More Cancer Cases Seen Among Women with Sleep Apnea Than in Men and in People Without OSA

Women with severe sleep apnea appear to be at an elevated risk of getting cancer, a study shows. No causal relationship is demonstrated, but the link between nocturnal hypoxia in women and higher cancer risk is still clear.

“It’s reasonable to assume that sleep apnea is a risk factor for cancer, or that both conditions have common risk factors, such as overweight. On the other hand, it is less likely that cancer leads to sleep apnea,” says Ludger Grote, adjunct professor and chief physician in sleep medicine, and the last author of the current study, in a release.

The research, published in the European Respiratory Journal, is based on analyses of registry data, collected in the European database ESADA, on a total of some 20,000 adult patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). About 2% of them also had a cancer diagnosis.

As expected, advanced age was associated with elevated cancer risk, but adjusting the data for age, gender, body mass index (BMI), smoking, and alcohol consumption nevertheless showed a possible link between intermittent hypoxia at night and higher cancer prevalence. The connection applied mainly to women and was weaker in men.

“Our results indicate a cancer risk that’s elevated two- to three-fold among women with pronounced sleep apnea. It’s impossible to say for sure what causes underlie the association between sleep apnea and cancer, but the indication means we need to study it in more depth,” says Grote, who is also a senior consultant and head of medicine at the Department of Sleep Medicine at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

“The condition of sleep apnea is well known to the general public and associated with snoring, daytime fatigue, and elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in men. Our research paves the way for a new view—that sleep apnea may possibly be connected with increased cancer risk, especially in women,” Grote says.

Previous studies have shown that, more often than others, people with sleep apnea have a cancer diagnosis in their medical history. Research in this area is expanding, while the gender aspects have hardly been explored.

“Above all, the focus has

Share! Narcolepsy with Cataplexy PSA Video with Ode to Joy Movie

Friends: I’m SO beyond thrilled to share the news with you today that Project Sleep proudly partnered with IFC Films and Ode to Joy Director, Jason Winer, to create a PSA to raise awareness about narcolepsy with cataplexy.

Please watch and share with friends!

Watch this video on YouTube.

Teamwork makes the dream work

I am so grateful to Jason and IFC for their enthusiasm and partnership. Creating this video was a team effort, with significant contributions by many thoughtful people. Most notably, a huge shout out to Hannah Powell for making this project a reality and working with myself and Project Sleep every step of the way!

How this came to be

Over the past year, I researched how other disease communities have worked with and responded to the film industry in similar situations. I interviewed health communications experts and people in “the industry.” I learned A LOT. (Honestly, it would be another post entirely to explain how eye-opening this process was, but I’ll link to my fav articles at the bottom of this post.)

Since Ode to Joy was in post-production as of 2018, influencing the content of the actual film itself was unlikely. Experts advised me to focus “my asks” on the marketing and distribution phase. 

One of my key “asks” was to collaborate on a short PSA to raise awareness about narcolepsy with cataplexy surrounding the film’s release. Examples I’d seen included Netflix’s To The Bone Nine Truths PSA and The Emoji Movie‘s Stand Up to Bullying campaign.

Once in communication with Ode to Joy’s team, I presented “my asks” and director, Jason Winer, loved the PSA idea and quickly committed to working together to make this happen. This was a surreal moment! I’d spent months researching and formulating my asks, and now it was now “go time!”

If you ask for what you want, you better be ready in case you get it!

I had ideas for the PSA and was happy to draft the script, but it was certainly a major undertaking!Jason and I decided to keep this to under …

Sleep Is A Serious Matter

Sleep. We take it for granted. Well, we shouldn’t. We can’t survive on just a few hours of sleep. Even if we try to, our health is going to suffer. We all need to get some good sleep, not just for one night but for every single night of our life. In other words, we all need to get quality sleep regularly.

Sleep is a natural physiological state of the body where our brain is inactive, muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended. Sleep is an essential part of our routine and it helps the body ‘regenerate and rejuvenate’. We spend one third of our life in sleep and we never bother about it.

