All posts by Margaret

Snoring

Have you every woken up because your roommate or your partner was snoring too loud?

Well, once in a while everyone snores during their sleep – some more than others! – and it can be a real inconvenience to the person sleeping next to you. Saying that it is just an inconvenience is an understatement because it has been linked to various health problems that range from daytime fatigue and irritability to more pressing concerns such as developing obstructive sleep apnea and creating relationship problems between your partner.

How to stop snoring 2016

1. What is snoring?

In simple terms, it is noisy breathing when you are sleeping. The mechanics of snoring are not that complex. Essentially, what happens is that when you are awake the muscles of the pharynx (throat) and the tongue have a certain amount of tension in them but when you are in a supine position (meaning laying on your back) while you sleep, the muscles of your tongue and pharynx relax. This leads to the constriction of the air passage. When you breathe in with force, the pharynx vibrates. This produces the sound that you call snoring.

But the good news is that it is curable!

2. Causes of snoring

Snoring can occur for various reasons but identifying why is the first step to treating the issue. Engage your partner to monitor your sleep pattern. This will help build trust and show your level of seriousness for dealing with this problem and along with that show how much you value your relationship.

What are these reasons?

  • Age: As you get older, the tone of your muscles decrease including the muscle tone of your tongue and pharynx. This will cause narrowing of the air passage leading to snoring
  • Obesity: If your BMI is above 30 then you are medically obese. The thing with obesity is that the deposits of fat around your neck will cause the narrowing of the air passage leading to snoring
  • Your Anatomy: The way you are built will affect the way you sleep. If we compare men and women, men are more prone to snore as they have narrower air passages. If you have enlarged tonsils or adenoids, cleft palate or long uvula this can also be the cause of your snoring problem
  • Sinus Problems : If your nasal passages are obstructed or blocked due to a stuffy nose this will create a vacuum leading to forced inspiration and then snoring
  • Smoking, Alcohol, Medication: Smoking has been linked to causing inflammation of the upper air passageways leading to narrowing. Alcohol acts as a relaxant decreasing the muscle tone while medications like benzodiazepine and barbiturates act as tranquillizers and decrease the muscle tone. All these pose as risk factors for snoring
  • Sleep posture : If you sleep on your back you are more prone to snore during the night
3. Symptoms of snoring

Snoring itself can lead to sleep apnea which is a potentially harmful condition so if you’re snoring then it’s probably best to get this checked by your doctor.

Snoring can cause a wide array of symptoms:

  • Number one on this list is excessive day time fatigue. You may experience lethargy while carrying on with your everyday routine which is due to lack of proper sleep during the night
  • Headaches are another symptom, especially during the morning after you wake up
  • Irritability and fatigue which can affect your interaction with other people and create social as well as psychological problems
  • Decreases sex drive (libido)
  • It can also affect your cognition which includes your attention span and your memory along with your overall level of awareness
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious condition in which a person stops breathing for a few seconds during the night due to obstruction of the air passages and then a sudden gasp of air which signals the resumption of breathing. OSA itself is a risk factor for the development of hypertension, heart attack and stroke
4. How to stop snoring?

There are various treatment options for snoring but this will depend on your visit to a sleep specialist who, after performing a sleep test, will determine which option is best for you.

Life Style Modification

  • Losing weight: Losing a few pounds will result in a decrease in the amount of fat around your neck lessening the incidence of snoring
  • Exercise: Exercising various muscles in your body will lead to improved tone of those muscles and an indirect effect on the muscles of your throat (pharynx) leading to improved air way passage functioning
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol intake: They both lead to inflammation and relaxation of the muscles so avoiding these substances will improve your condition
  • Changing your sleeping position: Instead of sleeping on your back, try sleeping on your side. This will prevent your tongue from falling back into the throat and keep the airway open.

