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Why you Can’t Ignore Your Sleep Disorder

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If you think that having a sleep disorder is something to ignore, think again. Sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea put your health at risk and damage your quality of life. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have declared that insufficient sleep is a public health problem, causing a variety of social and industrial impacts and may be the cause of vehicle and industrial accidents as well as general health problems.

According to the CDC, there are between 50 and 70 million American adults that have some sort of disorder of sleep or wakefulness, including insomnia and sleep apnea. Snoring, which is an extremely common ailment, is also often an indicator of sleep apnea. As many as 18 million people in the United States suffer from it and two to four percent (one in 50) go undiagnosed.Those untreated have a much higher risk of stroke — four times as much as those without a sleep disorder — and three times are high a chance of developing heart disease.

Those with sleep apnea need a CPAP machine. A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure therapy) machine forces air into the lungs and ensures that the throat does not collapse causing the sufferer to stop breathing. It is usually prescribed by specialists after a sleep test has been conducted. Such testing identifies whether sleep apnea is the problem and also indicates the number apneas per hour and other characteristics of the sleep disorder. As many as 60 sleep apnea episodes may be experienced every hour in an average night’s sleep.

Despite the vital and effective nature of CPAP machines, many sufferers do not maintain the use of one, often cutting discomfort with CPAP masks or CPAP nasal pillows. The sad fact is that more than 80% of those who have had a CPAP machine prescribed to help them with their sleep apnea do not use it regularly enough to safeguard themselves. In fact, half stop using it altogether after about one or two weeks. It is imperative that CPAP machines are used at least 70% of the time over one month and for at least four hours a night. This is the minimum required for best results — and continued insurance coverage.