On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m diving into the research to answer the most frequently asked questions about sleep apnea, including what is sleep apnea, the symptoms, causes, treatment, home test, and more.
According to the National Council On Aging, approximately 39 million US adults, and 936 million adults worldwide are affected by mild to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
To be honest, if I had to pick one aspect of my health and wellness that I need to improve on most, sleep would be it.
I don’t usually have much problem falling asleep.
My problem is staying asleep all night.
For some reason, I tend to wake up in the middle of the night, around the same time, every night.
Every time I look at the clock, it’s always between 2:00am-3:00am.
Let me know in the comments if this same thing happens to you.
After doing some research, I kept hearing about sleep apnea.
In fact, I remember in one of our #AskLiveLeanTV episodes, a viewer asked if sleep apnea can affect muscle growth progress.
Like I always do, I wanted to scratch my own itch and dig deeper into the research on sleep apnea.
As mentioned, since 936 million people worldwide are affected by some form of sleep apnea, I felt it would be helpful to share my findings, then articulate them in an easy to understand format.
Based on my research, here are the top 10 most frequently asked questions about sleep apnea:
With that said, let’s get started.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep.
These pauses, called apneas, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and can occur multiple times throughout the night.
There are 3 main types of sleep apnea:
If you are wondering if you have sleep apnea, here are some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea:
It’s important to note that not everyone with sleep apnea experiences all of these symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can vary from person to person.
Sleep apnea can negatively affect testosterone levels and muscle growth.
Due to the interrupted sleep patterns, sleep apnea can reduce muscle recovery and repair, while hindering overall muscle growth and strength gains.
This combination of lower testosterone levels and reduced muscle recovery and repair, can then reduce protein synthesis, increase muscle breakdown, and compromise exercise performance.
Thanks to today’s sponsor, Sleep Doctor, you can now test for sleep apnea at home, rather than spending a night at a sleep lab, hooked up to machines, in a strange bed, away from home.
Not only is that uncomfortable, it’s also often quite expensive.
The Sleep Doctor is an FDA-approved, at home sleep test that accurately measures key sleep metrics to diagnose the root cause of your sleep problems, from the comfort of your own home, at a fraction of the cost.
I recently completed my sleep apnea test with Sleep Doctor.
After ordering the test, I had a brief video chat with a board-certified physician to approve the at home sleep test.
Then within 3 business days, my sleep test device was delivered to my front door.
This easy to use device recorded my at sleep breathing patterns, then automatically shared my results with the doctor, all in one night of sleep.
A Sleep Doctor representative then reviewed my personalized sleep data report with me via a video call.
Even though I was not diagnosed with sleep apnea, I was happy to see that Sleep Doctor did make further recommendations to help improve my quality of sleep.
Overall, I was very impressed with how easy, seamless, and straightforward the entire process was.
If you are interesting in taking this at home sleep apnea test, use my link to get 50% off your test.
Sleep apnea can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
Men are also more prone to sleep apnea, but women’s risk rises after menopause.
Speaking of thick necks, men with a neck size of 17 inches or more, and women with a neck size of 16 inches or more, increase the risk of airway obstruction.
Lastly, lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol, sedatives, and sleeping on your back, can also relax throat muscles, contributing to airway obstruction during sleep.
Sleep apnea snoring can vary in intensity and sound.
It is often loud, irregular, and disruptive, with pauses followed by snorts or gasps or choking for air.
When it comes to looks, individuals with sleep apnea may exhibit sudden movements, restlessness, or signs of struggling to breathe during sleep, such as gasping or choking sounds, frequent awakenings, or changes in sleep position.
The treatment for sleep apnea varies depending on the type and severity of the condition.
For mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea, lifestyle modifications may be recommended, such as:
However, for moderate to severe cases, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is often recommended for treatment.
CPAP therapy involves wearing a mask connected to a machine that delivers a continuous stream of pressurized air to keep the airway open during sleep.
Other treatment options include oral appliances or surgery to help reposition the jaw and tongue to keep the airway open, and surgery to reposition or enlarge the airway to improve airflow.
Overall, the most effective treatment for sleep apnea depends on individual factors, therefore it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional, such as Sleep Doctor, for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan.
Let’s dig a little deeper into the CPAP machine, mouthguard, and lifestyle changes to treat sleep apnea.
CPAP machines deliver pressurized air through a mask worn over the nose, mouth, or both, to keep the airway open and preventing the collapse of soft tissues in the throat, that lead to apnea episodes and snoring.
The machine has a motor that generates the air pressure, which is then delivered through a hose connected to the mask.
The sound of a CPAP machine is often described as a low, steady hum or white noise, similar to a quiet fan or air conditioner.
Sleep apnea mouthpieces and mouth guards, also known as oral appliances, reposition the jaw or hold the tongue in a forward position to keep the airway open during sleep.
By preventing the collapse of soft tissues in the throat, these devices can reduce snoring and improve airflow, helping to alleviate sleep apnea symptoms.
They are custom fitted by a dentist and are worn during sleep, similar to a sports mouthguard.
While not as effective as CPAP therapy for severe sleep apnea, oral appliances can be a more comfortable and convenient alternative for some individuals with mild to moderate sleep apnea or those who have difficulty tolerating CPAP therapy.
Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and a balanced diet is crucial for reducing excess fat deposits around the neck and throat, which can contribute to airway obstruction and worsen sleep apnea symptoms.
In addition to using exercise to maintain a healthy weight, cardiovascular exercises also help improve overall cardiovascular health and lung function.
Strength training for throat and tongue muscles can also strengthen these muscles, reducing the risk of airway collapse during sleep.
Yoga and breathing exercises promote relaxation and improve respiratory muscle strength, leading to better breathing patterns and reduced sleep apnea symptoms.
In this post we covered, what is sleep apnea, the symptoms, causes, treatment, home testing, and more.
Thanks again to today’s video sponsor, Sleep Doctor.
If you’re struggling with your sleep, don’t let another restless night define your day.
Keep Living Lean.
Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.
If you enjoyed this post called, What Is Sleep Apnea: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Home Test, And More, show your love by clicking the social media buttons to share this with your friends.
Subscribe to our Live Lean TV YouTube channel and leave a comment below on what you want to see in future posts.
Share your experiences in the comment section below.
Check out our free workout videos here.
Check out my free recipe cooking videos here.
Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.