Medical Treatment

  • Orthopedic pillow: This is a specially designed pillow that will keep the jaw open and keep reduce snoring
  • Using appliances that are made by dentists to maintain a patent airway such as nasal strips and dilators
  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): A machine pumps air under pressure into your throat while you wear a mask over your mouth and nose which will keep the airway open when you sleep
  • Surgery: Tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy or uvulopalatopharyngoplasty will remove tissues growth which are the cause of the narrowing and ultimately lead to an increased size of the airway
  • Palatal implant: This is also known as the pillar procedure. It involves inserting plastic implants into the soft palate to prevent it from collapsing
  • Treating your nasal disorders will lead to a decreased incidence of snoring

The best way to stop snoring is to stick to the lifestyle adjustment scheme and follow the treatment plan laid out by your physician. For sleep apnea patients, having a good CPAP machine will really help during sleep. Along with having a good quality CPAP pillow, this will benefit anyone with a neck problem and aid in the relief from snoring ensuring a sound sleep.

Snoring is a condition which is often overlooked but if it remains untreated it leads to various problems including social, psychological and mental issues along with the chance of developing sleep apnea.

If you snore, take measures before it goes too far and causes complications.

Top 3 Best Sleep Mask Reviews in 2017

Having the best sleep mask is an essential issue for sleep apnea patients, more precisely for those who use CPAP devices.

This is because a good mask helps CPAP devices function more effectively by providing your eyes with a bit of additional comfort.

Many people with dry eye issues get sleep masks as sleeping aids. They can help when you are getting used to your CPAP machine.

Best Sleep Mask Reviews 2016

Top 3 Best Sleep Masks 2017

There are numerous things to consider when purchasing CPAP masks.

Three popular names that have been considered as the best products of the year 2017 are:

  • Alaska Bear – Natural Silk Sleep Mask & Blindfold, Super-smooth Eye Mask
  • Nidra® Deep Rest Sleep Mask – Contoured & Comfortable Eye Mask
  • Premium Sleep Mask by MemorySoft – Patented, Sleek Contoured Memory Foam Design
1. Alaska Bear – Natural Silk Sleep Mask & Blindfold, Super-smooth Eye Mask

This is one of the leading sleeping masks of Alaska Bear that has a nominal shipping weight of one ounce. You can get it for less than ten dollars.Best Sleep Mask Reviews 2016

Features
  • This mask is made of 19mm Natural mulberry silk
  • This adjustable sleeping mask is made in a way so children can use it too
  • It has an easily adjustable headband
  • It is made of natural fibers that can create complete blackouts
  • The material used in this sleeping mask has increased breathability
Benefits
  • Two straps with this sleeping mask makes it comfortable
  • Its lightweight nature will make it feel like you are wearing nothing
  • It is great for stomach sleepers too
  • For dry eye sufferers, this sleeping mask can be helpful
  • For sleeping in the daytime, this mask can be really great
Cons
  • Some people consider it a bit expensive
  • A few users claim that this sleep mask slides off from their ear while sleeping
2. Nidra® Deep Rest Sleep Mask – Contoured & Comfortable Eye Mask

This cool sleeping mask for CPAP device users made by Nidra weighs only 0.6 ounces. It will cost you around twelve dollars.Best Sleep Mask Reviews 2016

Features
  • Dimensions 7.5 x 3.5 inches.
  • This sleeping mask has deep molded cups that help the user to avoid rub from the eyelashes
  • This mask is made in a way so it can block visual stimulation to the highest degree
  • The weight of this mask is negligible and the material used is extremely comfy
Benefits
  • Money back guarantee
  • You can use it while on a long car ride or while camping
  • This mask will not lay over your eyelids
Cons
  • There are some complaints that this sleeping mask doesn’t fit females so well
  • It’s too dark so if you don’t close your eyes while wearing it, you might get a headache
3. Premium Sleep Mask by MemorySoft – Patented

This sleeping mask is made by MemorySoft and the weight of this mask is only 0.3 ounces. You can get it for around eleven dollars.

