You've just been diagnosed with sleep apnea. While this may be frightening, it's the first step to improving your sleep and overall health! Your physician has likely prescribed you a continuous positive airway pressure machine, or CPAP machine, as a form of treatment therapy. A CPAP machine is the most common form of treatment for sleep apnea, and it works to ensure your airways are open as you sleep. You'll finally get some relief with your new device, and you may be surprised by the benefits of using a CPAP machine regularly.
If you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea and given a prescription for a CPAP machine, you know that you are closer than ever to one of the best benefits it has to offer – a great night of rest! But a good night's sleep isn't the only benefit that the CPAP machine has to offer. Here are 11 benefits of using a CPAP machine.
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On This Page:
- CPAP Machine Benefits
- How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
- How Does CPAP Therapy Work?
- CPAP Machine Rundown
You sought out a CPAP machine because your sleep disorder was seriously getting in the way of a good night's sleep. The benefit of your CPAP machine is that it is guaranteed to give you a better night's sleep. You no longer have to worry about fatigue and exhaustion carrying over into the following day with improved sleeping habits.
Improved Weight Loss
Would you believe us if we told you that a good night's sleep could lead to weight loss? If you've had a great rest, you can wake up feeling less exhausted and more motivated. With even a boost in motivation, you may be more likely to have the energy to exercise. Hormones such as leptin and ghrelin are affected by your sleep and can negatively impact your overall health.
Your leptin levels are likely lower than those of others who don't struggle with this sleep disorder. Leptin tells your body that it is full when you are eating. If your leptin levels have decreased because of sleep apnea, you may overeat, leading to weight gain. You may go through your entire day constantly feeling somewhat hungry because of another hormone called ghrelin. When ghrelin levels increase, it may cause you to snack on unhealthy items all day.
With consistent nightly use of your device, you are one step closer to having more balanced hormones and increased energy to support a healthier lifestyle.
Fewer Mood Swings
When you can't experience a peaceful slumber, you can expect to experience some funky moods. You are likely to experience mood swings, anxiety, irritability, and even depression. If you are experiencing fatigue day after day, it's no wonder that your mood is being impacted negatively.
All of this is happening because of your sleep apnea, but your CPAP machine has the benefit of bringing you fewer mood swings. Studies have shown that nightly use of the CPAP machine has decreased the depression and mood swings amongst most patients.
A sleepy driver is not a safe driver. Despite a restless night of sleep, those with sleep apnea still have to leave the house the next day. They may be headed to work or to run errands, but the fact of the matter is that they are driving tired, which is equivalent to driving while intoxicated.
Traffic accidents due to excessive sleeplessness account for over 70,000 accidents every year. An individual with sleep apnea endures daytime fatigue. They are more likely to have a traffic accident than someone without sleep apnea. The benefit of the CPAP machine is that individuals with sleep apnea are 70% less likely to ignite an accident on the road when they have been using their device.
It should come as no surprise that sleep apnea interferes with the health of your heart. Those with sleep apnea struggle to breathe during their slumber. When your muscles are working extra hard to produce oxygen for you, your heart starts to feel the stress of it all.
During your sleep, your body is fighting to wake up when it signals your brain to take a breath. Your breathing is labored and your airflow is almost nonexistent. Adrenaline is released into your bloodstream to get you to wake up. This adrenaline is a stress hormone, so when it is continuously signaled on a nightly basis, it impacts your heart's health. Sleep apnea can put your heart health at significant risk, from irregular heartbeats to high blood pressure and heart disease.
With your CPAP machine, you can take back your oxygen and put less stress on your heart. Your machine is meant to help you breathe better at night by delivering you the pressurized air you need. You don't have to worry about additional disorders such as impaired heart function due to sleep apnea when you have a CPAP machine.
Diabetes Risk Decreases
Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea go hand in hand. When you are experiencing oxygen deprivation, your glucose metabolism is being altered. The inflammation and resistance of your glucose are increasing due to the lack of oxygen you are receiving. A continuous occurrence of oxygen deprivation, or hypoxia, can lead to type 2 diabetes or worsen it if you already have it.
The risk of diabetes decreases with the use of your CPAP machine. The pressurized air that your machine can deliver to you will support your oxygen. In turn, it will regulate your metabolism and manage glucose resistance.
Sleep apnea therapy with CPAP machines may be able to prevent you from developing type 2 diabetes altogether. If you already have type 2 diabetes, your sleep therapy should help you manage it. A restful slumber with productive breathing will assist in the prevention of worsening your type 2 diabetes.
Another disorder that goes hand in hand with sleep apnea is erectile dysfunction. According to research, 69% of patients diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea were also diagnosed with erectile dysfunction.
An individual with sleep apnea endures labored breathing throughout the night, restricting the oxygen they receive while they sleep. This lack of oxygen is more likely to decrease the levels of testosterone. Producing a healthy erection can be complicated for an individual with a reduced amount of testosterone.
The benefit of the CPAP machine is that it will give you back the oxygen you need. In turn, testosterone levels can begin to increase, and you are less likely to experience erectile dysfunction.
