How to Pick the Right Pillow

Clouds

How to Pick the Right Pillow

How to Pick the Right Pillow

Posted on Thursday, July 2nd, 2020 at 7:43 pm    

Shutterstock 639769771
If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from sleep apnea, you have probably tried a variety of remedies for this common sleep disorder. Nasal sprays, nose strips, and CPAP machines are common go-to’s, but sleep apnea pillows are another possible treatment.

People who suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea might benefit from special pillows made specifically for this disorder. These pillows are designed to help patients breathe easier and open their air passages while they sleep. They often complement existing sleep apnea treatments, such as positional therapy, which focuses on the patient’s sleeping position.

Experts recommend that people who suffer from sleep apnea sleep on their side to prevent their tongue from blocking their air passages. A specially designed pillow can help train sleepers to lay on their side or even elevate their legs to keep airways from getting obstructed. Before you begin shopping for your next pillow, consider which position you usually sleep in. If you sleep on your side, you need a pillow that will support your neck, ear, and head. People who sleep on their stomachs need a thin pillow to keep their spine aligned with their head.

Experts also recommend pillows made of foam or memory foam for the best night’s sleep. But the shape of the pillow is even more important than the material it is made of. If you use a CPAP machine, there are pillows designed to complement the work it does. You can also find pillows that help align your back, neck, and head for optimal breathing comfort.

Contact a Sleep Apnea Specialist

Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep, but we know that sleep apnea often gets in the way. If you suffer from sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, the experts at Silent Night Therapy are ready to help you find a solution.

Because of the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, we are offering remote, virtual consultations to ensure the safety and comfort of our patients. We can mail you an at-home sleep study kit to determine whether you have sleep apnea. If you have questions about our services, please do not hesitate to reach out at (631) 983-2463 or fill out a contact form today.


The Coronavirus and Sleep Apnea

Posted on Friday, June 19th, 2020 at 2:43 pm    

Shutterstock 1676752123Researchers in Finland have found a connection between sleep apnea and COVID-19. A disproportionate number of coronavirus patients were admitted to hospitals in Finland who also suffered from obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. This is somewhat expected since the coronavirus is known to affect older people, especially those with pre-existing conditions, more severely than younger people.

The University of Turku and Turku University Hospital researchers in Finland found that reduced oxygen saturation in a patient’s body may be an indicator of whether that patient will need critical care. Twenty-nine percent of the 28 patients studied had a pre-existing condition of sleep apnea when they were admitted to the hospital for coronavirus.

People with sleep apnea often suffer from other health problems, such as heart disease, obesity, older age, and diabetes. The virus naturally affects people with these conditions more than it does otherwise healthy patients, so those with sleep apnea and respiratory diseases are at a higher risk of needing to be hospitalized.

If you are using a CPAP machine, there are a few tips you can follow to better protect your health.

  • Move your CPAP machine out of the way of others who might sneeze or cough on it. Because you are using the machine to breathe, any pathogens on the machine are more likely to travel into your respiratory system.
  • Sanitize your CPAP machine daily. Thoroughly clean the tubing, mask, and humidifying chamber with warm soapy water. Wash your hands before putting the mask on before sleep.
  • Replace the CPAP machine filter as directed in the instructions.

Contact a Sleep Apnea Specialist

Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep and assurance that they are doing everything in their power to maintain their optimal health. If you are worried that your sleep apnea might put you at a higher risk of suffering critically from the coronavirus, the team at Silent Night Therapy is here to help you.

We are currently offering virtual consultations to ensure the safety and comfort of our patients during these difficult times. Additionally, we can send you an at-home sleep study kit to determine whether you have sleep apnea. If you have any questions about our services at Silent Night Therapy, please do not hesitate to call us at (631) 983-2463 or fill out a contact form today.