Best Sleep Mask Reviews 2016

Features
  • Dimensions 9 x 3.8 x 0.1 inches.
  • This sleeping mask is made of memory foam that offers optimal softness
  • It can block almost all artificial and electronic lights
  • This sleeping mask has a 3-D contour shape that is ideal for users of  CPAP machines
Benefits
  • This sleeping mask can play the role of your complete sleeping option even when the sun is just over your head. From a short nap to a heavy sleep, this mask can really help
  • This mask fits most users well
  • You get free ear plugs while buying this sleeping mask
Cons
  • Some people say that it is not capable of blocking one hundred percent of the light
  • Some people don’t want to spend more than ten dollars for a sleeping mask

What is the difference between the 3 products?

All these masks are great tools for sleeping. There are, though, some differences.

One is they are made by three different brands. The Alaska Bear mask is more popular with women and the second mask featured is more popular with men.  The last mask is made of natural fiber and that has increased breathability.

Conclusion

Look closely at several different options before purchasing.

This article has covered three market-leading products, and they can all help you to sleep quickly and effectively. Read the reviews and features of the products once more.

Just keep it in mind that getting a good sleeping mask while being a sleep apnea patient doesn’t mean you need to buy something customized or to spend a lot of money. Any of these choices would be perfect for the job.

Top 3 Best CPAP Pillow Reviews in 2018

For sleep apnea patients around the world having a CPAP machine is a real blessing. As well as investing in a great machine, having the best CPAP pillow for sleep apnea is also critical.

If you experience bad neck problems then finding a good pillow is a fantastic way to ease this.

You can read CPAP pillow reviews to understand how these pillows work. As the CPAP mask and the tubing are bulky, sometimes it forces the patient to stick to limited sleeping positions. This is because turning the head might cause air to start leaking from the system. But a good pillow with contours can provide adequate room for CPAP devices and thus ensure flexibility during sleeping hours.

Best CPAP Pillow

Top 3 Best CPAP Pillows

Though there are a number of good pillows available, here is a short list of three products:
• CPAPfit CPAP Pillow – Cool, Dry, Comfortable & Adjustable
• Science of Sleep SleePAP CPAP Pillow from Sleep Science
• Sleep Apnea Pillow for CPAP, BiPAP, Contour Memory Foam

CPAPfit CPAP Pillow - Cool, Dry, Comfortable & Adjustable

You can look at it here.

https://www.amazon.com/CPAPfit-Pillow–Cool-Adjustable–Bamboo-Viscose-Cover/dp/B00NERG2O4

This is an excellent sleeping pillow from Pur-Sleep. The shipping weight is only 6.6 pounds.

Here are some of its features and specifications with the key benefits that you can expect when using it…

Features

Best CPAP Pillow •  100% bamboo viscose
•  Made in US
• It has shredded foam inside and the fill material is buckwheat hulls from natural sources
• Ideal thickness and fully adjustable. You can remove the foam from this pillow and replace with something else
• Great shape and wonderfully soft
• You will get a zipper and extra filling option with this pillow
• Will never get flattened out
• It is good for back sleepers though stomach sleepers can use it too

Benefits

• This is an affordable sleeping pillow for sleep apnea patients that can offer you highly versatile usage
• The material used to make this pillow is of high quality
• Will last a long time

Cons

• Though it is good for both stomach and back sleepers, the usefulness of this pillow for side sleepers is yet to be tested
• Some people still consider it a bit overpriced.

Miles Kimball CPAP Pillow

You can look at it here.

https://www.amazon.com/Contour-Products-CPAP-Sleep-Pillow/dp/B000VLYHI4

If you are on the hunt for a top-notch CPAP pillow to help your sleeping routine, Contour Products offer a great Sleep Aid Pillow. It’s worth a place on any shortlist.

Like the first model reviewed, it might not be the cheapest but it’s impossible to put a price on a sound sleep.

We’ll outline the principal features and run down the pros and cons for you.

