What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a very serious sleeping disorder affecting adults all over the world. It's an interruption of one's breathing pattern while they sleep. Most sufferers of this condition tend to stop breathing during their sleep which obviously, can be very dangerous. This happens because the brain and the body don't get enough oxygen.
If your partner lets you know you have really loud snores and/or have the tendency to wake up groggy and tired, you may have sleep apnea. If you believe you have this issue, please see a doctor or a healthcare professional. Seeing a doctor can help prevent heart problems and other complications related to the condition.
3 Types of Sleep Apnea
- Obstructive sleep apnea - This form of sleep apnea is the most common of the 3. This type of sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the throat relax. According to this article, the American Sleep Association has reported close to 25 million U.S. adults are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.
- Central sleep apnea - This type of sleep apnea happens when there's a disconnect between the brain and the muscles. This means the brain doesn't send the proper signal to the right muscles that control breathing when sleep.
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome - This type of sleep apnea is the combination of the above two. It's a complex combination hence the name.
What Are The Symptoms?
Some of the symptoms associated with obstructive and central sleep apnea overlap. This makes it extremely difficult to figure out which type of sleep apnea you may possess.
Some of the symptoms include:
- Very audible snoring
- Reports from others that you stop breathing as you sleep
- Gasping for air
- Wake up with a dry mouth
- Daytime sleepiness even after a "good" night's sleep (hypersomnia)
- Loss of mental focus
- Mind-numbing headaches in the morning
Can A Weighted Blankets Help Sleep Apnea?
Short answer - yes!
If your sleep apnea isn't treated, your air passages become more obstructed over time. This is extremely dangerous and shouldn't be ignored. The end result of not getting treatment is never waking up. This is why we believe weighted blankets are the perfect holistic assistant to help treat sleep apnea.
Weighted blankets help improve oxytocin in the body. Oxytocin plays a huge part is in your sleep hygiene. In a 2017 study, it was found that increasing oxytocin during sleep improved the length of sleep and the quality. It was also concluded that it may help reduce the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.
Most sleep apnea suffers believe that having a heavy blanket could be detrimental to their sleep apnea but they're wrong. Having a weighted blanket cover your body actually does the opposite. Weighted blankets relax your respiratory system and even out your breathing patterns. When your breathing patterns are evened out, you'll sleep better.
The aim of a weighted blanket for sleep apnea suffers is to help facilitate your breathing as you sleep. They make breathing easier. Even if you don't have sleep apnea but just a mild snorer, this may be the solution for you.
Note: Researchers are still hesitant to announce weighted blankets as a complete cure for sleep apnea. Weighted blankets are great to help manage symptoms, not cure symptoms. There's still very little research which is why there's no conclusive answer.
Disclaimer: The tips, advice, and recommendations given here are intended to be used as guidelines. Do not replace our advice for a registered health professional or therapist's advice. It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional if you have a special condition.