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Sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) is a condition presenting with many pauses in breathing while a person is asleep. The condition was first described in literature by Dickens in the Pickwick Papers and hence sometimes referred to as the pickwickian syndrome.
A person has SAS if he stop breathing 5 or more times in 1 hour while asleep. Or, if he stops breathing 30 or more times during a 6 hour sleep period.
In central variety, the airways stay open, while the chest muscles and diaphragm stop working. This occurs mostly when the respiratory centres within the brain are impaired (as happens with drugs like heroin, and other opiates).
Premature children, persons on tranquilizers are more prone to CSAS. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common category of sleep-disordered breathing. When sleeping, muscle tone of the throat and neck, as well as the vast majority of all skeletal muscles, is reduced allowing the tongue and soft palate/oropharynx to relax. In the case of sleep apnea, this impedes the flow of air to a degree ranging from light snoring to complete collapse.
Sleep Deprivation due to Sleep Apnea and insufficient sleep are common and can present as insomnia, narcolepsy, or idiopathic hypersomnia (increased sleepiness). In infants and children sleep problems commonly present themselves as ADD or ADHD.
Lifestyle changes, such as avoiding alcohol and medications that relax the central nervous system (for example, sedatives and muscle relaxants), losing weight, and quitting smoking are implemented.
"Stabilizing" sleep routines (i.e., go to bed at the same time each night; try to sleep for a consistent number of hours, etc.)
Learning to play the didgeridoo (an Australian wind instrument which decreases the collapsibility of upper airways), can reduce severity of OSAS.
To prevent sleeping on the back just roll a small ball into the shirt. Stretching or elevating the Neck during sleep can improve the condition of sleep apnea. To stretch the neck a special pillow made for the purpose can be used. This method effectively reduces snoring and improves sleep. Sleeping in the elevated upright position might help in improving the oxygen levels in overweight people with sleep apnea. So elevating the head of the bed providing a slant for the back might help.
One method of treating central sleep apnea is with a special kind of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine providing additional pressure during inhalation, including a Spontaneous / Time (ST) feature. This machine will automatically deliver pressure to the patient if it fails to detect a certain minimum number of breaths per minute.
Another method is the use of dental appliances or devices, such as a tongue retaining device, mandibular repositioning splints or MORA (mandibular orthopedic repositioning appliance.)
Homeopathy is recommended for the treatment of Sleep apnea syndrome. Homeopathy addresses the underlying cause as well as the symptoms which are actually the end result of the disease process.