Sleep Apnea: An Aging Accelerator

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Sleep apnea accelerates aging

Nearly 30 million adults in the United States experience disturbances in their sleep cycles as a direct result of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition marked by pauses in breathing during sleep. With many cases remaining undiagnosed and untreated, this sleep disorder poses a major threat to the overall health of affected individuals – including causing their cells to age more rapidly.

While sleep apnea tends to target older adults, men, postmenopausal women, and those who smoke or struggle with obesity, it does not discriminate and manages to affect a wide range of individuals.  A variety of factors, including lifestyle and environment, determine the risk of developing sleep apnea. Additionally, research links sleep apnea to a number of health complications within a multitude of individuals such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression. Snoring, sometimes accompanied by choking sounds or pauses in breathing, as well as symptoms of sleep deprivation during the day signal that sleep apnea may be impeding on not only your rest but also your overall health. New research indicates that the myriad of disruptive symptoms related to untreated sleep apnea may now include accelerated cell aging, especially in women.

The Connection Between Aging and Sleep Apnea

In 2019 Harvard University conducted a study investigating the relationship between epigenetic age acceleration (early aging of DNA within the cells) and sleep-disordered breathing among 622 adults. The research consisted of polysomnography (a sleep study) and “DNA methylation [in which] a marker for epigenetic age acceleration was measured in blood samples.”

The study concludes that severe sleep-disordered breathing correlates with early aging of DNA within cells. Further, the results found that out of all sleep-related conditions causing airway blockage in the throat, the number of obstructive sleep apnea cases outnumbered all other chronic sleep disorder occurrences. This comes as especially unfavorable news for women, who demonstrated stronger associations between their sleep disorders and epigenetic age accelerations than their male counterparts, despite typically exhibiting lower sleep disorder related health risks.

According to the lead author of the study, the correct treatment of conditions like sleep apnea can not only help improve health and decrease the risk of developing other serious health conditions, but can also reverse the consequences of epigenetic age acceleration. The sooner that individuals receive a sleep apnea diagnosis, the sooner they can begin combating the wide range of health issues, including premature aging, that accompany obstructive sleep apnea. 

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Multiple variations of sleep apnea wreak havoc on sleep cycles, the most common of which is obstructive sleep apnea. Individuals who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea experience episodes

You’re Invited! Join Me for Project Sleep’s New Year’s Celebration

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Tune in this Saturday, Dec. 28th, 2019 at 12:00 noon ET for a very special  New Year’s Facebook LIVE—celebrating your amazing 2019 and looking ahead with a sneak peek of 2020! On behalf of Project Sleep’s leadership, I will broadcast live from Los Angeles to Project Sleep’s Facebook page this Saturday, Dec. 28th at 12noon ET.

You have accomplished SO much through Project Sleep’s awareness and advocacy programs this year. We can’t wait to share the story of your collective impact back to you because it’s a tremendous story of courage, hard work and making a difference!

To watch live, go to Project Sleep’s Facebook Page ( at 12:00 noon ET on Sat. 12/28. The live video will show up in our newsfeed shortly after 12noon ET.

Please spread the word to anyone interested. Happy Holidays, friends!

from Blog – Julie Flygare…

7 Unexpected Reasons for Your Anxiety [Podcast 81]

Originally at: Stressed anxious woman

During this holiday season, are you anxious or stressed? Please join Kathy and me as we reveal 7 Unexpected Reasons for Your Anxiety.

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  1. Sleep deprivation for any reason (quantity or quality)
  2. Food as stimulants (artificial sweeteners, caffeine, aspartame, MSG, etc.)
  3. Weather changes
  4. Lack of sunlight
  5. Normal hormonal fluctuations
  6. Media overconsumption/addiction, and over-scheduling
  7. Poor nasal breathing.