FeaturesContour Products CPAP Sleep Aid Pillow
  • 100% polyester for great comfort
  • Medical-grade foam is comfy but still holds shape perfectly
  • Lumbar support with 4 positions
  • Special contours offer your neck and shoulders great support
  • Reduces mask leaks and pressure
  • Neck support helps with airway pressure
Benefits
  • Greatly improves mask comfort
  • Perfect for side, stomach and back sleepers: highly versatile
  • Allows free movement while you sleep
  • Dramatically lessens mask pressure for a sound sleep
  • Folds up flat for simple storage and easy transportation
  • Pillow can be spot cleaned, cover is machine washable for convenience
Cons
  • Fairly expensive but consider it an investment

Contour Products Sleep Aid Pillow

You can look at it here.

https://www.amazon.com/Miles-Kimball-C-PAP-Pillow/dp/B003FJG46C

The third pillow on our list is a budget model that does not compromise on quality.

Think seriously about this pillow if you want a great sleep without spending a fortune to get it.

We’ll examine the chief features then detail the positive and negative points about this great sleep aid.

FeaturesMiles Kimball C-PAP Pillow
  • Works with CPAP and BiPAP masks equally well
  • Filled with polyester for great comfort
  • Machine washable so hassle-free care
  • Offers a fairly firm sleeping experience
Benefits
  • Perfect for stomach and side sleepers
  • Versatile as it fits nicely with all types of masks
  • Pillow case available at reasonable cost
  • Extremely comfortable and ultra-safe
  • Very affordable option
Cons
  • Not so great if you sleep on your back

What Is The Difference Between These 3 Pillows?

The first pillow is not ideal for side sleepers, the third is not suitable if you sleep on your back but the middle pillow works wonders whatever your sleeping position.

If you have a BiPAP machine rather than a standard CPAP then think seriously about investing in the second product. This highly versatile model is tailor-made for all types of sleep masks.

The first and second options are expensive but still represent great value for money overall. If you are looking for more of a budget option, consider the third pillow.

Top 10 Best Yoga Poses for Sleep

Sleep deprivation is a vicious circle that’s hard to break.

For many reasons we often experience problems while sleeping.

Yoga can be a great answer for the patients those want to have a relaxing, sound night’s sleep.

This article will discuss 10 yoga positions. After reading through them, you can practice the poses easily even if you don’t have any books or reference tools to hand.

Top 10 of the Best Yoga Poses for Sleep

Benefits of yoga in a nutshell

There are a range of benefits that you can get from doing yoga.

It can improve your body’s flexibility. It makes your posture perfect while also building muscle strength. It can protect your spine and stop joint breakdown while undergoing physical stress. Yoga can develop the bones so that they grow well. It enables efficient blood flow. By doing yoga you can help your heart rate and can improve your immune system. Yoga is great for decreasing blood pressure and for regulating the adrenal glands.

This is how you can improve your balance and can get a healthier life. For proper maintenance of the nervous system, yoga has very few things to beat it. If you continue practicing yoga for a month or two it will make your breathing regular and help you to sleep more easily.

Yoga has manifold benefits and everyone should practice it.

Ten most effective yoga positions:

Though yoga has a diverse range of distinctive poses, at least 10 of them can be considered as significant whilst seeking an answer to sleeping disorder from it.

Take a look at these poses one by one…

1. Easy forward bending

This is a version of Sukhasan. This pose can even be managed by beginners. This is very effective to get a better sleep. You can practice it with the aid of a pillow.

2. Forward bending while standing

This is close to Uttanasana. Stand with feet around six inches and fold your torso to the ground reaching down. You can do this by bending your arms too.  For beginners, this can be tough.

3. Pose of the child

This is referred as Balasana.  Fold your torso over the legs and extend your arms to make this position. It helps to calm the mind.

4. Plow pose

This is often referred as Halasana. This is a pose that you can practice every day for five minutes before sleeping. Lie on your back, lift your legs over the head and use your hands to keep balance with the ground.

