Sunday, 1 July 2012

Sleep Disorders

Why You Have to Pee in the Middle of the Night 

That glass of water you guzzled before bed isn’t the only reason you’re making a beeline for bathroom at night. Turns out, your genes are to blame, too.

Why You Have to Pee in the Middle of the Night

Let’s face it, nothing is more annoying than being woken up mid-slumber because you have to go to the bathroom. While you may chastise yourself for drinking too much wine with dinner and vow never to do that again, your urgency to pee may have more to do with your genes than how much you drank before bed.

A team of Japanese researchers looked at the urination patterns of mice. What they found was that bladder muscle cells are often regulated by circadian rhythms, which is our internal sleep/wake cycle that can be influenced by our genes. A person with a normal circadian rhythm pees less at night so their body has time to rest and restore without being disturbed. But mice with an abnormal circadian rhythm peed just as much during the day as they did at night, according to the research published in Nature Communications.

The researchers also found that a specific protein, Cx43, which is found in bladder muscle cells and largely controlled by our genes, can determine how much urine your bladder can hold and how often you have to pee. The mice with lower levels of the Cx43 protein had to pee more frequently during the night, leading some to believe that our genes could very well be responsible for those annoying, have-to-pee 2am awakenings. Thanks, mom and dad! 

Is It Just Snoring, or Sleep Apnea? 

We all know a snorer (could be you!). But depending on the symptoms, it could be a more serious threat to your body.
When is snoring just annoying, and when is it a sign of something worse?

Millions of adults snore. Although some find that it isn't an issue in their lives, others report that snoring can be a serious annoyance to family members. For some, it can be so serious that it causes bed partners to sleep separately, leading to marital discord in some couples.

Is It Just Snoring, or Sleep Apnea?

People often snore more when they've gained a few pounds, when they've had alcohol or even sleeping in specific positions. Effective treatments exist for snoring, such as using nasal strips, losing weight, steering clear of alcohol and sedative medications at night, and avoiding sleeping on one’s back. For many, though, these are simply not enough, and snoring is a sign of a more serious sleep disorder: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

When we fall asleep, the muscles in our body relax, 

Sleep Apnea and Snoring 

Did you know there's a difference between these two sleep problems, and that the biggest factor in sleep apnea is excess fat?

If you sleep—or try to sleep—next to a snorer, you might compare the sounds to a garbage disposal, perhaps? Or a jet engine?

Without question, snoring is annoying, and most of us know the roar all too well. Almost 50 percent of adults snore occasionally, while 25 percent snore regularly.

Sleep Apnea and Snoring

Anatomically speaking, snoring occurs when there’s obstruction of the free flow of air through the passages in the back of your mouth; the air rubbing against the lining of your throat is what makes that sound.

If the jackhammer-like vibrations firing form your partner’s face aren’t enough to scare the sheets off you, this fact will: Snoring can reach up to 85 decibels—the sound level of a New York City subway (that’s actually high enough to cause hearing damage over time).

While snoring can damage your hearing (and your relationship), it isn’t necessarily a health problem by itself. The important thing is whether snoring is a sign of sleep apnea—a condition that affects 20 million Americans. Almost 10 percent of people who snore have sleep apnea. 

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