Tag Archives: breathing

Sleep Apnea and its Children

Sleep_and_Death,_the_Children_of_the_Night_-_Evelyn_de_Morgan_(1883)
Sleep and Death with their mother The Night. Images by Evelyn De Morgan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
In Greek Mythology, Hera the wife of Zeus “sought out Sleep, the brother of Death,” in order to deceive Zeus.

But did you know that (as of today) sleep also has a cousin named  “Sleep Apnea”  with six children named Dementia, Depression, Diabetes, Stroke, Heart Failure, and High Blood Pressure?   This is a cousin we need to get to know before allowing him into our homes!

Sleep Apnea is a condition that causes a person  to stop breathing  during sleep.   This not only disrupts sleep but is also an indication of looming problems ahead as you can surmise from its list of “children”.  Estimates indicate that up to 22 million Americans have sleep apnea.  The startling fact is that 80 percent of people with moderate and severe  obstructive sleep apnea may not know they have it.

Because Sleep Apnea strikes while you are asleep, many people do not detect it as the cause of their daytime symptoms.  The sad truth is that this condition is often missed by doctors who attempt to treat its symptoms without ever directly targeting the underlying sleep apnea.  This results in years of poor treatment and slow degradation in the quality of life of the individual, due to daytime fatigue,  depression, dementia, etc.

Is Sleep Apnea Knocking At Your Door?

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  1. Daytime sleepiness – such as difficulty staying awake while driving
  2. Complaints from your partner about loud snoring.
  3. Choking and gasping for air at night.  This can begin as bouts of deep breathing followed by shallow breathing. 
  4. Morning headaches – indicates lack of oxygen during the night. 
  5. Memory problems and difficulty concentrating
  6. Irritability
  7. Waking up frequently throughout the night.
  8. Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up – caused by breathing through the mouth instead of the nose.
  9. Restless sleep
  10. Puffy eyes in the morning

What Can We Do To Fight back?

Discuss any of the above symptoms with your doctor and determine if you should have a sleep test.  Perhaps the sleep test can even be performed more cheaply in the comfort of your own home.  Don’t put this off because brain degradation is often irreversible and symptoms of dementia may not appear until a large percentage of neurons in critical areas have been lost.

If it is determined that you have sleep apnea, find out if it is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) or a mixture of the two.  OSA is caused by a blockage or collapse of the airway.  In some cases this can be prevented by:

  1. Losing weight
  2. Changing sleep position
  3. Other forms of natural treatment.  
  4. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is required .

In cases of CSA the problem originates when the brain ceases sending the correct breathing signals to the body through the brain stem.   CSA can be caused by any of the following:

  1. Congestive heart failure or stroke
  2. Side effects of medications
  3. Symptoms can develop while on CPAP therapy for OSA
  4. Other medical conditions may affect the brain stem, such as kidney failure, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS, etc.
  5. Idiopathic (unknown origin) –  Some believe that environmental toxins / pollutants such as mercury from dental fillings can cause CSA.

If you have CSA you must try to find and eliminate the root cause of the problem if possible before the damage to the brain stem progresses or becomes permanent.

Other strategies that may help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea are:

  • Improve your air quality while sleeping by using an air filter, keeping windows cracked during sleep (assuming the air outside your bedroom is less polluted than the air inside),  and by keeping the air from becoming stagnant through the use of a small fan.
  • Avoid using foods with excitotoxins in their ingredients since it has been shown that sleep apnea kills the brain cells of guinea pigs by promoting glutamate-induced excitotoxicity.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption

Sleep is a precious gift – sleep apnea we can do without!

 

Negativity’s Bad Wrap – A Breath of Fresh Air

Public domain image from NOAA Time Lapse Photography
Lightning creates negatively ionized air. Public domain image from NOAA Time Lapse Photography By C. Clark 1978

Being overly negative is usually a bad thing, unless of course you are an electron, in which case you may as well get used to it.  However,  in the case of electrons, negativity is one of the  marvelous properties of matter that enables consciousness filled life to emerge from biochemistry.

But what does all this “negativity” talk have to do with breathing?

The study of free negatively charged particles began in 1913, the year in which J.J Thompson published his results measuring the properties of ions created in a cathode ray tube.    Since then hundreds  of studies on negative and positive ions have been performed.  Many of these studies support the notion that negatively charged air may be good for your health.

The purported health benefits include:

  1. Removing allergens and particles from the air
  2. Reducing the effects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
  3. Reducing the spread of infections
  4. Improving mental function.

In particular, recent studies show that ionized air can help protect patients from hospital strains of bacteria.  As shown in the image below from the USDA.

Sterilization effects of negative air ionization Public Domain by Ken Hammond  - USDA
Sterilization effects of negative air ionization Public Domain by Ken Hammond – USDA

Both petri dishes were sprayed with Salmonella, then the dish to the right was treated with negatively ionized air.   Note that the Salmonella in that dish is gone.

Dr. Randy Bivens, president of the Life & Health Network posted an eye-opening video on the importance of negatively charged air for health that is a “must see”.

After the SARS pandemic in 2003, personal air ionizers have become very popular in the Far East.   Studies have shown that sleep can also be improved with negatively ionized air.  Since improving sleep is one of the key areas of interest for OnTierraHealth Technology you can bet that we will be keeping you posted on mobile / wearable technology for monitoring and improving your personal air quality in future posts.

Getting our breathing to its 100% vitality level during wakefulness and sleep will be an important part of the coming health revolution.  For starters, make sure to consider the recommendations in Dr. Bivens video and discuss them with your health care team.

I have found over the years that keeping the air circulating in my bedroom at night and in my office during the day is a great way of preventing headaches caused by stagnant air.  A small personal fan such as the Vornado flippi, may help improve air quality by better circulation of the available negative ions in the air.

In the future we will post additional research on available air ionizers and fans.

So what are you waiting for?  Get moving and find yourself some healthy negativity to breath in today.