What Happens When Your Body Doesn’t Get Enough Sleep

Posted on Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 at 2:31 pm    

Getting enough sleep each night is just as critical to our bodies’ functions as eating fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water. But people who suffer from sleep apnea often get less than the recommended 6 to 9 hours of sleep. This can lead to a myriad of health problems, ranging from increased risk of heart disease to lowered sex drive.

About 1 in 3 American adults suffer from a lack of sleep, according to a study from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Many of these people suffer from untreated sleep apnea, a condition that repeatedly impedes your breathing during the night. Symptoms of sleep apnea include excessive snoring, daytime fatigue, dry mouth, headaches, and insomnia.

The Impact of Sleep Deprivation

One of the biggest health threats of sleep deprivation is to the cardiovascular system. Studies have found a link between sleep deprivation and a higher risk of developing heart disease, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure. Coronary heart disease and increased risk of strokes can also be consequences linked to getting less sleep.

Additionally, people who get less sleep at night tend to struggle more with cognitive tasks. This could manifest at work when replying to emails or typing up a presentation, or even having conversations with clients and coworkers. According to an article from Healthline, decision-making, reasoning, and problem-solving worsened when sleep study participants missed a night of sleep.

Other negative consequences of sleep deprivation are:

  • Weight gain
  • Lower libido
  • Increased forgetfulness
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Lowered immune system
  • Higher risk of developing diabetes

Luckily, the sleep experts at Silent Night Therapy are here to help you. Even during the coronavirus pandemic, our dedicated team is offering at-home sleep studies. We will evaluate the results and offer a consultation via phone or video call.

Contact a Sleep Apnea Specialist at Silent Night Therapy

If you are suffering from sleep apnea and want to do an at-home sleep test, the experts at Silent Night Therapy are ready to help. We are taking a safe and proactive approach toward the COVID-19 outbreak. We are still available during this time and can work toward getting the vital care you need through virtual consultations and at home-sleep study tests. Please call us at 631-983-2463 to schedule your appointment today.


What Happens if You Don’t Treat Sleep Apnea

Posted on Tuesday, May 12th, 2020 at 6:17 pm    

Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when the upper airway repeatedly collapses during sleep, causing the patient to wake up feeling groggy in the morning. This is because the person suffering from sleep apnea stops breathing multiple times during the night.

If left untreated, sleep apnea could cause a slew of other health problems, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Resistant hypertension
  • High blood pressure
  • Atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat)

Signs of Sleep Apnea

Some people may be at higher risk of developing sleep apnea, even though it can affect people of all ages. People who are older, have excess body weight, smoke, or have a family history of sleep apnea are more at risk of developing this disorder. Recognizing the signs of sleep apnea is the first step to seeking treatment.

Some signs to look out for are:

  • Loud snoring
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Daytime fatigue or drowsiness
  • Headaches upon waking up
  • Moments where you stop breathing during sleep
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Irritability

Treatment for Your Condition

If you believe you might be suffering from sleep apnea, please do not wait to contact us to get treatment. Our office is still ready to help patients in spite of the pandemic through remote consultations and at-home sleep studies. The team at Silent Night Therapy understands the safety concerns that our patients and prospective patients have regarding the spread of the coronavirus. In response, we are excited to offer remote sleep consultations and at-home sleep testing kits through SNAP Diagnostics Dropship.

SNAP Diagnostics Dropship simply delivers a sanitized at-home sleep testing kit to your home. You simply go about your normal nightly routine before attaching the equipment to yourself. When you are finished with the study, mail the equipment back to the lab for analysis, and an expert from Silent Night Therapy will call you to discuss the results.

Contact a Sleep Apnea Specialist at Silent Night Therapy

If you are suffering from sleep apnea and want to do an at-home sleep test, the experts at Silent Night Therapy are ready to help you. We are taking a safe and proactive approach toward the COVID-19 outbreak. We are still available during this time and can work toward getting the vital care you need through virtual consultations and at home-sleep study tests. Please call us at 631-983-2463 to schedule your appointment today.


