Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? Does your sleep schedule feel more unreliable than not? While multiple factors can enter into the equation, you may just have a sleeping disorder. Sleep apnea, alongside stress disorders and mental health issues, affect millions of Americans on a consistent basis and can make even basic tasks incredibly difficult. When not treated in the long-term, you put yourself at increased risk for asthma, heart attack and even stroke. CPAP supplies are technological aids, designed to help open up your air passages and help you sleep more consistently throughout the week.
How Many Americans Have Sleeping Issues?
Sleeping disorders are one of the most prevalent side-effects of long-term conditions like mental illness, chronic stress and physical health problems. Sleep apnea, for example, is prevalent in over 18 million Americans and can be traced to many different sources. At least 4% of all Americans have an undiagnosed case of a sleeping disorder, as well, which adds up to an estimated one in 50 individuals overall. A sleeping disorder is characterized by repeated difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, which can negatively impact emotional and physical health if not properly diagnosed.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that negatively impacts an individual’s health in the long-term. It’s been found that those with an untreated case of sleep apnea have a risk of stroke four times higher than those who don’t, as well as being three times more likely to develop heart disease over time. A sufferer of sleep apnea may experience 60 apneas per hour during an average night’s sleep, though this number can increase in extreme cases. Since resting is the body’s way of repairing itself from the day’s wear and tears, struggling to achieve a proper REM cycle has serious long term consequences.
What Is A CPAP?
CPAP is an acronym for ‘continuous positive airway pressure’ and is prescribed by doctors to help sufferers of sleep apnea obtain a more reliable night’s sleep throughout the week. Studies have shown the considerable efficiency of CPAP machines and additional items such as CPAP masks and CPAP pillows. Consistent use is necessary to get the most out of CPAP supplies, however, and studies have shown as many as 80% of patients not using them enough to keep them safe from the long-term health issues of the disorder. Another survey saw half of all people prescribed CPAP machines not using them after a three-week period.
What Other CPAP Supplies Exist?
Thanks to recent changes in technology, there are many different CPAP supplies available. While CPAP machines are the most common, there are also CPAP masks, CPAP pillows and portable CPAP devices. You can take these along with you if you frequently travel or if you live alone and need less maintenance in your day-to-day life. Whether or not you will qualify for CPAP devices depends on a proper diagnosis.
Which Is Right For Me?
If you suspect you have a sleeping disorder, the first thing you should do is see your regular doctor and ask for a check-up. It may help to see a sleep disorder specialist, as well, to get a more specific diagnosis on your unique issues. Try to document your sleep patterns throughout the week as well as any additional factors that could be contributing to your disruption, such as a new work schedule or lifestyle change. This will help ensure your analysis is as accurate as possible. While you may be assigned CPAP supplies or medication, it’s prudent to follow directions and use them as consistently as you can to ensure healthy sleeping habits. A good night’s rest isn’t just a distant dream — it can be your new reality.