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Old 04-15-2009, 07:25 PM   #1
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Sleep Apnea and Yoga

I was searching the sight for things on sleep apnea since it is highly likely I have sleep apnea (I will find out for sure the first part of next month) and I came accross a post that suggested Yoga Nidra for sleep apnea woild this help?

Are there any other things Yoga that might help?
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:31 PM   #2
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I don't have sleep apnea, but I used to have trouble falling asleep all the time (I guess sleep insomnia), but ever since I started practicing yoga I have been able to sleep through the night without any problems.

Yoga is also great for stretching/flexibility and strengthening. It's beneficial in other areas as well - its great for back pain, it improves your breathing because you're learning to control your breathing while moving through the various poses, it helps with balance and posture... and so much more.
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:03 PM   #3
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I would definitely recommend yoga nidra. It has helped me many times when I wasn't feeling well or had trouble falling asleep.
Yoga Nidra is a yoga sleep. It's take you into a deep sleep, it leaves the waking state and goes way past the dreaming state. It goes beyond meditation.

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Old 04-16-2009, 12:33 AM   #4
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Just to be clear on this, yoga nidra is not a "deep sleep" in the normal sense of the word as we understand sleep. To state it as a fact that Yoga Nidra is a "deep sleep" lacks insight and experience into and about the true nature and usage of Yoga Nidra and I would recommend great care when such an idea is expressed. Yoga nidra is a psychic rest and as such I would like to quote Swami Satyananda Saraswati on yoga nidra:

"Yoga nidra, which is derived from the tantras, is a powerful technique in which you learn to relax consciously. In yoga nidra, sleep is not regarded as relaxation. For absolute relaxation you must remain aware, sleep is the absence of awareness. Sleep is a different matter. Sleep gives only mind and sense relaxation. Yoga nidra relaxes the atma, the inner self." (taken from Yoga Nidra, by swamiji).
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:58 AM   #5
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Are there any other things Yoga that might help?
Dear SCMT,

Yoga has a powerful system attached to it called pranayama or breathing exercises. I would like to recommend that you find yourself a good teacher and explore this avenue coupled with asanas as a more balanced way of finding a solution for your sleep apnea.

Personally, I do not view yoga nidra as a yogic "sleeping pill" for sleeping disorders.

Good luck.
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:21 PM   #6
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Thanks all

Just to clarify, I have no problem falling asleep but this Apnea stuff sure as heck keeps me from sleeping very long. But if I lay on my side I can breathe.... but THEN I have problems falling asleep

From what the Doctor I saw recently told me Apnea is not a lack of relaxation but too much relaxation in an area of my throat that when it relaxes cuts off my air supply.

And I have to tell you I am not looking forward to the sleep study thing at all

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Dear SCMT,

Yoga has a powerful system attached to it called pranayama or breathing exercises. I would like to recommend that you find yourself a good teacher and explore this avenue coupled with asanas as a more balanced way of finding a solution for your sleep apnea.

Personally, I do not view yoga nidra as a yogic "sleeping pill" for sleeping disorders.

Good luck.
Thanks, after I posted this I remembered that a friend of mine was a Yoga Therapist so I contacted her by e-mail. I have not yet received a reply, she may be out of the country, but I will wait and hear what she has to say.
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Old 04-17-2009, 01:18 AM   #7
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I have no problem falling asleep... but THEN I have problems falling asleep
You know of course how this looks here, sorry for the edit, but I couldn't help myself doing it.

Anyway, glad to hear that you have access to a yoga therapist who can help you in a more constructive way.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:25 PM   #8
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You know of course how this looks here, sorry for the edit, but I couldn't help myself doing it.

Anyway, glad to hear that you have access to a yoga therapist who can help you in a more constructive way.

Well ummm yeah

No worries

Actually to clarify what I said so it makes since, I have no problem falling asleep on my back but the apnea wakes me up. But if I lay on my side I have no problems with Apnea....but I don't sleep to well on my side.

My friend has responded and offered to work on this with me we just have to figure out a schedule that works for us both.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:30 PM   #9
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As you wake up due to the apnea, what do you feel physically and what do you feel emotionally?
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:13 PM   #10
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As you wake up due to the apnea, what do you feel physically and what do you feel emotionally?
Physically I feel like I need air

Emotionally, at this point, I am rather use to it so nothing much but initially it was somewhat confusing since I had no idea why I was waking up gasping. I can only remember once where I woke up scared and gasping. And as far as I can tell this has been going on now for several years.