Signs your spouse may have sleep apnea

Posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 at 4:09 pm    

woman frustrated with man's snoringThe word apnea comes from Ancient Greek and means “absence of breathing.” It is more commonly defined as a temporary cessation of breathing, usually during sleep.

Sleep apnea can be a serious sleep disorder that commonly causes snoring. Not all sleep apnea cases involve snoring though.

Certain types of people can be more susceptible to sleep apnea depending on their anatomy or living conditions. In some cases, sleep apnea may be overcome through simple lifestyle changes but other cases may require medical devices or surgery.

The Different Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea generally comes in three different forms. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which involves blockage of a person’s airway.

Central sleep apnea, on the other hand, involves a person’s brain not sending the right signals to muscles that regulate breathing. Complex sleep apnea syndrome involves a person who has both OSA and central sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea can affect people of all ages, including children. People may be more likely to suffer from sleep apnea if they are male, overweight, or over 40 years of age. Other possible causes might include people simply having large necks, tonsils, or tongues, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or family histories of sleep apnea.

Possible Signs of Sleep Apnea

Most people exhibit one or more signs that they are suffering from sleep apnea. Certain symptoms are easier to identify than others.

In general, some of the most common signs of sleep apnea include, but are not limited to:

  • Snoring — Undoubtedly the most common sign of a sleep apnea problem is loud and chronic snoring. Unfortunately for many people suffering from sleep apnea, they may be completely unaware of how much (or how loudly) they are snoring at night. It is often a spouse or romantic partner who shares a bed with a person with sleep apnea that has to make them aware of the snoring problem.
  • Breaks or Pauses in Breathing — People suffering from OSA may have their brains awaken suddenly when respiratory systems need to begin working properly again after airflow becomes obstructed. While the brain may waken, the actual person may still stay asleep through these episodes.
  • Constant Drowsiness — If a person struggles to rise in the morning, feels tired during the day, or suffers from a general lack of energy, these could all be factors of sleep lost at night because of issues caused by sleep apnea.
  • Headaches— Lack of proper oxygen to the brain because of sleep apnea often causes people to suffer headaches when they awake in the morning.
  • High Blood Pressure — A person’s blood pressure can spike during certain sleep apnea events as the brain tries to regulate blood vessels. Blood pressure issues can continue to persist during the day even when the individual is breathing normally.
  • Obesity Issues — With overweight people, fatty tissues that build up in the neck or throat can cause sleep apnea issues.

Some people wake up gasping for air while others have difficulty falling asleep. When a person is exhibiting any symptoms of sleep apnea, it is usually in their best interest to speak to a medical professional about the signs they have noticed.]

Contact Us

Silent Night Therapy understands the effects that sleep issues can have on individuals. We understand the steps that can be taken to help resolve sleep apnea issues. Call (631) 983-2463 or contact us online to have our team help you understand all of your possible improved sleep options.


How to Stop Snoring

Posted on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018 at 7:51 pm    

sleeping man snores while woman plugs her earsSnoring may be the result of how a person’s nose or jaw is shaped, or it may be caused by other factors that result in the narrowing of a person’s airway. When this occurs, relaxed tissues in a person’s throat can vibrate, which is more commonly referred to as snoring.

While many people may be completely unaware of their snoring problems, the issues are far less likely to be overlooked by those people’s spouses or significant others they share beds with. In such cases, snoring can interfere with the other person’s ability to get a peaceful night’s rest.

As the Mayo Clinic notes, snoring is often associated with the sleep disorder obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), but not all snorers necessarily have OSA. In many cases, snoring issues may be resolved through simple lifestyle changes or possibly even medical devices or surgery.

Causes of Snoring

Snoring can be the result of multiple factors. While the anatomy of a person’s mouth and sinuses will undoubtedly be a factor, some of the other contributing factors to snoring include, but are not limited to:

  • Alcohol Consumption — Alcohol can relax your throat muscles and decrease defenses against airway obstruction.
  • Sleep Position — People who sleep on their back often snore the loudest and most frequently.
  • Sleep Deprivation — A lack of sleep can increase throat relaxation and make a person more likely to snore.
  • Nasal Problems — Any number of nasal issues can impact a person’s airways and cause or contribute to snoring.

