#T4TD Feeling tired this morning?

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Did you know that as many as 1 in 5 people with MS suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea

Obstructive sleep apnoea occurs when your breathing stops and starts while you sleep. It typically occurs due to a collapse in the tone of the muscles in your throat. The main symptoms of sleep apnoea include making gasping or choking noises while you sleep, snoring loudly, waking unrefreshed with a muggy feeling as if you have a hangover, feeling very tired during the day and frequently falling asleep in the day.

Sleep apnoea is usually treated with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask that you wear while you are asleep. Although sleep apnoea is associated with obesity and getting older it can occur in people who are thin with a normal BMI (body mass index). It is very common in MS and is likely to be due to MS lesions affecting the function of the brainstem.

If you identify with any of these symptoms you need to raise the issue with your HCP so that you can be investigated. Sleep studies to diagnose sleep apnoea can even be done at home using portable devices. 

#T4TD = Thought for the Day

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About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.

2 comments

  • All patients with fatigue awaiting diagnosis or already diagnosed should have a sleep study. Central sleep apnea is also a thing, as are REM-associated severe apnea and circadian rhythm dysfunction. MS is the fourth leading known cause of narcolepsy (Canadian Sleep Institute).

    My first neurologist informed me that apnea and sleep disorder were not due to MS.

    I could write a book on this topic. But won’t lol.

  • Risk factors

    Sleep apnea can affect people regardless of sex, race, or age. However, risk factors include:

    being male
    obesity
    age over 40
    large neck circumference (greater than 16–17 inches)
    enlarged tonsils or tongue
    small jaw bone
    gastroesophageal reflux
    allergies
    sinus problems
    a family history of sleep apnea
    deviated septum[20]

    Alcohol, sedatives and tranquilizers may also promote sleep apnea by relaxing throat muscles. People who smoke tobacco have sleep apnea at three times the rate of people who have never done so.[21]

    Central sleep apnea is more often associated with any of the following risk factors:

    being male
    an age above 65
    having heart disorders such as atrial fibrillation or atrial septal defects such as PFO
    stroke

    High blood pressure is very common in people with sleep apnea.[22]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_apnea#Risk_factors

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