Detective Eddie: Sleep Apnea Myth Busters

"It's Yetimentary, my dear Watson!"

As a side note, I was shocked to learn this phrase never appeared in the official Sherlock Holmes series, so I must assume you humans copied the yeti version, which I must admit is far superior anyways. 

Anyways my dearest whoeveryouares, we have a mystery to solve – sleep apnea! Although us in-the-know yetis are well aware of sleep apnea's wayward effects, as old Sherlock did say,“Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons with the greatest for the last.” 

So let's sort the red herrings from the true clues, if you will: 

 1. CPAP is "unattractive."

Yetis have superb hearing and I've caught wind of my fair share of grumbles about CPAP making you look "unattractive." Besides the fact that the latest CPAP machines are silent and sleek, a 2013 University of Michigan study, actually found that sleep apnea sufferers were perceived as more attractive after undergoing CPAP therapy.

In the study, researchers took photos of sleep apnea sufferers, before and after using CPAP. Judged by a group of outsider participants, they found that sufferers were perceived as more alert (68 percent), more attractive (67 percent) and youthful (64 percent). These findings are probably related to the benefits restful sleep has on your overall well being.

They don't call it beauty sleep for nothing. So rock that CPAP, and receive those benefits yourself! You don't think this yeti glow just happens do you? 

2. Sleep apnea is a fancy way of saying you snore. 

If only it was so simple, my dearest sleepy yetis. Snoring is just one clue in the sleep apnea mystery. Snoring is but one symptom of sleep apnea but your diagnosis is not entirely dependent on its appearance. Sleep apnea is characterized by how many apnea events a person has per hour while sleeping.

And a whole host of symptoms can put you on the trail for sleep apnea: observed breathing pauses, choking or gasping mid-sleep, frequent nighttime bathroom visits, restless sleeps, morning headaches, daytime fatigue, concentration issues, and low mood. That's why it is important to bust this myth, because you may need treatment for sleep apnea even if you've never been told you snore!

3. A nightcap will put your sleeping troubles "to rest" (pun intended.)

Trust me, before I started CPAP, I had my fair share of sleepless nights. Constant fatigue can make you desperate for some adequate rest, but sadly alcohol just isn't the answer. Although it sure can make you drowsy, as it has sedative effects, these effects may also lead to the relaxation of your throat muscles. Trust me, if you have sleep apnea, the answer is not to block your airways even more. 

4. Surgery is the most effective treatment. 

I see how this trail would lead many sleepy yetis astray, as the logic follows that the most drastic solution must be the most effective, right? And for some people yes, surgery may do the trick. But the success of surgery has been found to be matched by the success of other treatment methods, without the danger and recovery associated with surgery. Surgery is usually only considered after other treatment methods have been proven ineffective. Your doctor should advise on the treatment option best for your particular case, so it is important to not make any quick judgments without through investigation. 

5. Sleep apnea is a minor condition. 

This myth is part of my motivation for spreading awareness on CPAP therapy. Since sleep apnea is often dismissed as irksome snoring many sufferers don't take the condition seriously. But sleep is integral to overall well being, so if a condition is interfering with it, it is always a big deal. Undiagnosed sleep apnea jeopardizes your cardiovascular and metabolic health. It is also associated with heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, asthma, acid re flux, lowered sex drive and the list goes on and on. 

It's no mystery, my dear friends, untreated sleep apnea is a robber of good health. Let's stop that thief once and for all!