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Why You Should Never Sleep on Sleep Apnea


types of CPAP masks

People are often advised to "sleep on it" before making an important decision. Sleep is a vital and highly restorative biological function in which the body's systems, including the brain, repair themselves. During this time the brain processes information, which is why it's often easier to make a decision after getting a full night of rest.

Unfortunately, those who suffer from sleep apnea do not have this luxury.

Sleep apnea is a term you may have heard of before but aren't quite sure what it is, which is exactly why this potentially dangerous condition is known as a silent killer. Prevalent in as many as 18 million Americans, sleep apnea is a condition in which one's breathing repeatedly starts and stops throughout the night, or whenever the sufferer is sleeping. The bouts of non-breathing, known as micro-arousals or apneas, can last anywhere from milliseconds to several moments. During an average night's sleep, a sufferer of obstructive sleep apnea may experience as many as 60 apneas each hour.

Two to four percent of all Americans are unaware they have sleep apnea, and may go undiagnosed for years. Left untreated, sleep apnea has been linked to heart disease, stroke, high blood presssure and cholesterol, and even depression.

Those who suffer from sleep apnea can manage their symptoms by exploring and using sleep apnea treatments such as BIPAP masks, CPAP masks, nasal pillows, and more. Some sleep apnea sufferers find certain treatments to be more comfortable and effective than others. This all depends on the individual's comfort level, of course.

For example, there are different types of CPAP masks. Some fit completely over the user's nose and mouth, while others fit just over the nose. Both are effective; however, some may find CPAP masks that fit over both the nose and mouth to be restrictive. As always, it's important to discuss the different types of CPAP masks with your physician in order to determine which is best for your needs.