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Easy Sleep Apnea Solution

Report Compiled By: Jane Oelke, N.D., Ph.D Natural Choices, Inc. 1-888-893-7225

Table of Contents

Heres the Story! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Whats the Solution! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Snoring Facts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3 5 6

Sleep Apnea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Epworth Sleepiness Scale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Why is it important to breathe through the nose? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 More Problems with Mouth Breathing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Signs and Symptoms of Hyperventilation Syndrome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Frequently Asked Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 One More Benefit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Disclaimer: This Easy Sleep Apnea Solution is provided for educational purposes only. Neither this procedure, nor Jane Oelke, ND, PhD. and Natural Choices, Inc. intend to diagnosis, treat, cure or prevent disease. A physician or other health care practitioner should complete diagnosis and treatment of specific health conditions.

Easy Sleep Apnea Solution

Heres the story! For the last few years I must admit I did have a snoring problem that lead to a sleep apnea problem. I avoided staying with friends in hotels due to snoring and breathing heavily. Earlier last year, it seemed to get worse. I was developing sleep apnea and would wake myself up, or my husband would wake me up to make sure I was still breathing. It got to the point that either I slept in my sons room or my husband slept on the couch to make sure we were both able to sleep. But I was getting more tired during the day, and my blood pressure started to go up and I had trouble controlling it. Time to take action! I looked online for ideas. I had considered doing a sleep study but I did not want to use a C-PAP machine if I didnt need to. I went to, and I purchased the snoring sling first. This sling fit over my head and tried to keep my mouth closed. But it caused other noises at first. More like gurgling, since I was drooling much more with this sling on. The snoring noise was changed with the sling but it did not noticeably improve. At first I did automatically take off the sling while I was sleeping the first few nights, but I eventually got used to it. Over time this sling seemed to stretch out and I couldnt get it to shrink back to fit. So I ordered the Pure Sleep mouth piece.

I never had to wear a mouth guard before, but I was able do the hot water formation of the guard for my mouth with no problem. The directions say to move your lower jaw forward so that when you imprint your jaw in the guard your lower teeth are more forward than your upper teeth. I was not sure I wanted to have my jaw adjusted 8 hours a night in this position, but I tried it anyway. Again I took the mouth guard off during sleep the first few nights since I was not used to it. It did seem to slip around in my mouth when my mouth opened too much and I would have to wake up and adjust it. Then I decided to use both the sling and the mouth guard together. Would both work? I guess it was better at times according to my husband and family while we were on vacation, but not always. Then I went to a convention where I was staying with a friend. I was concerned about keeping her awake and brought both my snoring appliances. They did not do the trick as I had hoped. I wasnt horribly snoring but I did keep her awake at least one of the nights. While I was at the convention I was talking to another colleague about new ideas on balancing the nervous system. One of the major topics of the convention was making sure the nervous system and brain are functioning to their best ability, and many ideas were passed back and forth. Besides nutritional and homeopathic supplements that were promoted, there were other devices and techniques shared. One of the ideas is this stop sleep apnea solution, even though it was not promoted for this use. In learning to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic

nervous system one idea was to use the night time to connect the two central and governing meridians with the tongue touching the roof of the mouth. In the process of using this technique I not only ended my snoring and sleep apnea problems, but have created more daily energy, lowered my blood pressure back to normal, and can sleep with my husband next to me again. What is the Solution? What I am recommending is to cover your mouth with a piece of 1 Micropore tape during the night. This tape is made by 3M and sold by NexCare, as Gentle Paper Tape. It is the tape used to attach gauze to a wound. The Micropore label is on the inside of the roll when you purchase it. I bought a package with 2 rolls for $2.99 recently. That was a sale price from $3.50, but I have enough tape to last about one year with those two rolls when I change the tape daily. When I say cover your mouth with the tape, I mean cut a piece of Micropore tape to the width of your lips and then bend the edges about 1/8 to1/4 inch back on itself to make a little tag on both ends. This will allow two things 1. A handle for you to get the tape off your mouth more quickly, and 2. Some open area on the edges of your mouth. The tape goes lengthwise across the mouth, not vertically. I know my husband tried to use a smaller piece vertically, but it works better the other way. When putting the tape on your lips, close your lips together like you normally rest your mouth while breathing through your nose. Do not have your lips parted at all. There will be breathing space on the edges of your lips, and you will be able to

