Breathing Disorder that Disrupts Sleep: a Major Cause of Road Accident

Breathing Disorder that Disrupts Sleep: a Major Cause of Road Accident

Sleep apnea occurs in two main types: obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax, and central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn't send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. Additionally, some people have complex sleep apnea, which is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apneas.


Severe sleep apnea — a condition where people stop breathing while they sleep, often in combination with snoring — raises the risk that elderly people will have a stroke caused when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain. Doctors call this an ischemic stroke.Obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea, which refers to conditions where breathing stops or slows down significantly during sleep, is a commonly recognized syndrome.

During normal sleep, throat muscles relax. If, when this happens, there is too little room inside your throat, or too much tissue pressing on the outside of your throat, your airway can become blocked. This blockage stops the movement of air and the amount of oxygen in your blood drops. The drop in oxygen causes the brain to send a signal for you to wake up so that you open up the airway in your throat and start breathing again. If you have sleep apnea, this cycle may repeat as often as 50 or more times an hour. Generally you will not remember waking up but the many arousals will make you sleepy the next day.

People most likely to have or develop sleep apnea include those who:

Use of alcohol and sleeping pills increases the frequency and duration of breathing pauses in people with sleep apnea.

Older adults might get sleepy earlier in the evening. Older adults may have trouble falling asleep when they go to bed at night. They might not stay asleep all night. They might wake up very early in the morning and not be able to go back to sleep. These problems can make older people very sleepy in the daytime.A number of things can cause sleep problems. By the time an adult is over 65 years old, his or her sleep-wake cycle doesn’t seem to work as well.

Being overweight may cause a narrowing of your airway. Other possible causes of sleep apnea are:

Some people inherit a tendency to have sleep apnea.

Regardless of type, the individual with sleep apnea is rarely aware of having difficulty breathing, even upon awakening. Sleep apnea is recognized as a problem by others witnessing the individual during episodes or is suspected because of its effects on the body . Symptoms may be present for years, even decades without identification, during which time the sufferer may become conditioned to the daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with significant levels of sleep disturbance.

The risk of sudden death from cardiac causes in the general population is significantly greater during the morning hours after waking (i.e., from 6 a.m. to noon) than during the other six-hour intervals of the day. Also, there is a marked nadir in the risk of sudden death from cardiac causes during sleep (i.e., from midnight to 6 a.m.). This same day–night pattern has been shown for the incidence of sudden death from cardiac causes in patients with heart failure and for the incidence of acute myocardial infarction. The increase in risk in the morning may in part be due to changes in sympathetic activity, baroreflex sensitivity, coagulability, and electrophysiological abnormalities during the waking morning hours, all of which may predispose persons to cardiac ischemia and fatal arrhythmias.

In a study shown, 60 percent of hypertensive children had a condition called sleep disordered breathing (SDB). SDB is characterized by short periods of upper airway obstructions that are complete (apnea) or partial (hypopnea), or a longer period of insufficient air movement (obstructive hypoventilation).

“SDB is important because it can result in daytime sleepiness, limited attention span, poor school performance, hyperactivity, poor growth and increased blood pressure in the lungs.A good night’s sleep can offer a fresh start to a problem that seems unresolved.

Heavy snoring may be an indicator of sleep apnea in children.There is emerging evidence that there are a number of kids with symptoms similar to those of attention deficit disorder who may have significant nighttime problems.Because of the condition, a child may stop breathing during sleep for a short period of time, usually from about ten seconds to a minute or longer. The interruptions can occur many times during the night. With each interruption, the brain briefly awakens the child so that he or she can resume normal breathing, resulting in a fragmented and less than optimal night's sleep.

An study over a seven-year-old boy with nocturnal enuresis and obstructive sleep apnea undergoes surgery to relieve upper airway obstruction and his nocturnal enuresis resolves. Another seven-year-old boy presents to the clinic for a well-child examination, where his mother brings up her frustration with her sons nightly bedwetting.

People with sleep apnea -- a nighttime breathing disorder that disrupts sleep -- are at double the risk of being in a serious car crash, a Canadian study finds.

"We were surprised not only about how many of the sleep apnea patients' crashes involved personal injury, but that some patients had fairly mild sleep apnea and were still having serious crashes," study author Dr. Alan Mulgrew, of the University of British Columbia Sleep Disorders Program, said in a prepared statement.

Researchers studied 800 people with sleep apnea and 800 people without the condition.

They found that those with sleep apnea were twice as likely to be in a car crash, and three to five times more likely to be in a serious crash involving personal injury.

Over three years, the people with sleep apnea had a total of 250 crashes, compared with 123 crashes among those without sleep apnea. Previous studies have identified a link between sleep apnea and increased risk for crashes, but this is the first study to examine the severity of such crashes.

The sleep apnea patients' self-reported feelings of sleepiness were not linked with an increased risk of crashes, which suggests that the patients weren't aware of the potential driving hazards caused by sleep apnea.

In the general population, men have more vehicle crashes than women. Among the sleep apnea patients in this study, men and women had similar crash rates.

Study suggested that the drowsy driving accident was likely caused by sleep apnea.Information from various countries indicates that driver sleepiness plays an important role in road accidents.Tiredness and sleepiness while driving were common among the bus drivers, with various possible causes: acute and chronic sleep deprivation, irregular schedule changes, and sleep disorders due to the drivers’ working conditions. Our results support the hypothesis that fatigue and sleepiness among bus drivers are related to road accidents.

When sleep deprived, people think and move more slowly, make more mistakes, and have difficulty remembering things. These negative effects lead to lower job productivity and can cause accidents.The risk of accidents and depression are strongly linked with insomnia. The use of this clinical knowledge will be crucial for evaluating the long-term noise effects on sleep. Insomnia also affects children’s cognitive development as they show worse results in learning. The quality of life for insomniacs is decreased and their accident rate is by 4.5 times that of “normal sleepers”.

Comments

Ouch

sleep apnea. that's gotta HURT.

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