Certain people can be more predisposed to snoring. Men are much more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than women, and people who are overweight can also be more likely to snore.

Ways to Stop Snoring

People have several different options they can try to stop snoring problems. Some of the most common methods include:

  • Changing Sleeping Position — Again, many snorers sleep on their back, and switching to sleeping on their side can solve some snoring problems. A body pillow can be helpful for people who have difficulty adjusting to sleeping on their side.
  • Weight Loss — Snoring often affects people who are overweight, and losing weight may be the solution for individuals who only began snoring after gaining additional weight.
  • Get More Sleep — Many people who develop snoring habits also have poor sleeping habits. A lack of adequate sleep can contribute to snoring problems.
  • Adjust Your Setting — In some cases, snoring issues may be resolved through a simple change of the pillow a person has been sleeping on. In other cases, other contributing factors within a bedroom such as dust mites from ceiling fans and window shades or pet dander could cause snoring.
  • Stay Hydrated — Make sure to drink plenty of water (not alcohol though) so your nose and palate do not suffer from dehydration issues that cause snoring.

When a person tries multiple methods to reduce or eliminate snoring unsuccessfully, they should consult with their doctors about possible OSA or related issues.

Contact Us

Are you or your loved one dealing with a snoring issue? Unfortunately, snoring may not always be resolved with a single quick fix, and some people require individualized solutions. Contact Dr. Brown and the OSA team today by calling (631) 983-2463 or contact us online to let us see how we can help.


How Age and Sleep Apnea Are Related

Posted on Monday, July 16th, 2018 at 8:41 pm    

It’s an old stereotype that the older we get, the more we snore. Watch cartoons and kids’ movies, and you’ll find the grandmother or grandfather, if they’re ever sleeping, will undoubtedly be snoring. This stereotype may be masking a very serious issue that has profound implications for the quality of life for all of us as we get older.

The reason for this is because of sleep apnea. While not all snoring is due to sleep apnea, it is perhaps the most obvious sign. If you or someone you love is suffering from sleep apnea, you may be risking your health.

Research has proven that age leads to an increase in sleep apnea. This is because the muscle tone in our nose and throat, which provide the airway to our lungs, gets weaker as we get older. This weakening is particularly prominent in women because menopause severely reduces the estrogen and progesterone in their bodies, which leads to significant loss of muscle tone.

Sleep apnea is actually a very serious condition. This is because of what sleep apnea actually does to the body. It temporarily reduces or cuts off the airflow to the lungs, reducing the amount of oxygen in the blood. It can lead to individuals waking up entirely or partly throughout the night.

That’s just the beginning. Sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure and diabetes, and may lead to heart attacks and strokes, which, of course, can be deadly. Almost as concerning, sleep apnea has been tied to an increased risk of dementia.

However, the risks of sleep apnea may go beyond these serious risks. Sleep apnea can be responsible for insomnia, tiredness, heartburn, teeth grinding, anxiety, depression, and increased cognitive difficulties. In other words, sleep apnea may be what makes you feel old when you might otherwise be feeling younger and vivacious.

Of course, all of these symptoms can arise independent of sleep apnea, making it hard to catch, particularly for those who don’t sleep with someone else who might notice a change in their sleeping patterns.

If you suspect you might be suffering from sleep apnea, information like this might feel more frustrating than relieving. However, the good news is that recent research has made it easier than ever to treat sleep apnea successfully. Some treatments may include simply improving overall health (such as weight loss or treating allergies), while others will involve the assistance of sleep specialists. This may include the use of devices that keep your airways open, positional therapy to make sure you sleep in a way conducive to open airways, or CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy.