breathe better through your nose even if you have trouble doing that regularly. Practice wearing the tape when you are still awake so you know how it feels while breathing through your nose. Feel where your tongue is placed, lightly touching the roof of your mouth. The first few nights you may pull off the tape from your mouth as a reflex action. Sometimes if you have to cough, or are just not used to the tape you will pull it off. I know I did a few times the first week, but I did the same thing with the head sling and Pure Sleep devices too. Now I only pull it off when I have to cough, when I am usually waking up anyway. The tape can be reattached again even if you pull it off. When I get up at night for any reason I can take off the tape, put it on the back of my hand until I am ready to reattach the tape easily. Snoring Facts Snoring is now called Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and it has become a social problem. Many people snore. Studies show that about 45% of men and 30% of women snore regularly, and those that do not snore are often trying to sleep with a partner that is snoring. Snoring can be temporary, since it often gets worse during an illness, after drinking alcohol, or commonly gets worse as we age or with shifts in weight. There are both thin and heavy people who snore, so even though there are stereotypes that heavier people snore, it is not always true. Snoring is caused by vibrations of the tissues of the nose and throat that cause turbulent airflow. Snoring is caused when the back of the throat narrows. The

smaller opening causes the tissues around the throat to vibrate because the air is moving more quickly than usual. This narrowing of the tissues can also be found in the mouth or nose, and cause other snoring sounds depending on what tissue is vibrating. In the back of the mouth is the soft palate and uvula that are often the vibrating tissues that cause snoring noises. The soft palate separates the mouth from the nasal passages and either keeps the nasal passage open for air to get to the lungs, or switches during swallowing so that food will go down into the esophagus and not back into the nose. The tonsils in the back of the throat can also swell when fighting viruses and bacteria, and if the stay enlarged they can also vibrate and cause snoring. Even the tongue can get in the way and cause snoring when it slips backwards and blocks part of the throat. Good breathing habits involve breathing through the nose. Our nose is a filter for incoming air, along with being a heater and humidifier. When we breathe through our mouth we bring in cooler, drier air that can be more difficult for our lungs over time. During our natural breathing cycle the side of the nose that is doing most of the breathing will change about every 8 hours. If the right side of the nose gets swollen or inflamed from cold viruses or allergic reactions the left nasal passage will take over. And then it will switch back and forth between nasal passages during the day automatically usually without our knowledge.

Snoring most often occurs when we sleep on our back. In this position gravity pulls the soft palate, tonsils and tongue backwards. The airway then narrows causing tissue vibration from turbulence in airflow and then snoring. Sleeping on the side often helps open the airways and can help reduce snoring. The problem with snoring is that it can lead to more serious problems. Sometimes the problem is mostly with the sleep partner of the snorer who has to endure the snoring sound. But over time the longer the snoring continues, and the weaker the tissues in the throat get, deeper problems begin to develop. Often snorers become mouth breathers, and can develop sleep apnea. The real problem comes with mouth breathing that most often causes snoring. People with a deviated septum, sinus infections, or allergies will have more trouble breathing through their nose and will tend to move toward mouth breathing. Sleep Apnea Sleep apnea is characterized by a pause or reduction in breathing during sleep. Officially apnea occurs when breathing stops for 10 seconds or more. Other definitions of apnea is when there is a 4% drop in saturation of the blood oxygen, or when there is less than 25% of a normal breath taken for 10 seconds or more. Apnea causes sleep disruption, and the severity is measured by how many times apneas occur during the hours of sleep. A hyponea is another type of decrease in breathing that reduces airflow to less than 70% but more than 25%. The number of hyponea and apnea events is