Hearing Loss Prevention
A cross-sectional analysis was conducted, and it determined that there are some correlations between those with obstructive sleep apnea and those with hearing loss. Most individuals with sleep apnea tend to snore while they sleep. Snoring has been known to cause hearing impairments and noise trauma. Both occurrences could lead to overall hearing loss. According to the analysis, the risk of hearing loss for sleep apnea patients increased up to 90%. With the continuous use of your CPAP machine, you should notice a significant decrease in snoring which will, in turn, decrease the chances of hearing loss.
It goes without saying that a good night's rest will deliver a more productive day the morning after. With your CPAP machine, you don't have to worry about the lapses in breathing that would generally happen if left untreated. When you can finally sleep through the night, you can spend the next day more alert and concentrated.
Due to the lack of breathing and decreased oxygen, those with sleep apnea are more likely to suffer a stroke. Strokes can be life-threatening and lead to permanent disabilities or even death. When your brain function lapses momentarily, that is when a stroke occurs. The blood vessels leading to your brain have ruptured.
Those with sleep apnea rely on their brain to send signals to tell them to catch their breath. Therefore, you wake up gasping for air or choking. When you treat your sleep apnea with CPAP therapy, you decrease the risk of a stroke occurring.
Decrease in Medical Expenses
An untreated sleep apnea diagnosis can lead to a multitude of other health issues. From fatigue to type 2 diabetes, your sleep apnea could have you running back and forth to the doctor to try to treat so many other problems. This is why it is so essential to get the diagnosis and then take the following steps to reap the benefits of a CPAP machine.
Without your CPAP machine and sleep therapy, you are more likely to rack up medical expenses trying to treat the many side effects that go along with sleep apnea. The costs of doctor visits will quickly add up, and so will the costs of any prescriptions you are given to treat these side effects. Proper sleep apnea therapy will help you save costs in the long run.
How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
The benefits of a CPAP machine are bountiful. You're not just getting a good night's rest, but you are also improving your mood swings, protecting your heart health, decreasing your risk of type 2 diabetes, and so much more. If your nightly periods of sleep are troublesome and you think you may have a sleep disorder, the best thing for you to do is take a trip to the doctor or a sleep specialist.
When you go to the doctor and tell them all about the symptoms, you are experiencing at night and the morning after, they are likely to refer you to a sleep specialist. Your new sleep specialist will give you a couple of options to receive an accurate diagnosis. The most common next step is an overnight sleep study at home or a facility so that they can monitor your sleep.
Some individuals are at a higher risk for sleep apnea than others. You are more likely to be diagnosed with sleep apnea if you are:
- A male
- Bedtime alcohol consumption
- Using sedatives
- A bedtime snorer
While this isn't an all-inclusive list of risk factors, this gives you a general idea of who is at a greater risk of being diagnosed with sleep apnea.
After being given your official diagnosis, you can expect your specialist to write you a prescription for your new CPAP machine. The prescription will be specifically catered to the amount of pressurized air that you need during your slumber. Once you have received your machine and customized all your features and accessories, you are ready to begin your CPAP therapy.
How Does CPAP Therapy Work?
When you are ready to begin your CPAP therapy, you must know that consistency is key. While it may be intimidating in the beginning, the more consistent you are with your machine, the more likely you are to prevent serious issues.
This small air compressor device comes with a mask and tubing that is flexible enough for you to maneuver around. Whether it is on your nightside or on the floor beside your bed, you don't have to worry about your CPAP machine taking up much space. Most machines are designed with sleekness in mind. They are generally lightweight and almost always small in size.
Your CPAP machine will provide you with the most successful treatment for your sleep disorder. When dealing with sleep apnea, your slumber is often interrupted. This is due to the breathing pauses that occur while you are asleep. Your airway is being blocked by the soft tissue in your mouth and throat. Breathing for sleep apnea patients stops and often starts throughout a sleep cycle at night.
CPAP Machine Rundown
Investing in a CPAP machine for your treatment option will prevent these troublesome sleep habits from occurring. Your machine comes with a mask for you to wear that connects to the device via a tube. It will deliver air to you during your slumber. When you receive the right amount of pressurized air, you won't have to worry about lacking oxygen while you sleep.
Aside from the machine itself, the mask is another integral part of your CPAP therapy. Some machines come with masks, and others do not. Because there are so many different types of masks, choosing the right one will ensure you receive the most benefits. The best type of mask for you will likely depend on your individual sleeping habits.
The three types of masks to choose from include full face, nasal, and pillow style masks. The main difference between these masks is how they sit and fit your face. The nasal mask covers your entire nose. The full-face mask fits over your nose and your mouth. The nasal pillow mask sits comfortably under your nose and has two little pillow cushions for your nostrils. The full-face mask offers the most coverage, while the nasal pillow is the smallest and lightest option. Regardless of which mask you choose, you'll want to ensure that it is an excellent fit for you.
Securing a good seal is the difference between a good night's sleep and a bad night's sleep with your CPAP therapy. If your mask is not properly sealed onto your face, you will experience air leaks – remember that you need that air and the correct air pressure to breathe comfortably throughout your slumber.
The benefits of a CPAP machine and sleep therapy are that, when done consistently, you may no longer have to worry about other serious health problems that could occur due to your sleep apnea. Not only is sleep apnea linked to fatigue and mood swings, but it is also linked to stroke and heart disease. With the proper use of your CPAP machine, the risks of these things occurring will decrease and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier and happier life.