Brain Facts

Brain Facts

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Sleep Apnea Syndrome  

Many people may have sleep apnea, during which they have periods of sleep when they are not breathing normally.  This condition is basically a clue to the presence of an imbalance in brain electrical activity.  The whole body is unbalanced, when the brain is imbalanced, and so sleep disorder is common.  Typically, during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and dream sleep, all individuals will have periods where they do not breathe.  But when the periods extend to ten seconds, this can be a serious problem.  Many individuals tend to put themselves on an incline to create positive pressure, like C-pap which is available as a machine.  Individuals paradoxically present as experiencing daytime sleepiness or fatigue and also at night they can be difficult to arouse between the apneic episodes because they are either tired or retaining CO2.

Typically, treatments are non-sedating antide- pressants like Vivactil, Prozac and Wellbutrin.  Medroxy, or natural, progesterone, has also been thought to be helpful.  Sleep apnea is a brain electrical activity imbalance and really not a disease but another presentation of brain irregularities.  More than 9 percent of men stop breathing at least 15 times per hour during a night's sleep.  Because they are seldom fully awake, the only clue comes from a bed partner whose own rest is disturbed by the breathing fits and starts.  Apnea can contribute to car and job accidents and may be a factor in stroke and heart attack.

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