Blogs > Sleeping with CPAP

Assistant News Editor Lee Dryden was diagnosed with sleep apnea and uses a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to assist with breathing while sleeping. From a layman’s point of view, he will discuss the benefits, issues, challenges and frustrations of sleeping while wearing a mask.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Stop the Snore in Michigan

   Here's important information from the Michigan Academy of Sleep Medicine:

   Michigan’s sleep experts agree: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – a potentially life-threatening disease involving episodes of complete or partial airway obstruction during sleep – is dangerously on the rise. As part of the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, the Michigan Academy of Sleep Medicine (MASM) is urging anyone with symptoms of OSA to pledge to stop the snore and talk to a doctor about sleep apnea.

   “Research shows that the number of sleep apnea sufferers continues to increase – the disease afflicts at least 25 million American adults, and most of them remain untreated, increasing their risk of cardiac disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and obesity,” said Dr. R. Bart Sangal, president of the MASM, which is a partner in the Healthy Sleep Project. The collaboration is led by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Fortunately, sleep apnea treatment by a board-certified sleep specialist can stop, and may even reverse, many of these damaging effects.”

   How do you know if you should talk to a doctor about OSA? According to the Healthy Sleep Project, here are five warning signs for sleep apnea:


   ·         Snoring. Besides being a nuisance to your bed partner or roommate, loud and frequent snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea. While not everyone who snores has this sleep illness, snoring is a warning sign that should be taken seriously.


   ·         Choking or gasping during sleep. When snoring is paired with choking, gasping or silent breathing pauses during sleep, it’s a strong indicator of sleep apnea.


   ·         Fatigue or daytime sleepiness. “Sleep apnea can leave you waking in the morning feeling tired, even after a full night’s sleep,” said Sangal. “Excessive daytime sleepiness often occurs because sleep apnea causes numerous arousals throughout the night, and your body isn’t getting the quality sleep it needs.” 

   ·         Obesity. An adult with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher is considered to be obese, and the risk of sleep apnea increases with the amount of excess body weight.

   ·         High blood pressure. A staggering 67 million Americans have high blood pressure, which is about one in every three adults. Between 30 and 40 percent of adults with high blood pressure also have sleep apnea, and getting treatment for sleep apnea is a proven means of decreasing blood pressure.

   If these symptoms describe you, then you have a high risk for OSA. If you’re ready to talk to a doctor about sleep apnea, the Healthy Sleep Project encourages you to visit to pledge to stop the snore and find a local sleep specialist at an AASM-accredited sleep center.

   “Many people believe that sleep apnea only affects older, overweight men, and that simply isn’t true,” said Sangal. “Anyone can have sleep apnea, regardless of gender, age or body type – even if you’re not overweight.”

   Your doctor may decide you need an objective sleep test, which will provide the data needed to make an accurate diagnosis. Once diagnosed, the most commonly recommended treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which provides gently pressurized air through a mask, keeping your airway open and making it easier to breathe. For patients who are unable to tolerate CPAP, or who seek alternatives, knowledgeable sleep specialists may be able to offer other treatments.  

   “Obstructive sleep apnea is a chronic disease that has a negative impact on the health and well-being of millions of people in the U.S.,” said Janet B. Croft, PhD, senior chronic disease epidemiologist in CDC’s Division of Population Health. “It is important to discuss the warning signs for sleep apnea with your doctor to determine if you are at risk.”

   For more information or to pledge to stop the snore and talk to a doctor about sleep apnea, visit


   About the Michigan Academy of Sleep Medicine

   Established in 1990, the Michigan Academy of Sleep Medicine (MASM), formerly known as the Michigan Sleep Disorders Association (MSDA), promotes and provides education in the field of sleep medicine. The Academy brings together the full breadth of sleep professionals, their health care colleagues, private industry and health plans/insurers to promote communication, understanding and management of sleep disorders and to improve health policy through education programs, dissemination of scientific research and liaison activities. For more information, visit