Our country is sleep-deprived—desperate for restful nights, to awaken easily, and be functional throughout the day without needing a nap. The anxiety and stress of our busy world certainly make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. However, those dreams of being rested are even more difficult to achieve when nights are fraught with the tossing, turning, snoring, choking, or gasping for a breath of oneself or a bed partner.
Millions are disturbed throughout the night by sleep-disordered breathing caused by airway obstruction. Sleep-disordered breathing is a serious health problem and initially appears as snoring. Although snoring is generally viewed as a minor annoyance, it can be the first sign of a problem with a range of severity.
Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) is marked by a greater loss of airway patency than snoring. Those who suffer from UARS are generally young, female and may experience gastroesophageal reflux disorder, asthma, depression, and hormonal imbalances.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a serious and often life-threatening problem when sleepers stop breathing for 10 seconds or more (apnea) or breathe at a decreased rate and depth (hypopnea). Choking, gasping for breath, and long periods without breathing are all signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Snoring, UARS and OSA are all serious conditions that should not be ignored. Not only do they affect sleep, but they are also detrimental to an individual’s health.