measured during a sleep study and when there are more than 15 per hour a diagnosis of sleep apnea can be made. Common complications related to sleep apnea are heart disease often beginning with high blood pressure, daytime sleepiness, insomnia, and mood swings. There are two major types of sleep apnea central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea occurs when our brain does not send the signal to the muscles to take a breath, so there is no muscular effort to take a breath. Usually our brain monitors several things to decide when to breathe. If there is a lack of oxygen or too much carbon dioxide in the blood, breathing will speed up. When there is a long term increase in carbon dioxide levels in the blood, the brain disregards the oxygen levels and uses the carbon dioxide levels to determine when to take the next breath. When there is a chronic (long term) increase in blood carbon dioxide, the brain starts to ignore the oxygen level and monitors the blood carbon dioxide level to determine when to take the next breath. Breathing can slow down or stop until the carbon dioxide level rises again. So when this occurs there are cycles of fast breathing followed by slow breathing called Cheyne-Stokes breathing seen with central sleep apnea. In obstructive sleep apnea the brain does send a signal to the muscles to try to take a breath but they are ineffective because the airway is obstructed and prevents the flow of air. In obstructive sleep apnea the airway collapses, and when we try to take a breath we are unsuccessful. Then the oxygen level in the blood

drops signaling the body to wake up and take a breath. Often this is heard as silence followed by gasps for air. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in people over 50 and in obese patients. Up to 50% of cardiac patients and 60% of stroke patients have obstructive sleep apnea. Common health conditions caused by obstructive sleep apnea are problems staying awake during the day, and high blood pressure due to an increase in sympathetic nervous system and adrenaline that constrict the blood vessels. If blood pressure is hard to control with medications then look to obstructive sleep apnea as the cause. Also atrial fibrillation caused by an imbalance in beats between the upper and lower parts of the heart is more common in people with obstructive sleep apnea. So how do you know if you have a snoring or sleep apnea problem? One of the best ways is to interview family members for feedback, and then evaluate symptoms of daytime sleepiness or napping, and how often you wake up at night. Also restless legs during sleep can be another symptom of a potential sleep disorder. One common test for sleepiness is the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. In this test the person rates his likeliness to fall asleep doing 0 = no risk of falling asleep, 1 = slight risk of falling asleep, 2 = Moderate risk of falling asleep, to 3 = high likelihood of falling asleep with the following symptoms will help rate how sleepy they really are.

Rank each category and add up the total score. The higher the total score (up to 24) the more problems with sleepiness. Any score higher than 10 means moderate to severe sleepiness.

Epworth Sleepiness Scale Situation Sitting and reading Watching television Sitting (inactive in a public place) As a passenger in a car riding for an hour Lying down to rest in the afternoon Sitting and talking with someone Sitting quietly after lunch without alcohol In a care while stopped for a few minutes in traffic Risk of Dozing

Why is it important to breathe through the nose? Mouth breathing is common not only with people who snore, but with people who have more allergies, asthma, heart disease and other medical problems. It is important to find a way to breathe through the nose while sleeping for both children and adults. By breathing through the nose we get better balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our lungs, so that our blood actually has a better pH level that it needs to

keep our whole body functioning better. The nitric oxide that is produced by the sinuses during nose breathing helps kill of bacteria we breathe in through our nose. Also the air coming in to the lungs is warmer and so helps with maintaining body temperature. When breathing though our mouth oxygen absorption is decreased, because our brain thinks carbon dioxide is being lost too quickly. This creates more mucus, slows the breathing rate and constricts the blood vessels, actually making breathing more difficult, and causing snoring. Mouth breathing can increase dehydration by accelerating water loss. By breathing through our nose, five cranial nerves to the brain function better because of the improved smelling, moisturizing, dehumidifying, filtering, and warming of the air that comes into the nasal passages. So our smell ability is better with nose breathing, which creates better memories and conscious awareness of the world around us. These olfactory bulbs in our nose are direct extensions of the hypothalamus in our brain. The hypothalamus controls our heartbeat, temperature, thirst, blood pressure, sleep cycles, and emotions. Being consciously aware of nose breathing while awake can help you be able to nose breathe while sleeping too, preventing snoring. Nose breathing requires nearly 50 % more resistance to the airway than does mouth breathing, resulting in 10% to 20% percent better oxygen uptake. There must be sufficient nasal resistance to maintain good elasticity of the lungs. Breathing through the mouth with the nose


