When We Stop Breathing at Night…

The most common type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea. It happens because the muscles in your throat relax, blocking the flow of air to your lungs. Your airway might be completely blocked or only partly blocked. When you stop breathing, the amount of oxygen in your blood drops. Your brain recognizes this and makes your body start breathing again.
If you have sleep apnea, there are times during the night when you stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer.

Your doctor needs to know how often there is a pause in your breathing. This helps to determine how severe your problem is. You might be asked to stay overnight in a sleep laboratory. Or your doctor might ask you to have your breathing measured at home.
Here’s one guide that doctors use:
-If your breathing is affected between five and 15 times an hour, you have mild sleep apnea.
-If your breathing is affected between 16 and 30 times an hour, you have moderate sleep apnea.
-If your breathing is affected more than 31 times an hour, you have severe sleep apnea.

People with severe sleep apnea may be at an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke and dying early.






Sleepwaker in the House?

Sleepwalking — also known as somnambulism — usually involves getting up and walking around while asleep. Most common in children between the ages of 4 and 8, sleepwalking often is a random event that doesn’t signal any serious problems or require treatment.
However, sleepwalking can occur at any age and may involve unusual, even dangerous behaviors, such as climbing out a window or urinating in closets or trash cans.
If anyone in your household sleepwalks, it’s important to protect him or her from sleepwalking injuries.
Sleepwalking is classified as a parasomnia — an undesirable behavior or experience during sleep. Sleepwalking is a parasomnia of arousal, meaning it occurs during deep, dreamless (non-rapid eye movement, or NREM) sleep. Someone who is sleepwalking may:
-Sit up in bed and open his or her eyes
-Have a glazed, glassy-eyed expression
-Roam around the house, perhaps opening and closing doors or turning lights on and off
-Do routine activities, such as getting dressed or making a snack — even driving a car
-Speak or move in a clumsy manner
-Scream, especially if also experiencing night terrors, another parasomnia in which you are likely to sit up, scream, talk, thrash and kick
-Be difficult to wake up during an episode
Sleepwalking usually occurs during deep sleep, early in the night — often one to two hours after falling asleep. Sleepwalking is unlikely to occur during naps. The sleepwalker won’t remember the episode in the morning.