Sleep Interrupted: A physician reveals the #1 reason why so many of us are sick and tired 

Aspartame and sugar cravings in mice

Artificial sweeteners and weight gain

5 Ways to Sleep Better and Lose Weight Using Light podcast

Pro-gest bio-identical progesterone cream

Nitric oxide and increased oxygen uptake in lungs

Relaxing breath: Dr. Andrew Weil

How to unstuff your stuffy nose ebook

The post 7 Unexpected Reasons for Your Anxiety [Podcast 81] appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

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How to Get Your Whole Family Sleeping Better – Part 2 [Podcast 80]

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Please join me as we continue our important discussion on how you can get your entire family sleeping better. Whether you have young children or are single, young or old, the concepts presented will significantly increase your chances of feeling better, thinking clearer, and have a much calmer and controlled household.

Listen to this podcast to find out how you have a chance to receive for free the audio version of my book, Sleep Interrupted (worth $15).

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Show Notes:

7 year olds with lack of sleep   more problems with reasoning, emotional control and behavior problems.

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise. Original 10,000 hours study

Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems by Dr. Richard Ferber

12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson

Essential Oils link (Kathy gets a small commission)

Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar—Your Brain’s Silent Killers

Sleep Interrupted: A physician reveals the #1 reason why so many of us are sick and tired

Branch Basics natural cleaning formula blog post with discount code (Kathy gets a small commission).

Appliance therapy options podcasts (Homeoblock, ALF, DNA, Mandibular Advancement Devices


  1. Limit screen time
  2. Do inventory of light exposure
  3. Address possible sleep apnea
  4. Uncluttered, pleasing, calming bedroom
  5. Dust/allergy-free bedroom
  6. Consider essential oils
  7. Regular scheduled rest
  8. Don’t over-schedule your activities
  9. Schedule free time regularly
  10. Eat healthy meals and snacks
  11. Eat meals together as a family
  12. Consider vitamins and supplements
  13. Toxin-free living (chlorine filter, fluoride filter, cleaning supplies, personal care products, natural materials, etc.)
  14. See a professional (ENT, sleep, dentist, allergist, acupuncturist, myofunctional therapist, naturopath)
  15. Weight loss

The post How to Get Your Whole Family Sleeping Better – Part 2 [Podcast 80] appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

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“I will change how I treat my patients because of your talk.”

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Last month, I gave one of my favorite presentations at the 10th Biennial Pediatric Sleep Medicine Conference hosted by my alma mater, Brown University.

My “TED-style talk” had two key messages:

  1. Prescribing social support to people with narcolepsy,
  2. Partnering with patients, patient leaders and organizations to develop patient-centered research toward recognizing and addressing stigma.

I’d spent months preparing for this speech. Having only 18 minutes, every second mattered. I practiced and revised and revised more. Arriving at the conference, the room was much bigger than I’d expected, between 200-300 pediatric sleep researchers, doctors and technicians in the audience. 

Once on stage, I didn’t get through my material perfectly, but I hit the emotional arch I wanted and I articulated my first key messages in new ways that I believe resonated strongly.

The response was tremendous, people stopped me all weekend to thank me, even as I loaded my suitcases into my lyft the next day, a doctor approached me to say that she is going to change how she treats her patients because of my talk. Wow!

Also kinda funny, I overheard two doctors talking about me in the hallway (really nice things), and I had to awkwardly be like “Oh, um hi! I’m right behind you.”

To me, speaking is an art form and I’ve fallen in love with it, and I can’t wait to continue developing this talk and sharing these messages in more places.

From there, I traveled to Washington, D.C. for Project Sleep’s Congressional Briefing and Hill Day co-hosted with the Sleep Research Society (SRS). I felt ready for this advocacy day and the activities went super well.  I believe we are doing unique and important work advocating specifically for sleep health and sleep disorders research and awareness. Read the full re-cap on Project Sleep’s blog.

While in DC, I got to meet some very special people, including Project Sleep’s newest Board Member, Anne Taylor and Project Sleep’s 2017 Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship recipient, Cassandra Stewart. I also had some important meetings that will likely mean exciting things for Project Sleep in the years to come. I can’t wait to share more, all in good time.