Sleep is important as our body undergoes a lot of changes during that time. It allows the body to rest, relieves tiredness, and most importantly restores our cognitive (thinking) ability. During sleep there is active hormone production, which is essential for good metabolism and maintaining homeostasis or body balance. In addition, there is a decrease in the heart rate, heart function and drop in blood pressure.

(Via: http://www.businessworld.in/article/Sleep-Apnea-/23-06-2019-172067/)

Question is, how much sleep do we actually need?

The American Association of Sleep Medicine has given guidelines as to the amount of sleep you require to promote optimal health:

-Infants and children- 10 -16 hours
-Teenagers- 9-10 hours
-Adults- 7-9 hours

(Via: http://www.businessworld.in/article/Sleep-Apnea-/23-06-2019-172067/)

Seven to nine hours of sleep is a lot for a busy adult. Face it. We’d be lucky enough to get five hours of sleep especially on a week day. The only time we can really catch up on sleep is on the weekend.

Even if we’re given the luxury of time to sleep, there are barriers. These barriers are making it very hard for us to get some sleep.

Lack of sleep brings about some serious consequences. Needless to say, these consequences could be deadly.

Unfortunately, sleep is a very underrated and under diagnosed problem. The consequences of sleep disorders involve multiple parts of the body including risk of stroke, heart attack, memory loss, depression to name a few. We do not

Snoring: Causes And Complications Of It

Is snoring a problem of yours? If it’s not, then you’re pretty lucky. As a matter of fact, even your partner is pretty lucky if you don’t snore at all.

If snoring is a problem of yours, you’re not the only one suffering from it. You and a million adults are suffering from it as well

Nearly half of adults habitually snore when they sleep.

For some, it’s not a problem. For others, it may affect the quality of their bed partner’s rest. It can also be associated with sleep apnea, a condition affecting a person’s ability to breathe and the quality of their sleep.

(Via: https://news.psu.edu/story/554631/2019/01/16/medical-minute-causes-and-complications-snoring)

While you shouldn’t really worry about light snoring, it’s the heavy snoring that you should be worried about. It’s a sign that you might have a serious health condition. You really shouldn’t ignore it.

“It could be suggestive of something more going on,” said Dr. Neerav Goyal, director of head and neck surgery at Penn State Health.

(Via: https://news.psu.edu/story/554631/2019/01/16/medical-minute-causes-and-complications-snoring)

The vibrating nasal tissue is what causes the snoring sound. The more it vibrates, the louder the sound.

Snoring is caused by relaxed throat or nasal tissue that vibrates when it collapses while the body is horizontal during shut-eye.

“A lot of it has to do with how air flows through your nose and mouth,” Goyal said. “When we sleep, muscle tone lapses and tissues vibrate much as a reed does when you play a musical instrument.”

(Via: https://news.psu.edu/story/554631/2019/01/16/medical-minute-causes-and-complications-snoring)

There are various causes of snoring. Sleep position is one of the most common causes of it.

Those who sleep on their back are more prone to snoring than side sleepers because of how gravity collapses tissues and muscles in the airway. Sometimes sleeping propped up with a wedge pillow or in a recliner instead of horizontally can help lessen snoring.

(Via: https://news.psu.edu/story/554631/2019/01/16/medical-minute-causes-and-complications-snoring)

For some, snoring could be genetic.

For some, snoring is caused by a genetic anatomic obstruction such as a deviated septum, large tonsils, a floppy soft palate or a large neck circumference.

(Via: https://news.psu.edu/story/554631/2019/01/16/medical-minute-causes-and-complications-snoring)

Certain health disorders …

Teaching Your Children How to Treat You

Your kids are almost inevitably going to attempt to disrespect you at some point. It’s just part of growing up and testing their boundaries. How you react and what you allow will go a long way in determining your child’s behavior towards you and others in the future.

With that in mind, I’ve got a few tips for you today on how to effectively deal with disrespectful behavior in a way that will both deter the disdain and still be mindful of your child’s feelings.

Rather read than watch? Click here.

Have Snoring…Will Treat It

There is no gold standard treatment for snoring—yet—but clinicians and patients have a growing menu of options that can cover most of its causes.

