According to American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine the accident risk is two to six times higher for those suffering from sleep apnea than it is for regular drivers. Everyday in Canada, car crashes are caused by drivers with sleep apnea falling asleep at the wheel.
I grew up with people who snored. I thought that everyone did. And I thought, like most people, that it was no big deal. However, people with untreated sleep apnea are more likely to have motor vehicle crashes, hypertension, heart attacks, irregular heart beat stroke, depression, impotence and diabetes.
Questions To Ask Yourself If You Think You May Have Sleep Apnea
Are you often very sleepy throughout the day?
Do others tell you that you snore or have short pauses in your breathing while you sleep?
Are you known to choke, gasp, or hold your breath while asleep?
Do you think you get a full night’s sleep most nights but still wake up tired?
Are you overweight?
Canadian Thoracic Society
The Public Health Agency of Canada found that 26%of Canadian adults aged 18 years and older are estimated to be at high risk for having sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious breathing disorder that causes sufferers to have dozens or hundreds of breathing pauses or “apneas” per night. And according to the Canadian Thoracic Society (CTS) Sleep Disordered Breathing Committee only 5% of people at high risk for sleep apnea have been tested for the condition.
Sleep Apnea = repeated suffocation during sleep and it’s putting your health at risk. Click to tweet
The most common treatment is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which works by delivering a steady flow of air through a special mask to keep airways open during sleep. Most people who receive this treatment report improved sleep, quality of life and that their snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness go away.
Beverly’s Hot Tips For Building Resiliency and Celebrating National Sleep Apnea Day:
- If in doubt, get it checked out. Go to see your doctor and ask for a referral to a sleep clinic.
- Decrease your risk. You can control your diet and weight, how much you exercise, how you use alcohol and caffeine and whether you smoke. All of these can lower your risk for sleep apnea.
- If you suspect that your partner has sleep apnea, your support will help your partner get the help he or she needs. Once your partner gets proper treatment, you may sleep better too.
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!