Sleep Apnea | Sleep Apnoea | Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea (or sometimes spelt Sleep Apnoea) is also known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea, is a condition in which the muscles of the back of your throat and your tongue relax to the point of collapse during sleep, blocking your airway.
After a few seconds to a minute, your brain acts on the lack of oxygen, forcing you to waken (to a degree) so that you are stimulated to breathe.
The severity of the condition is determined by the frequency of this cycle of stop / start breathing. People with sleep apnea suffer from daytime sleepiness, fatigue, poor concentration and irritability.
Often, their partner reports their snoring and characteristic periods of non-breathing, followed by the choking or coughing that signals the person has roused sufficiently to start breathing again.
Risk factors include:
- Overweight and obesity
- Middle-aged men (women also suffer from sleep apnea)
- Large neck circumference
- Alcohol consumption, especially at night, as it relaxes throat muscles
- Small or receding chin
- Large tonsils
- Medications such as sleeping tablets
- Nasal congestion
- Medical conditions, such as diabetes or an underactive thyroid
In treatment of Sleep Apnoea, we assess the musculature and bony structure connected with respiration. Using a combination of Remedial Treatment and Myofascial Release we design a treatment plan to relieve strained and adhesed neck and upper back muscles, weak upper chest, and tight jaw and facial muscles.
We also use Craniosacral Therapy to induce a state of deep healing and rest during treatment which is missing from your regular sleep time.
We will show you exercises to strengthen your soft palate, which drops during sleep blocking your airway. And strengthening and stretching exercises for the body to enhance vitality and oxygen flow.
An exercise regime of a mild to moderate nature can be devised to assist in energising your body and mind, helping you to stay alert during the day and reduce feelings of frustration caused by suffering this condition.
If weight is a contributing factor to your condition we will suggest a nutritional plan by our Nutritionist or Naturopath to address healthy eating habits.
Acupuncture is also recommended to treat the physical structures which are closing off the airways, address low vitality and improve oxygenation of the blood and therefore increase your energy, plus aid the movement of air through the naso-pharanyx freely.