I know this might seem strange, but I truly feel like I’m becoming a new and better version of myself. This aura of calm confidence washed over this past month and I feel like I am operating from a higher place within me. (I cannot describe this perfectly but that’s my best try.)

I cannot thank each of you enough for your support along this path. I hope I can continue to make you proud and elevate our voices …

Is Your Morning Headache a Sign of Sleep Apnea?

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Headache in bedYou wake up, and then immediately you notice the unpleasant pain in your head. Does this happen to you every morning? If so, it might be a sign of a sleep disorder. In particular, chronic headaches might be a sign that you have sleep apnea – a disorder that could lead to far worse problems if left alone. Read on to learn why those migraines might be warning you that you aren’t enjoying quality rest.

What is Sleep Apnea?

If you experience frequent pauses in your breathing while you’re asleep, you have sleep apnea. These pauses are usually due to the airway becoming blocked somehow, which can happen hundreds of times during the night. People with sleep apnea keep waking up when their breathing is interrupted; as a result, they often feel tired during the day even if they think they got a full night’s sleep.

How Does Sleep Apnea Cause Headaches?

When your breathing stops, your brain receives less oxygen. This causes the blood vessels in your head to widen, triggering vascular headaches. Sleep apnea-related headaches usually don’t last very long, but they can occur frequently. In general, more severe sleep apnea will result in more painful headaches.

What Other Effects Does Sleep Apnea Have?

You should especially consider morning headaches to be a potential symptom of sleep apnea if you also notice:

  • Loud snoring or interruptions in breathing during the night (which someone else would likely tell you about)
  • A lack of energy during the day
  • High blood pressure
  • A sudden increase of weight
  • Irritability, depression or mood swings

How Can You Treat Headaches Caused by Sleep Apnea?

Typically, treating your sleep apnea will also stop any recurring headaches that it’s causing. In many cases, you can improve your symptoms with an oral appliance. When worn at night, an oral appliance can adjust your tongue and/or jaw so that the airway remains open while you’re asleep. There are numerous different kinds of appliances you can get depending on your needs; for example, some are designed for patients with smaller mouths, while others can accommodate for orthodontic work.

There are also some changes you can make at home that make it easier to overcome sleep apnea. For instance, sleeping on your side (instead of on your back) can prevent tissues in your mouth in throat from collapsing and blocking your airway. Some patients benefit from using a humidifier; adding moisture to the air can sometimes encourage clearer breathing.

It’s important to stick to your sleep apnea treatment once you’ve begun; the disorder tends to worsen over time, and the symptoms associated with it also become …

6 Best CPAP Masks For Side Sleepers

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People sleep in many different positions and sleep apnea tolerant individuals often “toss and turn” during their sleep as they find it difficult to take breaths in one definite position. Most sleep apnea patients are side sleepers and the CPAP masks we will cover should help you sleep properly in that position. Broad varieties of […]

The post 6 Best CPAP Masks For Side Sleepers appeared first on Snooze EZ.

from Snooze EZ…

How Forks and Knives Can Cause Crooked Teeth

Originally at: Cut up meat on a fork

I’m almost done reading a fascinating book called, Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat, by Bee Wilson.

Wilson-Consider The Fork

There’s an interesting section on development of cutting tools for preparing meals over the past few centuries. The author goes into great detail about the social, economic, political and technological factors that made cutlery more accessible to the well-off and the aristocracy.

What caught my attention was her mentioning of scholarly work in the anthropology literature proposing that up until only recently did modern humans have a natural overbite, where the upper front incisors rest in front of the lower incisors. Normally, humans’ incisors lined up edge-to-edge. She cites the work of Dr. C. Loring Brace, a biological anthropologist from the University of Michigan who proposed that how we prepared our meals was just as important as what we ate when it comes to the way our teeth formed and are positioned.

