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Coronavirus & Sleep Apnoea

coronavirus COVID-19

Coronavirus & Sleep Apnoea

 Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay.
As Covid-19 (Coronavirus) continues to spread across countless geographic borders, the toll upon our society is become clear. However, the good news is that this virus will eventually run its course. 

Those who are already suffering from sleep apnoea need to take this situation very seriously. Why is this the case?

We are all aware of the restorative power of sleep. Sleep helps us to repair our bodies. It heals muscles, allows us to absorb vital nutrients and provides us with a sense of mental clarity throughout the day. However, one of the most important benefits of obtaining a sound night of sleep involves the immune system. 

Those who obtain fewer than six hours of sleep on a nightly basis were up to four times as likely to catch a common cold.  When we then take into account how quickly this new virus spreads as well as its mortality rates, it becomes clear why sleep is so vital. 

Even if you did catch this illness, the ability to obtain a sound night’s sleep would dramatically increase your chances of making a full recovery within a short period of time. 

Of course, it would be irresponsible to claim that sleep alone will be able to stop coronavirus in its tracks. The fact of the matter is that there are numerous other practices which should now be embraced on a daily basis. 

What Steps Can You Take?

Practicality and prudence will go a long way in this day and age. The good news is that the majority of steps which can be taken are relatively straightforward (albeit slightly inconvenient). 

While many of these suggestions have been highlighted over the past few weeks throughout numerous news outlets, they are so important that each is worth mentioning again:

Avoid touching your face.

Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds.

You can also use a hand sanitising solution when appropriate.

Try not to touch any surfaces while out and about.

When possible, work from home.

Avoid large groups (such as those within a bus or train) whenever possible.

Abstain from common greetings such as handshakes and hugs.

Social distancing is one of the most important recommendations, as the ultimate goal is to stop the spread of coronavirus. This will provide the medical community with the necessary “breathing room” to accommodate those who have more serious infections. Maintain a space of at least two metres from others while out in public.

If you suspect that you may have this virus, seek the advice of a medical professional and if necessary, self-isolate for 14 days. However, it is always better to speak with a physician to determine what other steps you might have to take. 

The Importance of Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

As of yet there is no vaccine available for COVID-19, making preventative measures incredibly important to reduce its spread. For those with sleep apnea it can be an especially worrying time as their vulnerability increases. 

Do You Have Sleep Apnoea?

The 85% of people who suffer with OSA without realizing it will also be at an increased risk from the worse outcomes from coronavirus. 

Symptoms of sleep apnoea include heavy snoring, frequent interruptions to sleep, fatigue, morning headaches and increased irritability. It is a disorder which can be managed once diagnosed. A safe and simple in-home test will let you know whether this is what is causing your sleep deprivation. You can then get the treatment you need — to get the restorative sleep your body requires to stay healthy.

Stay Safe & Be Proactive

As the expression goes, this too shall pass. However, we are living in very changeable times and those who already suffer from OSA will have to be particularly careful in order to ensure their health. 

To order the Intus At-Home Sleep Test: https://www.sleeptest.co.uk/product/in-home-sleep-test/

To shop for the highest-quality selection of CPAP devices: https://www.cpap.co.uk/shop.html


About author: Helen Clarkson is a Sleep Specialist at Baywater Healthcare. Ms. Clarkson has worked with Baywater since 2008, working closely with patients in delivering sleep/bi-level services including sleep and respiratory, both in the home and clinic setting. This includes therapy initiation and troubleshooting support. Ms. Clarkson is responsible for delivering the Baywater Healthcare patient adherence management programme to ensure continuing patient therapy compliance. works in conjunction with NHS clinicians and procurement to deliver excellence in home and clinic-based services. She provides training on all aspects of sleep including devices and interfaces. Previously, Ms. Clarkson served as Respiratory Physiologist at Pontefract General Infirmary. Her position was Senior MTO for lung function/sleep department, and she was responsible for performing simple and complex sleep studies, sleep study analysis, CPAP initiation, therapy adherence and troubleshooting/service clinics, spirometry, lung volumes and transfer factor, reversibility, CPET, hyperventilation testing, EIA testing, skin prick testing, 6 min walk tests. She has also held roles as Respiratory Physiologist and Respiratory Technician, working closely with patients with respiratory disorders -- including ex-miners. Ms. Clarkson has a BSc (Honors) in Applied biology from University of Staffordshire. She also studied Developments in Sleep Medicine (advanced course) at St. Thomas’ Hospital, and took the Edinburgh Sleep Medicine course. She completed the BSS: Advanced sleep course and the ARTP NIV Course.

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