Sleep is how our bodies restore themselves. Yet, even though it is so important, our society is very sleep deprived. At the very least, you should be getting eight hours each night. Any less than that can contribute to increased overall irritability and increased stress. While the quantity of sleep that you get is important, it is the quality of that sleep that is equally, if not more important.
|Reversing Kidney Disease Naturally|
When we are sleeping, there are changes occurring in our bodies. We are in a state of deep relaxation and regeneration. Our blood pressure should be at the lowest point of the day and our sleep should be restorative; we should wake up feeling refreshed.
For those with sleep apnea, however, their sleep is anything but restorative. It is interrupted; they may have periods where they stop breathing - apneas - or mini-periods where their breathing pattern is interrupted for less then a second. People with sleep apnea are often obese and they may have high blood pressure and kidney problems, as well. Sleep apnea is probably one of the most under diagnosed conditions in our country and is a common cause of high blood pressure that may be difficult to control.
If you have sleep apnea, your body may not be getting the necessary oxygen it needs at night. When that happens, your heart works harder, your blood pressure goes up, your quality of sleep suffers, and I believe the kidneys are also forced to work harder.
The worse the degree of sleep apnea, the worse the symptoms the sufferer will experience. At its extreme, people who have sleep apnea and their significant others will complain of nonstop snoring, and occasionally, of stopped breathing. Sufferers will wake up in the morning feeling very tired and can fall asleep at the drop of a dime anytime during the day. This is especially dangerous if the person has a long drive to work in the mornings or operates heavy machinery. For many people, the symptoms are not as dramatic. In my practice I recommend that anyone with high blood pressure that is resistant to treatment be evaluated for sleep apnea, even if they are not obese.
If your doctor suspects that you have sleep apnea, you will be asked to undergo a test called a polysomnography (poly-sam- na-grafie), or sleep study. This type of testing occurs at a dedicated center called a sleep lab. The test is usually performed overnight, when the pattern of your sleeping can be closely monitored to determine if you have sleep apnea.
If you are diagnosed, there are a few different treatment options, the first of which is weight loss. Shedding some excess pounds can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep and reduce the degree of the sleep apnea. Second, you may be asked to refrain from alcohol as this can worsen the apneic symptoms. Third, you may be asked to get fitted for a type of oxygen mask called a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) that provides necessary oxygen while you sleep. For some, these masks are cumbersome and can disrupt sleep even more, though. Another option, if you have either a large uvula (you-view-la) - the punching bag type thing in the back of your mouth - or large tonsils, is to see a doctor who specializes in disorders of the ears, nose, and throat. He may decide to remove them as they may be obstructing your breathing.
The take-home message is this: Getting diagnosed and treated can save your life, likely help your blood pressure, and help both your kidney and overall health. To find out more, you can check out Reversing Kidney Disease Naturally.