What does a sleep therapist do?

Sleep therapies are very effective especially if they are patients who suffer from sleep apnea, snore or lack oxygen during that moment of relaxation. In the latter case, the breathing pauses can last up to 120 seconds which can be interspersed with snoring or annoying sounds, causing a bad rest. 

The appearance of sleep apnea is due to the generation of a total or partial collapse within the pharynx, that is, breathing is interrupted but at no time is cardio respiration generated since the heart continues to function normally. 

There are mild apneas, which can cause the patient or his companion not to rest normally but there are also severe ones and it is in this case that diseases such as high blood pressure, risk of ischemic heart disease or cerebrovascular accidents can occur. It is important to consult with a health specialist and begin treatment to prevent these complications. 

It is true that as the patient gains weight or ages there is a greater risk of suffering from sleep apnea, especially in men where it has been detected that it is 2.5 times higher than in women. 

How is sleep therapy diagnosed? 

To begin with sleep therapy it is necessary to perform a test to diagnose that the user suffers from sleep apnea, this is a study where polysomnography is the most used technique, since it is very precise and provides valuable information. 

The test consists of spending a night in a sleep center where you will be monitored by specialists who will evaluate your breathing while you rest. A measurement is made of the flow of oxygen, its level in the blood, the functioning of the heart during the process and obviously the quality of sleep. It is impossible to establish if a person suffers from this pathology if this evaluation is not carried out. 

What treatments exist to improve sleep therapy? 

In the first place, the patient is required to lose weight, to not sleep on his back, avoid the intake of alcoholic beverages, anxiolytics or tobacco consumption, it is very important that he maintain a balanced diet and exercise moderately. 

As for the treatments, there are different options, for example there are positive air pressure, also called CPAP, which consists of using a nasal or nasobuccal mask. It is indicated for use only at night and works as an air compressor that emits a stream of just O2 preventing the user’s airway from collapsing, thus enjoying a pleasant night. 

About 90% of patients solve their sleep apnea problem with CPAP therapy, even admitting that during the first days of treatment they see an improvement in their sleep quality. All CPAP machines have a mask that covers the nose and mouth.

Another indicated treatment is BPAP, that is, positive airway pressure that consists of using a machine to pump air under pressure into the airways of the lungs. This allows the windpipe to be kept open during sleep, preventing the collapse of the airways that block breathing in people with obstructive sleep apnea and other breathing problems.

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