Until my wife started insisting I go see someone about this I had pretty much accepted the fact that it was just going to be part of my life.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:29 PM   #11
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Have you had a polysomnogram (sleep study) and been officially diagnosed with sleep apnea? There are multiple types of sleep apnea so it would be important to receive a proper diagnosis.

Out of curiosity:

1. Prior to the apnea coming about, did you experience a life threatening choking event?

2. Do you use multiple pillows?

3. Sitting at your computer, if you tilt your head straight back as far as it will go, do you experience any fear or anxiety?
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:56 PM   #12
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Have you had a polysomnogram (sleep study) and been officially diagnosed with sleep apnea? There are multiple types of sleep apnea so it would be important to receive a proper diagnosis.
Meant with an MD and the sleep study is the first part of next month. But per the MD; after I described what I was experiencing, it is very possible that I have sleep apnea but he would not make any official diagnosis until after the study.

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Originally Posted by David View Post
1. Prior to the apnea coming about, did you experience a life threatening choking event?
No

Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
2. Do you use multiple pillows?
No, usually one sometimes none.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
3. Sitting at your computer, if you tilt your head straight back as far as it will go, do you experience any fear or anxiety?
No
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:54 PM   #13
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Very little has been known about sleep apnea until relatively recently; it has only just been now reecognised as a condition as such . if you told a doc 15 years ago he bprobably would have drawn you a blank.Perhaps this partly lies in the difficulty in proving one might have it,as symptoms manifest most acute and dramatically during sleep , therfore, typically an overnight stay in a specialist sleep clinic is required to get any firm diagonisis, and even then one has to have 'apneaic episode', as they call it, to be "diagnosed". I know this cos i have met folk who claim they have it but have struggled to get a doc to sit up & listen to them, if you like, even after throwing money at them( i.e sleep clinics or general practioners) , and after many years pursuing this.

I now realise with hindsigh I've too had mild symptoms of it myself in the past having learnt more about this poorly understood condition,but that was when i was on a methadone script(and i've heard that sleep apnea index is higher than average amongst drug abusers/users than the general population ). I would experience a sudden gasping for air in the middle of the night, and be woken as such as a result of this.The body would wake up in attempt to force air in the luungs.. This was, from what i can see ,the autonomic functions that control respiration, shutting down, and i think the depressant effect of the opioids, i took , on the CNS was precipitating this.

The sudden waking and inhalation in the middle of the night is an attempt to stave off oxygen depletion to the brain. The brain obviouslly does not like it-hence t he signal to wake up.

It did'nt bother me too much though it was somehwat alarming at it's very worst, and now i realise what i had were indeed mild symptoms of sleep apnea.I do have a friend who feels his life is seriously affected by this.

My understanding is that there is the mechanical/obstructive cause- or what i've heard termed a prolapsed or floppy epligottis( this maybe because of a loss of muscle/tissue tone in the throat/palatte region, i.e a deformation, though who knows?) And there is also the neurological cause or component to this where i can only presume that the the autonmic functions that control breathing are depressed or dsyfunctional. i think there a lot of western medication prescribed by one's doctor could well predispose one to apneaic symptoms.

You know the guy in 'Sopranos' uses a C-pap machine though he's an aging gangster in a later decade in life so i know that is certainly no consolation.anyway this machine, basically helps to regulate the in-flow and out-flow of breath so if you have an apneaic episode it will pick up on this and resotore a healthier rhythm to the flow
of your breath.

I really do think, like Pandara, that breathing excercises or mindful pranayama, with a teacher , coupled with light gentle asana to help regulate the breath might address this medical problem effectively. I've obviously tried to suggest this prescription to that person that i know but you know what it's like trying to preach to the unconverted.

It'd be nice to see a sleep apnea study using the yoga therapy of breath regulation and control or pranayam coupled with light gentle asana as i am reaaly do think that this may offer a solution to this problem.

It is often associated with the morbidly obese,though you don't have to be, and diagonis is on the increase, now it is becoming more known.

There is a no-nonsense( and i'm led to believe safe if you follow the gradual instructions from start to end)) book on breathing by Carola Speads called 'A Guide to better breathing'. This woman studied the subject for i think about 70 years since the 1920's perhaps, and lived to about 102 or 3 , so she muust have been doing something right. The only problem is i've never read this book.