5. Legs-up the wall-pose

This is referred as Viparita Karani. This is great for evening exercise. It’s wonderful for stress relief. Close your eyes and try to concentrate while doing it. This is one of the easiest yoga positions.

6. Corpse Pose

This is referred as Savasana. Put the body in sleeping mode and adopt a corpse pose. Try to focus while doing it. Eventually you can initiate a better sleeping cycle. This is how you can beat all your worries away.

7. Supine Spinal-Twist

This is referred as Supta Matsyendrasana. Lie down and bring your right knee to the chest across the left side. Extend your right arm and gaze to right. Take some long breaths and repeat the same process a couple of times to concentrate better.

8. Seated Spinal-Twist

This is called Ardha Matsyendrasana. It is perfect for body relaxation. You can optimize this pose using both of your legs at once.

 9. Reclining butterfly

This pose is known as Supta Baddha Konasana. Lie down on your bed, bring your feet together, splay the knees and try breathing deeply. This is really a good yoga pose to promote better sleep.

10. Left Nostril-Breathing

Left Nostril-Breathing is known as Surya Bhedana. Cover your right nostril with the thumb and extend the fingers. Take few breathes and stop. This is a great pose to cool your body down within  minutes.

Conclusion:

Yoga is really one of the best and most natural ways in which you can sleep better.

Try some of these positions and see how much it can help.

How to Control Breathing While Running

While running, it can be  difficult to control breathing.

There are couples of important aspects to consider about strong running methods. Arm swing, leg strength and foot strikes all are key to ensure better performance. But if you don’t have a good breathing technique, you might start suffocating after a few meters. This is what we will examine in this article.How to control breathing while running

The importance of breathing!

If you have strong muscles and a strong heart you can run efficiently. This is a proven truth.

But, if you don’t have a sound respiratory system it will be really difficult to breathe easily while running. During any period of high intensity activity, the human body takes away blood and oxygen from the working muscles. This is why increasing the strength of breathing muscles is required. It enables you to easily control your breathing while running.

Here are some key things that can help you to get comfort in breathing while exercising:

  • Complete breathing
  • Proper posture
  • Finding a pattern
  • Nose vs Mouth
  • Don’t drink too much water
Complete Breathing

Most of runners do not perform this well. When you need to run, always try to complete the breaths. Short breathing will not work whereas full breathing will inject more air in your lung and in that way you can quicken your speed. You can get a range of guides regarding techniques to improve breathing techniques. Study well and improve in this area.

Proper Posture

Proper posture means the appropriate positioning of your legs. While running, the leg should be placed properly so that it can balance the weight of the body and thus reduce energy wastage. It can also help you to breathe more comfortably. So, try to stand tall while running. Core exercises can help you to achieve the correct posture within a few days. You can also consult an expert for assistance.

Finding a pattern

Breathing has various patterns and you can pick any one of those while running. It will help you to run more effectively and you will not lose control of your breathing. Try to find a rhythm that you can easily follow. You can seek the help of a professional in case you find it difficult to determine a fitting pattern for you. Run two or three steps and take breath once. You can increase the number or can deduct as well. But whatever you do, you should follow a strict sequence. It’s entirely up to you to find out which will feel most comfortable for you.

Nose vs Mouth

This is a common dilemma for many runners as they don’t know what they should use for breathing while running, their nose or their mouth. Using the nose for breathing is always good but it is true that at times you might need to breathe through your mouth. It is also important to mention, a good runner should practice running in a way so the usage of the mouth to breathe can be reduced.

Don’t drink too much water!

While running you should not drink too much water as it can increase your body weight and your stomach will get overfilled preventing you from continuing. This, in turn, leads to poor form in breathing. It is quite normal to feel thirsty while running. You are not prohibited from drinking water, but gulping is not advised at all. A small amount of water can make your pharynx wet and it is good to consume it in moderation.

Conclusion:

Ultimately, the fact is you should know some basic thing to ensure regular breathing while running.

Proper breathing assists to you run faster and for longer.