The sleep experts at Silent Night Therapy can provide you with the assistance and the devices you need to help prevent the health issues you might otherwise experience due to sleep apnea. Call us today at (631) 983-2463, and we can set up an appointment to start treating your sleep apnea immediately so that you can return to the youthful, energetic, person you still are inside.


Myths About Sleep Apnea

Posted on Monday, March 19th, 2018 at 6:06 pm    

If you have ever wondered whether you or a loved one suffers from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you are not alone. OSA is more common than most people think, but it is also widely misunderstood. In fact, there are so many myths about sleep apnea that we have compiled a list of them to help you sort out the truth. If you have further questions about OSA or want to schedule a free sleep apnea consultation, contact us today at (631) 983-2463.

MYTH: Sleep apnea is just a minor medical condition that doesn’t warrant treatment.

FACT: Sleep apnea can lead to serious complications, such as strokes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and fatigue-related accidents. Sleep apnea essentially deprives the body of oxygen, leading to lasting and potentially deadly consequences if left untreated.

MYTH: Only obese, middle-aged men are affected by sleep apnea.

FACT: Healthy men and women of all ages, including children, can suffer from sleep apnea.

MYTH: Sleeping on your stomach or side prevents sleep apnea.

FACT: Sleep apnea is not dependent on your sleeping position and can develop among people who sleep on their stomachs, sides, and backs alike.

MYTH: Snoring is annoying, but it doesn’t have serious consequences.

FACT: Snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea. Although many people are too embarrassed by it to seek treatment, snoring should not be left unchecked. Not all snoring is related to sleep apnea, but sometimes it is and should be evaluated by a medical professional.

MYTH: CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines are too loud and obnoxious. Bed partners would rather deal with snoring than CPAP machines.

FACT: New innovations have made CPAP machines much quieter than ever before, making them a much better alternative to the loud, gasping type of snoring that sleep apnea causes. Bed partners of those with sleep apnea suffer significant sleep loss when the sleep apnea goes untreated. Opting for a CPAP machine is the more considerate option for your bed partner if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.

MYTH: Adults who have had tonsillectomies are not at risk of sleep apnea.

FACT: Having your tonsils removed does not reduce the likelihood of getting sleep apnea.

MYTH: Diagnosing sleep apnea can only be done in a sleep lab.

FACT: There is new technology that allows sleep apnea to be diagnosed at home. Portable devices that measure brain activity, oxygen levels in the blood, and muscle movements can help sleep doctors determine whether you suffer from sleep apnea.

Contact Us

If you believe that you or a loved one may have sleep apnea, contact our office today at (631) 983-2463 to schedule a free sleep apnea consultation. Dr. Brown and his experienced staff are passionate about helping people solve their sleep problems. They believe that quality of life during the day largely depends on the quality of sleep you get at night. If you’re ready to improve your life, call today and find out what the experts at Silent Night Therapy can do for you. A healthier and more rested life is only a phone call away.


Rhythm loss during sleep may affect memory for older individuals

Posted on Monday, January 15th, 2018 at 5:47 pm    

A new finding seems to show that if the brain gets out of rhythm during sleep, it may negatively affect how much is remembered the next morning–even in people that do not have Alzheimer’s or another brain disease. The good news is, it might be fixable.

The study worked like this–a team of scientists had young adults learn sets of 120 words, then they wired their heads with electrodes and had them sleep. They measured and monitored their sleep and retested them the next morning. Their memories of the word pairs seemed to be connected to how well that they slept.

Then they repeated the same experiment with people in their 60’s and 70’s. Just like the younger adults, how much they remembered was determined by how well their brain waves kept the beat, which synchronizes the brain’s slow waves and sleep spindles. Slow waves occur every second or so and spindles occur more than 12 times a second.

When the slow waves and spindles are perfectly in sync, memory transfers are much more efficient. The word sets move from short-term memory to long-term memory, so those who sleep well did better on the tests in the morning. Good sleep is a crucial step in making long-term memories.