obstructed usually imposes too little resistance and can lead to poor ventilation in the lungs, seen as emphysema. Some people think they cannot breathe through their nose because of congestion or allergies. But with nose breathing mucus cannot build up in the nasal passages and sinuses as easily so less congestion actually occurs. Taping your mouth will actually create less mucus in the in the nostrils and you will wake up with less congestion in the morning. More Problems with Mouth Breathing Studies show that when we breathe through our nose we produce nitrous oxide which not just kills bacteria, but also helps keep our arteries dilated. But when we do mouth breathing we do not create nitrous oxide so our arteries and capillaries become constricted and less oxygen gets to our cells. Hyperventilation Syndrome has symptoms of breathlessness, lightheadedness, dizziness, excess fatigue, numbness and tingling, and chest pain. Hyperventilation shows up more in people who have anxious thoughts and stressful lifestyles. Sometimes these people look calm but have underlying emotions that they hold inside. Hyperventilation shows up as over breathing when someone is very upset or anxious. Physically, hyocapnea and respiratory alkalosis show up with hyperventilation. One sign that you may be suffering from hyperventilation is when you take an occasional deep breath while maintaining a normal respiratory rate. (Personal note: I was noticing that I was taking these deep breaths during my

normal waking hours, and it was another reason I was seriously looking to make a change.) Respiratory alkalosis causes less oxygen to get to the tissues, called the Bohr Effect, and leads to reduced cerebral oxygenation, seen as dizziness or lightheadedness.

Signs and Symptoms of Hyperventilation Syndrome General: Weakness, fatigue, sleep disturbances, blurred vision Psychiatric: Anxiety, depression, phobias, sensations of being unconnected with reality Neurologic: Numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in extremities, lightheadedness, fainting spells, vertigo, disorientation, impaired thinking, seizures, and headaches. Cardiac: Atrial fibrillation, chest tightness (angina). Respiratory: Shortness of breath for no reason, unable to take in a deep inspiration, sighing, and continuous yawning. Gastrointestinal: Bloating, belching, flatulence, dry mouth. Muscular: Cramping, spasms, chest muscle pain. One study showed that hyperventilation causes 23% of vertigo symptoms. Also shortness of breath symptoms caused by hyperventilation is due to excessive respiratory efforts to balance the system. In mouth breathing large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) are removed from the lungs, blood and tissue cells. A deficiency of CO2 causes alkaline pH and when

the blood gets too alkaline there is less oxygen to the brain, heart, kidneys, and other organs. A carbon dioxide deficiency causes smooth muscle spasms in most organs including the brain, intestines, biliary ducts, and bronchi. Hypoxia, or brain oxygen starvation, that is caused by mouth breathing causes tension in the arteries, known as hypertension. We often think of carbon dioxide as a waste product that we need to get rid of since it provides no use to the body. But it works with oxygen to keep the pH in balance in the tissues. Oxygen is carried by the red blood cells to the all the cells of the body, while carbon dioxide is found in the blood plasma along with nutrients our bodies use to regenerate. There can be levels of high CO2 and high oxygen at the same time in the blood, or with critical conditions both CO2 and oxygen are low. Carbon dioxide functions to keep the acid/base balance in the body, controls respiration, and influences circulation in the heart and extremities. We swallow about 2000 times per day. If we swallow with our mouths open a lot air is being swallowed. Eventually this causes more pressure in the stomach, pushing against the esophagus, and weakness will occur, and show up as acid reflux. The increase in stomach fluids in the esophagus and the throat will cause loss of elasticity of the tissues in the throat, or stiffness, making it easier to have a blockage. The soft palate needs to be flexible to avoid this, and the best way is by nose breathing. Even the increase in asthma, emphysema, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) could be caused by too much mouth breathing. Mouth

breathers have difficulty swallowing pills. Another tell-tale sign of mouth breathing, the lower lip needs to be constantly licked because of dryness. Mouth breathing can be an underlying cause of many problems. Think of how many people you know who have acid reflux, bloating, heartburn, flatulence, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, bronchitis, colitis, asthma, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Frequently Asked Questions Is it Really Safe to Cover My Mouth Like This? Yes, you still can breathe through your mouth slightly, and you can practice having the tape on when you are not sleeping to get a feel for how you need to breathe. In fact, if you tend to be a mouth breather during the day I would recommend wearing the tape at home to get used to it, and to learn to breathe through your nose regularly. What about congested sinuses or deviated septums? Of course, if you cannot breathe at all through your nose due to plugged nasal passages, you will have to unclog your nose to make this work at all. If you truly have a deviated septum, you may not be able to effectively wear the tape while you are sleeping. A quick trick to get sinuses draining is to put a little (and I mean just a few grains) of cayenne or red pepper on the outside of your nose that is blocked, or both sides if necessary. Make sure not to get it in your eyes. The cayenne will not


