Do you have sleep apnea? I use to

Most people don’t know they have sleep apnea. It is a serious condition that if left untreated can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, accidents, and of course, obesity. Almost 50% of obese people have sleep apnea. Check out the following risk factors for sleep apnea.

I previously used a CPAP devise to help me sleep, but it was very inconvenient for me. It’s bulky, takes some getting used to – at least for me it did- and makes some noise. According to a recent article on The Economist, only 40-60% of people who need are willing to use it for treatment. There is a new device called Provent that eliminates some of the issues with CPAP. Please refer to the Economist article for more information on this.

It’s good to see that there is research being done on more efficient and practical treatments for sleep apnea. But there are some things you can do to get better sleep. Weight loss is a big part of the equation for more and better sleep, and we also know that inadequate sleep causes weight gain – a vicious cycle :-(.  I’ve lost 125lbs and no longer have need of CPAP, and I get more/better quality sleep now than I ever did. Exercise certainly helps.  In fact, it helps even without weight loss.  It also helps to cut TV time (especially late night TV), and practice better healthy living.

The bottom line is that it’s important to diagnose sleep apnea, and get it treated as soon as possible to avoid severe complications later on. Sleep is definitely not a luxury!

Please do share any sleep apnea treatment success stories you know of.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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