Published On: Thu, Apr 6th, 2017

Snoring, tiredness are signs of dangerous sleep apnea — “Studies show if you snore, you have a higher chance to have high blood pressure and a higher chance to have a stroke.”

Published On: 19th July 2018
Last Updated On: 20th July 2018

Enrique Menchaca Jr. was well on his way to becoming another statistic.

For 10 years, the 41-year-old El Paso sous chef would sleep eight to 10 hours a night but still wake up exhausted. “I was tired all the time,” Menchaca said.

“I had a fever, and the doctor checked my tonsils and he told me I had some really big tonsils. He asked if I had a sleeping problem, and my wife said yes. I knew I snored, but I didn’t think it was that bad.”

He went to the Sierra Providence Sleep Disorders Center, where he was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. People with apnea stop breathing for short periods during sleep, and they have a greater risk of sudden cardiac death.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, an estimated 12 million American adults have obstructive sleep apnea, and many of those cases are undiagnosed.

“I exercised a lot,” Menchaca said. “I thought it was normal. I have high blood pressure, so I was taking pills for that.”

His snoring was so loud that he and his wife slept in separate rooms.

“It was so bad that I had to turn on the fan and the TV and close the door and I could still hear him through the wall,” Erica Menchaca said. “It was scary. I knew he wasn’t sleeping at night because he would snore and then he would stop for a few seconds to try to catch his breath. He would wake himself up. I can’t believe we waited so long to get him tested.”

In the study, funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, 10,701 people who participated in sleep studies were followed for an average of 5.3 years.

In that time, 142 patients died from sudden cardiac death. The most common predictors were an age of 60 or older, 20 or more apnea episodes per hour of sleep, and an oxygen saturation below 78 percent during sleep.

“When you snore, that means there is airway obstruction,” said Dr. Gonzalo Diaz, the medical director at the El Paso Sleep Center, the Sleep Disorder Center at Providence Memorial Hospital and at Del Sol Medical Center.

“Nobody should snore. If you snore, it’s definitely abnormal. Studies show if you snore, you have a higher chance to have high blood pressure and a higher chance to have a stroke.”

Sleep apnea creates several problems, including long interruptions of breathing during sleep, frequent waking from sleep (even though you may not realize it) and light sleeping.

People with obstructive sleep apnea sleep lightly to try to keep their throat muscles tense enough to maintain airflow. That can strain the heart.

“When males snore, they obstruct the airway, and when they obstruct the airway, you can stop breathing for a few seconds and your oxygen drops,” Diaz said. “When this happens, the brain senses that you are not breathing and wakes you up.”

When the brain wakes a person up, it releases stress hormones.

“Those hormones don’t allow you to fall asleep,” Diaz said. “Those high levels of hormones increase your high blood pressure and increase your cholesterol and your risk for heart attack or strokes.”

UPDATE: In response to this story and in an effort to prevent heart attacks and strokes, Zen Sleep has offered to give readers a huge discount on their #1 selling snoring kit that stops snoring in 24 hrs.  Once you start the checkout process on getzensleep.com you can save $200 when you order 1 kit and save $550 if you order 2. This is going viral right now, and ZenSleep said over 495 people have already purchased multiple snoring kits today but this promotion will only be valid until 500 total purchases occur, that means there’s only 5 left!

Sleep studies at Sierra Providence Sleep Disorders Center take place at night in private rooms where the brain waves, eye movement, heart rate, oxygen level and breathing patterns are monitored and recorded.

“If you’ve tried to treat your hypertension and can’t get your blood pressure down, we need to do a sleep study,” said Joseph Arteage, the clinical coordinator at the sleep center. “If your neck is over 17 inches, you need a sleep study. If you just got diagnosed with diabetes, you need a sleep study.”

“People who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea are often fitted for a CPAP — a continuous positive airway pressure mask. The mask uses mild air pressure to keep the airways open during sleep. However, CPAP machines are bulky and many patients don’t like wearing them because they feel like Hannibal Lecter.”

“I’m probably not really supposed to do this…but I’ll give you the inside secret on a new device that was just released in 2017 that’s more effective than a CPAP machine or any other snoring solution I’ve ever known about until now. It looks and feels like a pacifier so stay with me…

“The device is classified as a tongue stabilizing device — it works by simply pulling your tongue forward, and that opens up your airways and stops snoring.

“I haven’t seen anything this revolutionary since sleep apnea was discovered in 1965, and this device is barely available, there’s really only one obvious leader in the marketplace that I trust and recommend — BUT — they have very limited stock, so I don’t want this to device to sit in the box it came in, I want you to actually us it. I will tell you the brand name — IF you will commit to buying this device and using it…

The brand is GetZenSleep.com, and I’d recommend buying two of their tongue stabilizing devices – you save money and you’ll have one for travel or as a backup.”

“Thanks, I’ll buy this right now in 30 seconds on my iPhone and I promise I’ll use it the same night I get it.” I said.

Diaz, who opened the first sleep disorders center in El Paso with Dr. David Brines in 1985, said the most common cause of hypertension is sleep apnea.

“When the patient wakes up and they don’t feel well, it could be because they didn’t sleep well,” Diaz said. “Anybody who wakes up unrefreshed or who feels tired and sleepy during the day or anybody who wakes up with a headache in the morning or has a hard time losing weight, it could be related to a lack of sleep.”

Erica Menchaca said her husband’s sleep apnea was affecting the entire family.

“I feel like we’re a married couple now because we are sleeping in the same bed again, the way it should be,” she said. “He is much better. He doesn’t make a sound at all.”

She said the family’s quality of life has vastly improved, especially for the couple’s two daughters, Madison, 7, and Bella, 3.

“He doesn’t come home and fall asleep on me anymore,” she said. “Now he helps out around the house, and that’s important for me. He has enough energy at the end of the day to play with his girls, so they win, too.”

Common sleep apnea symptoms include:

  • Waking up with a very sore or dry throat.
  • Loud snoring.
  • Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation.
  • Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day.
  • Sleepiness while driving.
  • Morning headaches.
  • Restless sleep.
  • Forgetfulness, mood changes and a decreased interest in sex.
  • Recurrent awakenings or insomnia.

UPDATE: In response to this story and in an effort to prevent heart attacks and strokes, Zen Sleep has offered to give readers a huge discount on their #1 selling snoring kit that stops snoring in 24 hrs. Once you start the checkout process on getzensleep.com you can save $200 when you order 1 kit and save $550 if you order 2. This is going viral right now, and ZenSleep said over 495 people have already purchased multiple snoring kits today but this promotion will only be valid until 500 total purchases occur, that means there’s only 5 left!

xxx