One small lifestyle change can give sleep apnea patients a whole new lease on life. After only a few weeks sleeping with a CPAP machine, the constant fatigue from the sleep disorder fades, making way for improved energy and mood.
A study published in the January issue of the journal SLEEP provides proof that CPAP can drastically improve your everyday life.
A group of 59 middle-aged adults diagnosed with sleep apnea were randomly assigned to CPAP therapy or a placebo. The participants were instructed to use the equipment each night for three weeks. The group answered a questionnaire about fatigue and other sleep apnea symptoms before and after the treatment period.
Results show the subjects who used CPAP no longer suffered from clinically significant levels of fatigue after treatment. Self-reported energy levels also increased for CPAP users, and daytime sleepiness dropped.
The group that received a sham treatment did not see any benefit.
CPAP has other long-term benefits. It can save your life by reducing heart attack and stroke risk associated with sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles relax during sleep, causing the soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse and block the upper airway. The sleep disorder should never go untreated. If you think you may have sleep apnea, get checked out. Countless sleep centers across the U.S. offer overnight sleep studies for the diagnosis of sleep apnea.