But with older brains, this syncing of waves and spindles can get off rhythm, causing less memory transfer. Even if the rhythm is off by as little as a tiny millisecond, then the storing mechanism in your brain doesn’t work as well. The researchers found that an aging brain doesn’t get to the deep sleep stage due to atrophy, reducing the chances of the brain storing information. People with more atrophy had less rhythm in the brain, which is a normal consequence of aging. And it can be worse in patients with Alzheimer’s or other preexisting memory conditions.

The good news is that it might be possible to re-synchronize the brain. One way would be to apply electrical or magnetic pulses through the scalp to boost brain waves and bring them back together in harmony.

The next round of tests will check this theory. If it works, it might reverse the decline in the memory of older adults and those with dementia. This process could even unlock the secrets of reversing the effects of Alzheimer’s.

These tests mark an exciting new step in sleep studies, proving not only that memories are preserved through sleep, but the knowledge can help to reverse certain memory problems. Wouldn’t it be great to wake-up and remember all 120-word sets when you are 100? Or perhaps just remember what happened yesterday and what you need when are at the grocery store? If our future is just in resyncing our brain waves, it might all be possible.

Dr. Clifford Brown and our experienced OSA team have a passion for helping clients who suffer from sleep issues. We are here to help identify sleep issues you may have and find a course of treatment that will help you get a better night’s sleep. Schedule an appointment with us at (631) 983-2463 today to find out how we can help you today.


Why You Shouldn’t Try Treating Your Sleep Apnea Yourself

Posted on Thursday, May 11th, 2017 at 9:38 pm    

Why You Shouldn’t Try Treating Your Sleep Apnea Yourself

man yawning in bedSleep apnea is a serious condition that can have lasting side effects if left untreated. If you have sleep apnea, your breathing may stop completely for short periods during the night. This stoppage can be disastrous because without the proper amount of oxygen reaching your brain and blood stream, parts of your body can experience immense stress and consequently develop harmful conditions, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, and a shortened lifespan.

Some people choose not to see a medical professional about their sleep apnea and decide instead to try treating their condition on their own. While some lifestyle changes can help improve your sleep apnea, failure to see a sleep therapist can aggravate your condition and lead to serious consequences. The following are three reasons why you should not try to treat your sleep apnea on your own.

Misdiagnosing the Cause

Losing weight and cutting down on alcohol consumption are common starting points for treating sleep apnea, and you will most likely find these changes recommended on almost any page about sleep apnea. While these can be helpful in treating your sleep apnea, they can also be completely unrelated to your condition. Dental alignment, the anatomy of your throat, stress, and sleeping position can all be contributing to your sleep apnea, and these factors will not necessarily change along with your diet. A sleep specialist has handled many cases like yours and will able to identify the cause of your sleep apnea quickly and effectively in order to provide the proper treatment.

Treatments That Waste Your Time

Small changes in your lifestyle can have a big impact on your sleeping condition, but over-the-counter products that promise to fix all your sleeping problems instantly will generally not help you. Sleeping medications and similar products can actually aggravate your sleep apnea and make it worse. A generic product from the drug store cannot address your specific problems, but a qualified sleep specialist will work with you to design the perfect treatment for your sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea is Serious

Sleep apnea has many serious consequences, but with the proper treatment, you can turn the clock back on your condition and stop the development of harmful conditions. While you spend your time on alternative self-administered methods that don’t actually treat your sleep apnea, your condition is worsening. It is important to visit a skilled sleep therapy specialist as soon as possible in order to prevent potential health problems from developing.

Contact a Sleep Specialist at Silent Night Therapy

At Silent Night Therapy, we will meet with you and listen to your needs to develop the proper action for you. With the correct treatment, you will experience comfortable sleep while also treating your sleep apnea. You will be amazed at the results of your treatment, so please don’t hesitate to contact our offices at (631) 983-2463 to schedule an appointment.