damage your eyes but they will burn. The natural heat from the herb will begin the drainage process in the sinuses very quickly. What about Nose Snoring? Even with this tape on sometimes with congestion in the nose, there can be some light snoring noises. This is where Breathe Right strips could still help. Yet over time I have noticed much less mucus in the nose upon waking than ever before since the airways are not creating mucus from pollutants that are being inhaled. What About Children? Children have a problem with mouth breathing that can affect their tendency towards asthma and allergies. Young infants under 6 months old have a natural reflux called tongue thrust. When they first eat food at about 4 months old they spit out most of the food until they learn to place their tongue at the roof of their mouth. By placing the tongue on the roof of the mouth, there are peristaltic waves created to send the food down the esophagus into the stomach. Air does not get into the stomach this way. But with the increased use of pacifiers and sippy cups that place the tongue lower in the jaw while eating or resting, more mouth breathing habits are occurring in children. I have not had any experience with children using this tape yet. But my daughter and I are planning on working with my grandson soon to see how it works. We did just realize he is a mouth breather. Over time will this cure my problem eventually so that I do not have to use the tape?

From one persons experience that has done this for a while, they were able to sleep better without snoring without using the tape after just four months. My experience of using this for the past year has shown that even when I do not use the tape I do not have sleep apnea symptoms, even though I do mouth breathe still. What other ideas help to stop snoring and sleep apnea? 1. Avoid dairy especially near bedtime. Dairy products tend to create more mucus in the system due to the casein protein that many people cannot digest well. 2. Avoid alcohol before bedtime or other muscle relaxing supplements that may relax your tongue and throat muscles. 3. Raise the head of your bed by 4 inches so that your airways can stay open more easily. One More Benefit Balancing the Governing and Central Meridians The Governing meridian is a yang meridian that is the channel of control. It starts at the base of the spine at the coccyx and ends at the upper palate of the mouth just inside of the top lip. Energy flow is needed in the governing meridian to keep our immune system strong. The Central meridian is a yin meridian that is the channel of function. It is also called the Conception Vessel and is located up the middle front of the body starting at the center of the perineum near the pubic bone and ends at the


depression of the lower lip. This central meridian controls how much energy we have to interact with the environment. By touching your tongue to the roof of your mouth you connect these two meridians like an electrical circuit. It helps create more energy flow through the body automatically when you consciously keep your tongue touching your upper palate, improving circulation and reducing overreactions to the environment. Conclusion There are many products used to reduce snoring. Some people can be helped with Breathe Right strips across the nose to open nasal passages. There are also nasal sprays to help reduce nasal obstructions. The most common device used for sleep apnea is the C-PAP machine. This device gives a constant increased air pressure through a mask to keep the airway open. Yet this machine can be noisy and uncomfortable for both the user and the sleep partner. Become aware of your breathing during the day. Are you mouth breathing or nose breathing? How about when you are eating? Is your mouth open when you chew? Breathing through the nose is proper breathing. George Catlin said more than 150 years ago, "Shut Your Mouth and Save Your Life". By keeping your mouth closed while sleeping, you will not only stop most snoring, but will help prevent many chronic health issues. Try the Micropore tape on your mouth. Learn to breathe through your nose and not your mouth, daytime and nighttime. Sleep better and have more mental energy.


References Buteyko, K., Basic Principles of Buteyko Therapy Henderson, Y., (1940). Carbon Dioxide, Cyclopedia of Medicine Magarian, G., Middaugh, D., Linz, D., Hyperventilation Syndrome: A Diagnosis Begging for Recognition, Topics in Primary Care Medicine. Mercola, J., (2007), Nine Ways to Help You Stop Smoking, Sivasankar, K,. Oral breathing increases pH and vocal effort by superficial drying of vocal fold mucosa. Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois Walter, D. (1988), Applied Kinesiology Synopsis, Systems DC, Pueblo, CO