While occasional snoring is a nuisance, chronic snoring can have serious effects on sleep, relationships, and cardiac health—even if not tied to sleep apnea.

Research led by Per Stal, associate professor and research leader at the Department of Integrative Medical Biology at Sweden’s Umeå University, has identified that snoring causes significant long-term injuries, including developing swallowing dysfunction and making patients more susceptible to developing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). His research notes that snorers and sleep apnea patients have neuromuscular injuries in the upper respiratory tract both at the structural and molecular levels. Recurrent snoring doesn’t allow for these damaged tissues to heal.1

What’s more, preliminary research led by Adrian Curta, MD, a radiology resident at Munich University Hospital in Germany, has identified that women who snore are at much greater cardiac risk than men.2 “It is unfortunately still unclear why women are more susceptible to developing cardiac-related symptoms,” Curta says. He suspects many of the study subjects with cardiac alterations may also have undiagnosed OSA.

Beyond long-term significant health issues, snoring can have immediate consequences as well.

“Sleep is a critical element of everyone’s health, and poor sleep can negatively impact many aspects of a person’s wellbeing,” says Mark Aloia, PhD, global lead for behavior change with Philips Healthcare and associate professor of medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colo. “Snoring is a prevalent sleep condition that not only affects the afflicted person but also impacts their most personal relationships. According to research, more than 40% of the global population snores, with side effects including excessive tiredness for both snorers and their bed partners. Because of the scope of influence a snorer can have on the quality of sleep for those around them, snoring—not related to sleep apnea—is an important challenge that should be addressed on its own.”

While CPAP is commonly referred to as the gold standard for treating sleep apnea, there is no corresponding therapy for snoring. But

Are Sleep and Happiness Related? Listen Now To Find Out!

I was honored to be a guest on the More Happy Life Podcast with Andy Proctor recently. We talked sleep, spoons, narcolepsy, storytelling, happiness, dreams and more. Listen here.

Episode description: In this episode we talk about all things sleep and much more! How does sleep impact our energy, mood, and clarity? How much sleep do we need each night? How did you discover your narcolepsy? How can we improve our sleep patterns? Should naps be allowed and supported at work? Let’s talk about dreams and remembering dreams. What would you tell people who just found out they have narcolepsy? Find your self affirming voice within all the voices in your head. This will make you happier. 

It was such a joy to share this conversation with Andy and now I’m really enjoying listening to his other More Happy Life podcast episodes too! Listen to our conversation here.

from Julie Flygare http://julieflygare.com/are-sleep-and-happiness-related-listen-now-to-find-out/…

Are You Exhausted When You Wake Up In The Morning?

The alarm clock goes off. You can hardly open your eyes but you need to get up. Your body is begging for more sleep but you need to get up. Even if you do get up, you feel exhausted. The bad part is, your day is just beginning. So why are you feeling so exhausted already?

You know the consequences of not getting enough sleep: mood swings, crabbiness, cravings, difficulty focusing and sluggishness. And when you don’t know why you can’t get enough sleep, the symptoms become even more frustrating. The culprits behind sleepless nights range from blue light to parasites — but you might be dealing with something more serious: sleep apnea.

(Via: https://www.cnet.com/news/what-is-sleep-apnea-symptoms-causes-diagnosis-treatment/)

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder. It’s hard to tell if you have it. So, it’s always better to see a doctor about it first. Don’t be scared because sleep apnea is a common problem.

An estimated 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes you to momentarily stop breathing while you’re asleep. With sleep apnea, your airway becomes blocked when your body relaxes during sleep, limiting your lungs to little air flow.

(Via: https://www.cnet.com/news/what-is-sleep-apnea-symptoms-causes-diagnosis-treatment/)

Sleep apnea actually causes you to stop breathing while sleeping. So, even if you think you’ve slept long enough, you still feel exhausted when you wake up in the morning. This sleep disorder is also the reason why you snore so loud.

Characterized by loud snoring and often choking noises, sleep apnea causes your brain and body to become oxygen-deprived, often leading to frequent awakenings throughout the night. Depending on the case, it could happen a few times per night or hundreds of times each night.