But if you don't have a pranayama guru living in the neighbourhood, then you might want to check out this book.

Otherwise Anuloma 1 & 2 (google bks iyengar), siimple breath awareness, and then moving patiently on to nadi shodhana( a few rounds with a little retention , perhaps). Employ deep slow full and relaxed breathing and focus on the breath.

i really think learning how to breath again, using regulation techniques and restoring healthy patterns may just help to unscramble the nervous system, one that is either overly depressed, disordered or constantly working through a number of dud loops.

Hope this helps.This is just my perspective on it.
It may not be strictly a sleep disorder( though i guess you could say it is also this too), but a breathing disorder, the way ii see it,, the symptoms manifesting most acutely during sleep, as one is woken up by it, i.e by an apneaic episode..The thing is the autonomic functions of the brain ,that say control breathing, are not meant to go to sleep when you go to sleep, if you get my drift.That is my understanding of this and what ocurs during an apneic episode. The breath in effect stops, involuntarily.So it's like some kind of short-circuit(brain) occurs to rouse one to suddenly wake up .It does occr very frocefully and dramtiically,charctersied at it's worst a huge in-breath of air. It is i gues the moment that breath is restored after some period of suffocation, depending on how long this ensues.

i think the studies sometimes look for changes in heart beat which may i guess mirror and guage the quality and nature of respiration. so if your graph basically is real spikey and not smooth or there are some real spikes in there to indicate oxygen deprivation or episodes.

one can appreciate the implications of all of this ' science' and the percevied issue itself from a pranayama or yoga perspective.


To be honest i have'nt researched it enough to know enough about it but here is a diagram--

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...ages/19595.htm

I am merely suggessting that it's possible that the neurological component,or cause, may well be frequently overlooked. And it may even be possible that the two-biomechanical(i.e effective windpipe obstruction) and neurologcial causes of sleep apnea( I.e symptoms) are both frequently responsible.Interestingly ,froma 'hanna somatics' perspective they would be both be likely involved within the same bio-feedback loop

Last edited by core789; 04-17-2009 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:15 AM   #14
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Who can help me? My husband suffer from sleep apnea for 3 years. I want to help him but I don't know how. I read on the google something. But Can you explain exactly what is sleep apnea and how to use CPAP machines?
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:13 AM   #15
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Who can help me? My husband suffer from sleep apnea for 3 years. I want to help him but I don't know how. I read on the google something. But Can you explain exactly what is sleep apnea and how to use CPAP machines?
Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea from nih.gov

Continuous positive airway pressure from nih.gov

CPAP

However I do not use a CPAP machine but I have discovered 2 things that may only apply to me, I have no way of knowing if this will help anyone else

1) Learning to play the didgeridoo has helped and I have to tell you I really love playing it. However it is not a quick fix, you have to learn how to circular breathe and then you may start noticing some benefits.

2) I have no apnea issues if I sleep on my side. I tend to be a back sleeper but I am working at retraining myself to sleep on my side.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:17 AM   #16
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However I do not use a CPAP machine but I have discovered 2 things that may only apply to me, I have no way of knowing if this will help anyone else

1) Learning to play the didgeridoo has helped and I have to tell you I really love playing it. However it is not a quick fix, you have to learn how to circular breathe and then you may start noticing some benefits.

2) I have no apnea issues if I sleep on my side. I tend to be a back sleeper but I am working at retraining myself to sleep on my side.
What is didgeridoo?
How can I learn play this?
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:14 AM   #17
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What is didgeridoo?
How can I learn play this?
That’s a Didgeridoo

As learning how to play it, I had a teacher but there are DVD lessons and online lessons you can find on websites like LA Outback and The Didgeridoo Store

Also there is a study out there that was in the British Medical Journal about the Didge and Sleep Apnea. When I saw the doctor and did the sleep study he did not know about it yet but he did look it up and said that if it is just the circular breathing that is doing it then learning to play any wind instrument should work
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:16 AM   #18
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Interesting.. And to you affirm that I can treat sleep apnea with this? Sounds goods
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:20 AM   #19
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Interesting.. And to you affirm that I can treat sleep apnea with this? Sounds goods
it is working for me but I have mild sleep apena. This does not mean it will work for anyone else. You should always run things like this past your doctor. I did and he approved but as he said I have mild Sleep apnea and the CPAP was optional for me.
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