The New York Times reported yesterday that insomnia may be linked to difficulty breathing when a person is supposed to be asleep. Citing a study from the Journal of Sleep, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, the Times is reporting that chronic insomniacs wake upwards of thirty times a night with 90% of each waking event being preceded by a drop in oxygen saturation levels caused by an obstruction in breathing. This obstruction is likely located in the upper airway (throat or nasal passages). The chronic insomniac experiences a microarrousal in order to take a breath when oxygen levels in the body drop precipitously due to the obstruction, . While not attributing the insomnia directly to obstructive sleep apnea, the mechanism seems eerily similar. The study had a limited number of participants and is not considered conclusive, but it does suggest the need for further research. If supported by additional studies, it is reasonable to assume that a treatment for insomnia related breathing disorders would be an oral appliance or a CPAP machine.
If you or someone you love is experiencing breathing issues while asleep or excessive snoring don't hesitate to call our office for a Sleep Apnea risk assessment . 714 385-1672
Here is the link to the New York Times report: