Still Snoring?
May is Stroke Awareness Month
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is Linked to Stroke

Many of us have already heard that sleep apnea is linked to heart disease and stroke. But did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and stroke ranks at number 4? Sleep apnea is more than just annoying snoring.  The gasping for breath/choking that occurs when a person has apnea results in incredible stress on the body and often leads to arrythmia, hypertension, heart failure and stroke.    

If you know someone who has symptoms of sleep apnea or has been diagnosed with sleep apnea and is not treating it, encourage them to discuss the long-term devastating health risks with their doctor.

For more information about stroke and sleep apnea visit the

Therapy Tips

Snoring While Using CPAP?

You are using positive airway pressure therapy faithfully and your significant other is finally sleeping in the same room.  And then it start snoring WITH the CPAP on!

If you are snoring or choking while using CPAP,  some troubleshooting is in order.  Since snoring in general is caused by the collapse of soft tissues in the mouth, palate and throat, and positive airway pressure is designed to prevent that collapse, your doctor may recommend an increase in your pressure setting.  It is not uncommon for an individual's pressure needs to change with time, particularly as he/she ages or gains/loses weight.  And clinical experience has shown us that some people require a pressure increase after starting therapy once their body has adjusted to the presence of PAP.  

If you are snoring while using your CPAP, make an appointment with your sleep specialist to determine whether or not a pressure change is necessary. Today's modern PAP machines have the ability to record your apnea-hypopnea index and the amount of leakage from your mask each night. This information is very helpful for your doctor to make pressure recommendations.  You may also want to contact your equipment provider for a mask fitting to ensure that excessive mask leak is not the cause of your snoring.  If you have questions about snoring or any other experience with therapy, give us a call!  We are happy to help you determine your best course of action.

REM Behavior
Disorder 101, Episode 2

Last month we reviewed the definition and characteristics of REM Behavior Disorder. This month we will address how RBD is treated and managed.

Since RBD involves involuntary movements that are often violent, there is great potential for injury to occur to both the patient and their bed partner. People with RBD have been known to fall out of bed, punch walls/furniture, and kick or punch their bed partners.  Therefore, it is recommended that bed partners sleep separately until the disorder is under control.  For the patient, the bed should be placed away from anything that can cause injury, such as windows, night stands, lamps and firearms/weapons.

RBD is treated with medication, and for the majority of patients it is effective in the control of the movements and associated dreams.  Clonazepam is usually the first choice of medication and it is usually well tolerated.  Melatonin is also used in conjunction with clonazepam.  Clonazepam can have side effects such as morning sleepiness and motor impairment.  Melatonin can cause morning sleepiness as well.  Doses of both medications must be carefully monitored by a physician.

Certain common medications are known to trigger and/or worsen RBD. These medications include all antidepressants except bupropion and beta-blockers. When these types of medications are discontinued, there is usually a reduction in RBD episodes.  However, it is often not in the best interest of the patient to stop an antidepressant or beta-blocker that is working well for them.  Changes to any of these medications should be closely monitored by the treating physician(s).

Stay tuned next month for our third episode of REM Behavior Disorder 101 when we look at this disorder and its link to neurodegenerative disorders.

Reviewed by Robert Hooper, MD
Tired of lugging that big CPAP machine when traveling?

The Z1 travel CPAP made by Human Design Medical is the simplest, smallest and quietest travel CPAP ever!  The Z1™ only makes 26 dBA of sound during operation.  It only weighs 10 oz. and can be plugged into an outlet or integrated with the rechargeable battery Power Shell™.  A great option for camping/backpacking, the Power Shell™ has also been approved by the FAA for in-flight use!  

We offer the option to rent the Z1™ CPAP or Z1 Auto CPAP with or without the battery pack!  You may rent just to try it out or to take with you on a trip--an alternative to purchasing your own!  
If you rent first and decide to purchase later, your rental fee will go towards the cost of your purchase.   

For more information about renting or purchasing the Z1™, give us a call at 480- 767-8811 or email us at
The Sleep Center| Phone 480-767-8811| Fax 480-657-0737 ||