Over the years, Brace built up a large database of human teeth. The prevailing theory during his time was that our overbite was the result of the adoption of grains many thousands of years ago, which requires less chewing. However, he discovered that the modern overbite is a relatively recent finding. In Western Europe, Brace found that the change from edge-to-edge to overbite status occurred in the late 18th century, mostly in wealthy people. This was around the time when the well-to-do had access to forks and knives to pre-cut meat before eating.

The poor were using their teeth to clench and rip, tear or cut the meat off the bones. Brace showed that this conversion to an overbite took longer to take hold in the American Colonies when he excavated a grave from a 19th-century insane asylum, prison and work house. He found that 10 out of 15 still had edge-to-edge bites. 

Wilson also writes that in China, meat was usually cut up using the multipurpose tou Chinese cleaver before serving to the aristocracy. Pre-chopped foods facilitated eating with chopsticks and was commonplace about 900 years before the knife and fork were used in Europe. Brace found the pickled remains of a young Chinese aristocrat who was found to have an overbite, around the time that chopsticks began to appear. As a result, it is estimated that the overbite was found in China 800 to 1000 years before Europe.

However, Brace found that some peasants still had edge-to-edge bites well into the 20th century. One of Brace’s articles mentions Dr.  Weston Price in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, who documented changes in occlusion within one generation in …

How to Get Your Whole Family Sleeping Better – Part 1 [Podcast 79]

Originally at: sleeping children

In this episode, Kathy and I will discuss an extremely important topic, which is how you can get your entire family sleeping much better. If you or your child has a sleep problem, it becomes the entire family’s sleep problem. Even if you are single, this information is too important to miss.

We will talk about:

  • The concept of sleep debt, something you don’t want to default on (leading to illnesses)
  • The optimal number of hours of sleep for various age groups
  • How, what, why, when, and with whom we should eat 
  • Basic good sleep habits that are essential for optimal health
  • How you can sleep like no one else.

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Show Notes:

Delayed sleep phase syndrome

Harvard Health article on sleep debt

How our faces are shrinking podcast 

The post How to Get Your Whole Family Sleeping Better – Part 1 [Podcast 79] appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

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Sleep Talk: Episode 49 – Social Time

Originally at:

Episode 49: Social Time

What is social time and what happens when it is out of sync with sun time and our own internal time? Daylight saving time is an example of social time, that can have significant consequences on health. We discuss social time and daylight saving time with Prof Till Roenneberg, researcher and author, who has a long research career in sleep and biological rhythms.

Dr Moira Junge (Health Psychologist) and Dr David Cunnington (Sleep Physician) host the monthly podcast, Sleep Talk – Talking all things sleep.

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Audio Timeline / Chapters:

  • 00:00 – 02:27 Introduction
  • 02:27 – 24:52 Theme – Social Time
  • 24:52 – 25:49 Clinical Tip
  • 25:49 – 28:15 Pick of the Month
  • 28:15 – 29:15 What’s Coming Up?

Next episode: Sleeping in the Heat

Links mentioned in the podcast: 


Guest interviews:

Prof Till Roenneberg started to work on biological rhythms with Jürgen Aschoff at the age of 17. He studied Biology and Neuroscience in Munich and at the University College, London, and worked for several years at Harvard University. He studies the human clock and sleep both in the laboratory and the real world and is currently putting together the Human Sleep Project, a research network that aims to understand sleep by measuring activity and other variables with simple devices in thousands of people outside of laboratories. He has received several international research and teaching prizes, has created and coordinated many international research networks, and worked in close collaboration with industry for many years. His is currently President of the European Society for Rhythms Research, EBRS, President of the World Federation of Societies for Chronobiology, WFSC. He has published over a 170 papers and a book (“Internal Time” Harvard University Press, 2012).

Regular hosts:

Dr Moira JungeDr Moira Junge is a health psychologist working in the sleep field, who has considerable experience working with people with sleeping difficulties in a multidisciplinary practice using a team-based approach. Moira is actively involved with the Australasian Sleep Association (ASA) and a board member of the Sleep Health Foundation. She has presented numerous workshops for psychologists and is involved with Monash University with teaching