Better Zzzz’s: What You Need to Know About Sleep Apnea


Sleep apnea is a common condition where a person experiences pausing breathing during sleep. These pauses can be 10 seconds or longer, and can cause health problems when your body doesn’t get enough oxygen. It’s important to our overall health to be getting good, adequate amounts of sleep each night. When a person suffers from apnea, it could end up causing more problems than just disrupted sleep.

Keep reading to learn about the signs and symptoms, plus what treatments we have available. 

Defining Sleep Apnea

Sleep disorders have proven to be a serious problem in the United States. Sleep apnea can translate to “cessation of breathing.” When some people sleep, the experience pauses in breathing. When the pauses happen for long periods of time, the body might not be getting the amount of oxygen it needs to function properly. There are different types of sleep apnea:

Central sleep apnea

This condition isn’t as common, but it’s related to problems with the brain sending the needed signals for the body to continue breathing.

Obstructive sleep apnea

This sleep apnea affects the upper airway, which causes the lungs to become obstructed in different spots. This can be caused from having excess tissue in the airways, enlarged tonsils, a late tongue, nasal obstruction, and having the airway musculature collapsing while sleeping.

Additionally, some people may suffer from both types of sleep apneas, this is called complex sleep apnea.

Obstructive: The Most Common

This type of apnea, also called OSA, is a health problem you should take seriously. 22 million Americans have sleep apnea. Of that, 80% of those are moderate-to-severe cases that go undiagnosed.

Symptoms of OSA

Along with feeling chronically lethargic and fatigued, Sleep Education says that the other common symptoms include:

  • Snoring, oftentimes loud
  • Silent pauses in breathing
  • Choking sounds or gasping for air
  • Feeling tired during the day
  • Insomnia and/or restless sleep
  • Headaches upon waking that are hard to treat
  • Difficulty concentrating and memory loss
  • Lack of sexual desire, loss of libido
  • Irritability and impatience

Consequences of OSA

OSA can cause problems if left untreated. These problems include high blood pressure, coronary after disease that can lead to heart attack or stroke, atrial fibrillation, worsening heart failure, and poor quality of life.

Risk Factors of Developing Sleep Apnea

OSA can affect anyone, but it oftentimes targets those who:

  • Are males over 40
  • Overweight with a BMI over 25
  • Have metabolic syndrome
  • Are diagnosed with diabetes
  • Use alcohol or narcotics

How to Treat Sleep Apnea

Balanced Well-being Healthcare basis the treatment around the individual. It will be determined on the severity and conditions the patient is currently experiencing. It’s in our belief that solely relying on a sleep device, like a CPAP machine, is not recommended.

The best approach is to begin with an examination of the patient and understanding their health history to determine what could be causing the apnea. We can work on nutritional counseling, recommending a dentist, hormone counseling, and consider other lifestyle changes to bring you the best results. Finding the root cause to treat will work better in the long run, rather than just treating the symptoms.

Balanced Well-being Healthcare offers affordable sleep apnea testing: ARES™ home sleep test. This test offers a number of benefits, including:

  • Being more affordable than an in-lab study
  • More comfortable since you can sleep in your own bed with no cords
  • Improve your health with results and your treatment plan in under a week’s time

How Does ARES™ Work?

This test includes:

  1. an easily self-applied device to record physiological signals during your sleep – all done at home (ARES™  Unicorder)
  2. a trusted medical questionnaire (ARES™ Questionnaire)
  3. expert software to prepare the Unicorder for use (ARES™ Manager) and to read the results (ARES™ Insight)

Before starting the study the first thing to do will be to answer the questionnaire. This will help determine your risk of OSA. When the results are in, the doctor will recommend if a sleep apnea test is necessary. If needed, you’ll then spend two nights in your own home using the ARES™ equipment. Once we get your results from the study, we will develop a personalized treatment plan based on the patient’s individual needs.

Sleep Better with Balanced Well-being Healthcare

It’s crucial to treat sleep apnea to prevent more serious health problems. The treatment approach we will take will be to find the root causes and to treat those, which in turn will help the sleep apnea problem. To learn more about our integrative and functional medicine approach, make an appointment today by calling: (970)-631-8286.