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Your Healthy Family: Study shows watching video increases CPAP use

If you suspect you're struggling with sleep, if you just don't feel refreshed in the morning make sure to have a conversation with your doctor, there's a lot on the line in terms of your health. If you suspect you're struggling with sleep, if you just don't feel refreshed in the morning make sure to have a conversation with your doctor, there's a lot on the line in terms of your health.
COLORADO SPRINGS -

There's been a lot of stories in news recently about the possible links between trouble sleeping and alzheimer’s disease.  One of the biggest problems when it comes to getting a good night sleep, is sleep apnea.  More than 20 million Americans are diagnosed with sleep apnea, yet more than half of those prescribed a CPAP mask to keep their airways open at night don’t use it.

Like many patients with sleep apnea, John Brugger says at first he didn't like his CPAP mask.  It was too cumbersome and too tight to get a good night's sleep. So, like roughly half of all patients, he wouldn’t wear it most nights.  Until he watched 60 seconds of video of himself sleep, and struggling to breath through apnic moments.

John recalls, "It was a powerful moment in my life.  Made me cry watching it.  Still vivid in my mind seeing what my body was going through at night, you just don't realize it."

Sleep apnea can be easily ignored or even missed because we just don't know what's happening while we sleep says Dr. Timothy Rummel, a board certified sleep specialist with Pulmonary Associates and UCHealth Memorial's sleep lab in Colorado Springs.

Dr. Rummel says, "The majority of sleep apnea is obstructive, which is related to snoring.  The airway blocks off when they fall asleep, that's what causes drops in your oxygen level, and interruptions by arousals to get breathing again, that's about 95% of all sleep apnea.”

Doctor Mark Aloia conducted a study at National Jewish Health in Denver where researchers monitored patients overnight in a sleep lab keeping track of things like heart rate and oxygen levels, while taking video of the patient sleeping.

The video has a very specific purpose according to Dr. Aloia.  "We really create a sort of a personal sense of urgency in this patient in order to change their behavior."

The study found that change among CPAP patients who watched themselves on video was profound.  On average patients used their CPAP mask almost twice as long as those who didn't watch a video, and nearly two and and a half hours longer than patients who watched a video of someone else struggling with sleep apnea.

John says, "To see myself basically drowning in my bed, made me very determined to fix that."

Remember mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and snoring can be treated with a dental appliance.  There are a series of Your Healthy Family stories from May taking you through the process of getting a dental appliance.  

The bottom line is if you suspect you're struggling with sleep, if you just don't feel refreshed in the morning make sure to have a conversation with your doctor, there's a lot on the line in terms of your health.

To learn more about sleep apnea, snoring, and solutions to them you can find more Your Healthy Family stories about those topics in this story. http://www.koaa.com/story/35857086/your-healthy-family-getting-and-using-a-dental-appliance-to-reduce-snoring

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