One of the greatest risks of having an untreated sleep disorder is the prospect of getting into a car crash while fatigued. Many individuals who have sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, or restless leg syndrome experience bouts of drowsy driving. In fact, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that drowsy driving is related to more than 1,500 deaths per year and at least 100,000 motor-vehicle crashes.
Different Ways Alaska’s Extreme Lighting Conditions Affect Life
Other than a few months out of the year between “spring” and “fall” in Alaska, living here poses unique sleeping related to either receiving mostly (or only) daylight or mostly (or only) darkness. These extreme lighting conditions affect our lives in many different ways, most of which can be very disruptive towards sleep.
Worried You Have a Sleep Disorder?
Some sleep disorders are actually fairly common. They all have one thing in common: they disrupt healthy sleep. Chronic sleep disruptions have the uncanny effect of making you the “less performing” version of you. Sometimes, chronic sleep disruption can even make you feel and behave like a completely different person.
Excess Darkness and Your Circadian Rhythm
Obviously, for those of us living in Alaska it’s no secret that we are operating under “unique” circumstances in summer and winter: mainly, lots of light, and lots of darkness. Though it might seem counter intuitive, the amount of excess darkness, which is significant in the Southeast and oppressive in the Far North, actually makes sleep more difficult for many people.
For individuals diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea who use a CPAP machine on a daily basis, common issues arise that may interfere with quality of therapy. Especially for individuals who are about to or have just started using a CPAP device, typical problems that CPAP machine users run into are important to know about.
For those of you who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea who use a CPAP machine on a nightly basis, you may be considering whether or not it's worth it to purchase a CPAP cleaner. CPAP, short for continuous positive airway pressure, is a type of therapy used to treat breathing problems that occur as a result of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Because those diagnosed with the disorder experience segments of breathing cessations during sleep, CPAP machines have been known to successfully keep the airway open by gently blowing pressurized air through the airway. This constant pressure keeps the throat from collapsing.
It is estimated that approximately 10% of pregnant women experience disrupted sleep due to sleep apnea. Women who suspect that they may suffer from sleep apnea while pregnant are at risk for a number of dangerous side effects that may be harmful to both the mother and the fetus. However, there are significant symptoms that are easy to identify as well as treatment options that can effectively eliminate the hazardous impacts of sleep apnea in pregnancy.
CPAP, standing for continuous positive airway pressure, is a commonly prescribed sleep therapy for individuals suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. With almost 22 million Americans suffering from sleep apnea, CPAP therapy is the most widely used method to curb the negative side effects of sleep loss.
Unique Challenges of Alaska
Living in Alaska poses unique sleeping challenges most months out of the year. Other than a few months out of the year between “spring” and “fall” in Alaska, we are dealing with darkness that lasts most (or all) of the day, or light that lasts most (or all) of the night.
Sleep Trouble – Could it Be Your Nightcap?
Do you frequently wake up feeling particularly tired? Does it take your brain quite a while to dispel the fogginess of sleep? Feel like you are easily forgetting things? It might be that nightcap before bed.