Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that is potentially dangerous and often something we don’t notice that we have since it occurs in our sleep. What happens is that while you sleep, your breathing repeatedly stops and starts. This could lead to snoring and lack of restful sleep. It is important that you bring up any concerns with your doctor if you are noticing any signs or symptoms.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are two main types of sleep apnea:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when the muscles at the back of your throat become relaxed during sleep and inhibit airflow through your body because the airway narrows as you breathe in. When your brain notices that it is not receiving enough oxygen, it briefly wakes you up so that your muscles tense again and reopens your airway. This can happen multiple times as you sleep which keeps you from reaching the restful phases of sleep, making you wake up feeling just as tired as when you went to bed.
Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea is the less common form of sleep apnea. In this form, your brain is unable to give your muscles the signal to breathe for a short period of time. Essentially your body forgets to breathe! This may cause you to wake up briefly or awaken with shortness of breath, thus disturbing your sleep cycle and keeping you from going to or staying asleep.
How Humidifiers Help
If your doctor has prescribed you with CPAP therapy, some CPAP machines will come with a built-in humidifier. Studies have shown that having a built-in humidifier has helped people use CPAP machines more comfortably and for longer periods of time.
If you have not been diagnosed with sleep apnea or prescribed CPAP therapy, humidifiers can help you get more restful sleep and alleviate dryness. By humidifying your airways, the tissues in your nose and throat will have less of a tendency to stick together from dryness. This opens up your airways to promote better breathing and keeps you from waking up in the middle of the night from not getting enough oxygen. Humidifiers also help with snoring, which is another factor that can keep you and the people around you from getting a good night’s rest.
How You Can Help Humidifiers Help You
Humidifiers are neat machines that provide many benefits, but they are not without fault. You must maintain your humidifier to reap the best benefits.
Keep Your Humidifier Clean
Wash your humidifier 2-3 times a week to keep the machine itself and the mist you breathe clean and germ-free. Miro humidifiers offer an easy to take apart design that makes cleaning a much simpler task, You can clean your Miro Humidifier with soap and water, without the use of harsh chemicals.
Use Distilled Water
Using distilled or purified water will keep your humidifier running smoothly and prolong its lifespan. Regularly change the water in your humidifier so that the mist you breathe in stays fresh and clean.
Humidifiers are not a cure for sleep apnea or restless sleep, but they definitely help make your home the best environment it can be for unobstructed breathing and better sleep.