Modafinil is a well known drug used in the treatment of several sleeping disorders, one of which is the condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. In simple terms obstructive sleep apnea is a condition affecting the ability of a person to breathe, in which the throat narrows or closes during sleep. This prevents an adequate supply of air from reaching the lungs, thereby lowering oxygen levels in the blood. The low oxygen levels in the blood then cause the brain to activate a self-preservation mechanism to wake up the OSA sufferer.
The effects of obstructive sleep apnea
The above description of obstructive sleep apnea does need some further explanation as to why a safe drug like Modafinil might be required to treat the condition. The problem is that an effect of the respiratory system becoming blocked by this condition is that, prior to the brain waking up the sufferer – breathing can cease. Whilst a physician wouldn’t be too concerned if the cessation of breathing lasted less than 10 seconds, anything more could have serious consequences – hence the prescription of a drug like Modafinil against sleeping disorders. Another factor is the frequency of the episodes of cessation of breathing, even if the breathing stops for less than 10 second, if it repeats in a cycle more than ten times an hour, then an analeptic drug like Modafinil (Provigil) or Armodafinil (Nuvigil) may well be needed. Episodes of sleep apnea are very rare during hours of wakefulness as our muscles are ‘in tone’ to keep the airway open. However, during sleep our muscle tone relaxes – creating the problem. To wake you up the brain usually instigates a loud snore or ‘snort’, stiffening the muscles in the respiratory system, to get you breathing again.
Recognizing obstructive sleep apnea
Symptoms of sleep apnea
There are some symptoms for you to watch out for in terms of being able to tell yourself if you have obstructive sleep apnea. However, if you sleep with someone else or have other people in nearby bedrooms – then listen out for comments from them about you occasionally/suddenly snoring or snorting very loudly when you’re asleep. Sleep apnea sufferers can often also exhibit the signs of having an excessive desire to sleep during the day, often accompanied by symptoms of restlessness, fatigue and irritability. In extreme cases the instances of feeling fatigue and excessively sleepy during the day can be associated with other sleeping disorders such as narcolepsy, when you could literally fall asleep whilst driving, working or just talking to someone else. Other symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include: morning headaches, forgetfulness, mood swings, behavioral changes, anxiety, depression and a loss of libido. Of course having any, or indeed all, of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have sleep apnes or should be taking Provigil or another brand of Modafinil to treat it. However, you would be well recommended to visit your doctor and seek an expert medical diagnosis.
The occurrence of obstructive sleep apnea
In varying degrees, bearing in mind that could mean merely very loud snoring, obstructive sleep apnea affects up to 4% of the male and 2% or the female population. It is mainly associated within the age profile of 30 to 60 year olds, and generally its incidence rises with age. As previously commented OSA occurs to varying degrees and some sufferers may not even be aware that they have OSA or could benefit from a treatment with Provigil or another Modafinil brand. Whilst quitting smoking and drinking no more than moderate amounts of alcohol are recommended to promote general good health, smokers and heavy drinkers should consider their lifestyle if diagnosed with OSA. Being obese, indeed even just being overweight, can lead to and exasperate OSA, and so regular exercise and a healthy diet are also needed to combat this illness.
Central sleep apnea
There are other sleeping disorders related to OSA but only one is worth mentioning here. Central sleep apnea, CSA, is a much more serious condition than OSA. In CSA the brain itself forgets to send the ‘wake up’ signal to start you breathing again; requiring continuous positive airway pressure treatment, to keep the airways open and working as well an analeptic drug such as Modafinil.