Sleep is important for your health, and well-being. A good night’s sleep can improve your concentration at work and should provide you with the energy to keep going all day.

You may have heard that sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder,1 and you’ve probably heard plenty of tall tales about it.

With so much misinformation out there, we’re setting the record straight by busting the top 4 sleep apnea myths.

1. Sleep apnea only happens to fat people

Incorrect!

When someone has a higher than normal BMI, their throat and tongue muscles are generally more relaxed when they sleep, which makes it easier for their airway to become blocked.

But while weight might be a contributing factor to sleep apnea in some people, it doesn’t mean that if you’re overweight you’ll get sleep apnea. Even fit people aren’t immune to the sleeping condition!

A key cause of the problem has to do with your neck size and how narrow your airway is. Even the structures of your jaw, tongue, tonsils and palate can have a direct effect on this, regardless of your clothes size.2

2. I snore so I must have sleep apnea

Not necessarily.

While there is a strong link between snoring and sleep apnea, many people who snore don’t have sleep apnea.3 However, you shouldn’t dismiss snoring altogether.

3. The more I sleep, the better I feel!

Have you ever slept for a long time – perhaps even longer than eight hours – only to wake up feeling surprisingly tired?

While you might think that you’ll feel more refreshed by oversleeping, research indicates otherwise.

Experts suggest that adults should typically clock up between 7 and 9 hours sleep each night. Getting too much shut-eye has even been linked to a host of medical problems, including diabetes and heart disease!4 The key is getting a healthy balance of sleep.

The moral of the story? More sleep is not always the best solution to your sleeping problem

4. I won’t be attractive to my partner if I wear a CPAP mask

If you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, there are several different solutions.

The most common sleep apnea treatment is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy, which is known as the ‘gold standard’ of sleep apnea treatment. It’s a machine that provides you with air to keep your airways open while you sleep via a mask.

CPAP masks come in all shapes and sizes. A CPAP trial is a great way to see if it’s the right treatment for you and to find a mask that’s comfortable.

As for attractiveness, did you know that by using CPAP therapy regularly, you can wind back the clock on aging and enhance your appearance?5

A study of patients using CPAP observed that the participants had reductions in facial puffiness and redness, with a more youthful appearance.5 What’s not to love about that!

Besides, you’ll be in the good books with your bedtime partner if you stop snoring and give them a silent night!

Consider these myths busted! How can you learn more?

Now that you’ve got the facts and the top 4 sleep apnea myths have been busted, ensure you explore the full benefits of sleep apnea treatment with the Sleep Apnea Handbook.

Citations

1. http://sleephealthfoundation.org.au/pdfs/facts/Common%20Sleep%20Disorders.pdf accessed 5 July 2019.

2. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-apnea/obstructive-sleep-apnea-causes#1 accessed 5 July 2019. 

3. https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-apnea/features/sleep-apnea-clues#1 accessed 5 July 2019. 

4. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/physical-side-effects-oversleeping#1 accessed 5 July 2019.

5. Chervin RD; Ruzicka DL; Vahabzadeh A; Burns MC; Burns JW; Buchman SR. The face of sleepiness: improvement in appearance after treatment of sleep apneaJ Clin Sleep Med 2013;9(9):845-852.  accessed 14 Oct 2019.

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