(Via: https://www.cnet.com/news/what-is-sleep-apnea-symptoms-causes-diagnosis-treatment/)

Do you think you snore at night? If you have no idea about it, go ask your partner. Your partner should know. You can’t hide a snore, especially one that’s very loud. Nonetheless, loud snoring isn’t the only symptom of sleep apnea.

The most common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring, but snoring on its own isn’t always indicative of sleep apnea. Snoring

“Ode to Joy” Movie Review From A Person Living with Narcolepsy with Cataplexy

Today, the new feature film, Ode to Joy opens in select theaters (in New York and Los Angeles) and releases via video on demand across the United States. Ode to Joy is a movie about a man, Charlie (played by Martin Freeman) navigating romance while living with narcolepsy with cataplexy.

I was not involved in the development or filming of this movie, but I’ve been interested since the film was announced in 2011, based on the This American Life segment “I’m Fallen In Love and I Can’t Get Up.” This past April, I attended a showing of Ode to Joy at the Phoenix Film Festival, with Project Sleep board member, Ed Sweet.

As President & CEO of Project Sleep, seeing the film as soon as possible was important to me. Representations of narcolepsy in film provide valuable insight into public perceptions and understanding of the condition. For many individuals, cinematic depictions of narcolepsy may be their only exposure to the symptoms. Thus, patient-driven organizations like Project Sleep, along with narcolepsy advocates and medical professionals, will all benefit from being aware of movie portrayals and joining the conversation as much as possible.

As a person living with narcolepsy with cataplexy myself, I was nervous to see the film. Generally, I close my eyes when clinicians play videos of cataplexy at conferences. Also, I have a short YouTube playlist of other people’s cataplexy episodes and inevitably, tears stream down my face watching these.

Going into seeing the film for the first time, my burning questions were:

1.) How will the movie depict and describe cataplexy? 
2.) How will the movie depict and describe narcolepsy?
3.) How will it depict treatment?
4.) How will it depict the condition’s impact on life? 
5.) Will there be resources exemplified during the film or offered at the end?
6.) Will the film help to raise awareness and/or reduce stigma?
7.) Will I find the movie funny?

Here are my responses. WARNING: from this point on, this post contains spoilers.

1.) How will the movie depict and describe cataplexy?

Physical manifestations: 
I was curious to …

A Simple Way To A Good Night’s Sleep

A good night’s sleep is a necessity. It’s not a luxury. You deserve to get a good night’s sleep every single night. It’s the only way your body can rest and rejuvenate for the next day.

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to get a good night’s sleep. There will some nights when your sleep is good and there will be some nights when your sleep is bad. If you’re a snorer, you probably have more nights of bad sleep. If you’re hardly getting any good night’s sleep, you’re going to get sick.

Snoring at night can not only be annoying but also health threatening and sometimes fatal. Many people don’t even know that they snore. Therefore, they are never diagnosed with sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing starts and stops during sleep.

(Via: https://www.abc4.com/gtu/a-cure-to-help-you-get-a-good-nights-sleep/)

The best way to really know if you snore is to ask your partner. Your partner is not going to lie about it. No one lies about snoring, especially if it’s loud and annoying.

So, if your partner says you snore, accept it and decide to do something about it. Don’t even attempt to deny it because the sooner you deal with your snoring, the better it is for your health and your relationship. Keep in mind that sleep apnea is a serious health problem.

Sleep apnea has been connected to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and also depression. It even causes about 38,000 deaths each year. This is a serious disorder …

(Via: https://www.abc4.com/gtu/a-cure-to-help-you-get-a-good-nights-sleep/)

Don’t let snoring get in the way of a good night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep is the key to an awesome day ahead. Don’t miss out the opportunity of facing it.

A good night’s sleep is also good for your health. If you ignore your snoring, your health can suffer.

Most importantly, your snoring might ruin the loving relationship you have with your partner. Don’t let it reach that point.

Don’t let sleep apnea scare you. Yes, it is a serious health problem but it can be cured. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP …