Shaq Attacks Sleep Apnea

Think it's not cool to wear a breathing mask for chronic snoring? Well, Boston Celtics star Shaquille O'Neal recently got one, and he says -- in the video below produced by Harvard Medical School's Division of Sleep Medicine -- that he intends to wear it every night.

Your Bedtime Habits May Be Causing Your Sleep Problems

"If you're having problems sleeping at night, or if you're feeling too sleepy the next day, take a look at your bedtime habits," says Allison Harvey, PhD, behavioral sleep expert at UC Berkeley. "Create a relaxing wind-down routine and turn down the lights. Make your bedroom a sanctuary from the worries of your day."

Skimping on Sleep Linked to Faster Brain Aging

Folks who get less than seven hours a night have accelerated aging in the brain, according to a study published this week in the journal Sleep. Their cognitive function is on par with someone who's three to seven years older. Surprisingly, getting too much sleep -- more than nine hours a night -- also appears to be linked to speeding the brain's aging process.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Implications for Cardiac and Vascular Disease

It is primarily over the past 2 to 3 decades that the implications of OSA for cardiovascular disease have become recognized. Nevertheless, the general cardiovascular community has been slow in assimilating OSA into the cardiovascular diagnostic and therapeutic paradigms. This lag between information and intervention can be attributed to a number of factors, including the considerable expense and wait time required for sleep studies, and the variable and sometimes unsuccessful responses to initiation of CPAP therapy. Furthermore, the cardiovascular community is accustomed to management strategies driven by evidence from large-scale randomized trials and has come to regard smaller studies with appropriate caution, even those that show substantial benefit. While the evidence for activation of a broad spectrum of cardiovascular disease mechanisms in patients with OSA is compelling, there are very few longitudinal studies of the effects of OSA on cardiovascular outcomes, and no large-scale, randomized, double-blind trials of the cardiovascular effects of therapeutic intervention.

54-Year-Old Man With Obstructive Sleep Apnea

In a Clinical Crossroads article published in the Journal of American Medical Association, Dr. Kuna discussed the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.​ The wife of the patient (Mr J) noted that he sometimes stopped breathing at night. Mr J also recalled that he awoke, on occasion, in the middle of the night with palpitations. A sleep study revealed 206 obstructive events, giving an apnea-hypopnea index of 36 per hour. Mr J tried treatment with nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), with which Mr J's palpitations ceased, but after about a year he discontinued the nasal CPAP because it interfered with his ability to fall asleep and with his sex life. He did, however, lose 20 lb and weighed 205 lb (his body mass index was 28.6). He felt well and did not experience any difficulties with his sleep patterns or daytime sleepiness.

Full Article at JAMA

SLEEP 2011 Medical Conference in Minneapolis, MN

National Sleep Therapy will be traveling to the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS) SLEEP Medical Conference in Minneapolis from June 11-15 to launch its Point of Care Sleep Therapy process that substantially increases CPAP compliance. The company has developed a novel approach to providing sleep therapy equipment and long-term patient engagement that has resulted in CPAP adherence of 88.5%, significantly higher than the industry averages. National Sleep Therapy will be meeting with leading sleep physicians and sleep centers to demonstrate its advanced processes and technologies.

Advanced Methods Increase Medicare CPAP Compliance to 88.5%

Current Medicare policy regarding CPAP adherence requires patients to meet a minimum level of machine usage within a fixed 90-day trial period. Many commercial payers are adopting similar standards. These rigid standards include a minimum threshold of therapy hours per night over a contiguous time period.

What is Sleep Apnea and How Can it Affect Your Health?

Watch this Clinical Education Series video, from National Sleep Therapy: "Body Basics".