keep your airway open while you sleep. Because it wasn't comfortable for me to use, I was not using it as well as I should have been, in some cases not at all for weeks at a time. And things got worse, other symptoms appeared. I felt confused and out of it and just not right.
And I realized that I really needed to figure out a way to learn to live with this contraption. Now I'm at the point where I am consistently using it and have been for a long period of time. I definitely feel better. I'm looking forward to feeling better yet. Certainly, I have more energy to do activities with the children than I did before, and we do more.
The structure of the eye Processing the Environment MCAT Khan Academy
When we thinkabout breathing problems at night, we could thinkabout the problem coming from three key areas. The first one being a problemarising from the brain and the brain being a key central organ that controls the respiratorycenters that help regulate the lungs so the brainis really important here. The second one being aproblem with upper airways
so if there's anyobstruction to the airways from the mouth and the nose to the lungs, that can cause a problem. And last, but not least,we can also have a problem with the lungs themselvesor the chest wall. Anything that stops thelungs from being able to expand out. So let us take each one ofthese things step by step
and let us start bylooking at the airways. So the main issue with the airways is that obstruction to the airways causes a significant problem interms of breathing at night. And if we consider the airthat goes in through our nose and in through ourmouth reaches our lungs, we have points at which thesoft tissues around our neck may potentially relax atnight and they may potentially
block this airflow intermittently. They may potentially cause an obstruction to this airflow. And when they cause anobstruction to this airflow, you may notice some snoring or gasping and this suggests that airflow is being stopped. That term is, for lack ofeffort, is called apnea,
and all that apnea really means is that there is an absence of airflow. So if the airways are obstructed, we can have something called obstructive sleep apnea. And this condition obstructive sleep apnea is actually very common. It gets worse as people get older.
These soft tissues blockthis airflow that we have and this condition actually results in a variety of daytimeand nighttime symptoms. So we actually mentioned some of the nighttime symptoms, righté We mentioned this can have snoring, gasping for air, and these kind of apneas, these kind of pauses,breaks in the breathing
Sleep disorders Processing the Environment MCAT Khan Academy
Voiceover: I'm sure we'veall had trouble sleeping at one point or another, maybe trouble falling asleep,staying asleep or waking up or maybe you're forcingyourself to sleep less because you have toomuch to do to lie in bed. But sleep deprivationcan be a serious issue. People who don't get enoughsleep are more irritable and perform worse onmemory and detention tasks
than people who do. So all this can be just a minorannoyance in everyday life, imagine the longtermimplications for let's say, airline pilots, firefighters,security officers or the person driving nextto you on the freeway. For example, one studyin Canada showed that the Monday after the Spring time change, so when people lose an hour of sleep,
the number of trafficaccidents increases sharply compared to the Mondayafter the Fall time change when people get an extra hour of sleep, the number of accidents decreases sharply. So that's just one example,but sleep deprivation also makes people more susceptible to obesity. When you're sleep deprived you'rebody produces more cortisol which is a hormone that tellsyour body to make more fat.
You also produce more of thehormone that tells your body you're hungry, so you end upeating more and turning more of what you eat into fat whichcan contribute to weight gain. And finally sleep deprivationcan also increase your risk for depression and one theoryabout this link is that REM sleep helps your brainprocess emotional experiences, which in turn helpsprotect against depression though we're still notentirely sure about this link.
Most people, now most peopleexperience sleep deprivation at some points in their lives, but the good news isthat most people can get back on track by getting afew nights of good sleep, sort of paying back your sleep debt. Your next question might be then, quot;How much sleep is enough sleepéquot; That's kind of a hard question to answer,
but most adults needabout 78 hours of sleep, but the exact number variesby individual and by age. Babies need a lot more sleep,for example, than older adults often sleep less than 10 or 8hours without severe detriments. Again everyone has troublefalling asleep at some point, but people who have persistentproblems in falling or staying asleep have a more seroussleep disorder called insomnia. There are various medicationsthat can help people