Categorized | Sleep Apnea

Taking Sleeping Pills to Cure Sleep Apnea

One of the modern day medical mysteries to the educated doctor or even patient is the number of sleeping pill prescriptions that are handed out in to patients.  It is estimated that nearly half of the adult population will be offered sleeping pills by their doctor at some point in their life.  This is an alarming statistic and one which often times does not actually help out with better sleeping for the patient.  The main reason is that sleeping pills are often prescribed to un-diagnosed sleep apnea patients.

The most common story that sleep apnea patients tell their doctor is that they are just not able to fall asleep and remain sleeping during the nights.  This conversation which usually takes place in an exam room usually quickly falls into a talk about stress and depression, and the next thing you know is you are a patient walking out the door and headed to the pharmacy.  This is most definitely not the best approach.  For so many people, the cause of this horrible sleep is due to disturbed breathing at night.  This is from a blockage in the airway, and its called sleep apnea.  Nothing more complicated than that.

If anyone who suffers from sleep apnea is also treating their sleep disorder with sleeping pills, they for sure have not ended their symptoms of being tired all day long.  The main reason is that the oxygen de-saturations are still happening throughout the night, and the airway is still being blocked.  The only difference is that the sleeping pills are keeping the person asleep through all of this.  And furthermore, it is very dangerous to be sleeping through these breathing events, mainly because a very severe oxygen de-saturation might lead to a stroke or heart attack, and you definitely don’t want to sleep through one of those.

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