Posts Tagged ‘sleep apnea equipment’

The Biggest Loser’s Becky loves her husband…and his CPAP machine

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
written by Becky Comet, Contestant on Biggest Loser season 12
Hi, my name is Becky and I’m one of the Biggest Loser Season 12 contestants that do not need sleep apnea equipment. However, my wonderful husband, JC does have sleep apnea.
Some years ago, JC snored unmercifully loud. There were nights that I would have to leave the room to sleep on the couch in the middle of the night. I used to try my best to get to sleep before him just so I could get some rest.
Beyond the snoring, though, there were times that I noticed that he would stop breathing while he was asleep. It got to the point that I couldn’t sleep because I had to make sure that he was breathing.
Additionally he was tired all the time and would fall asleep anytime he sat still for even a few minutes- including while he was driving.
A very close friend who also has sleep apnea suggested that JC have a sleep study done. He finally gave in and had the study.
Low and behold, he was diagnosed with a serious case of sleep apnea and was given a CPAP machine.
Wow! What a difference in both of our lives. JC sleeps and actually gets his needed rest. He feels better and has more energy. I also now get a full nights rest, finally.
 No more couch nights for me. When JC puts on his mask and turns on his machine. That quiet whirring sound of the air is my body’s signal to relax and go to sleep. I love my husband’s CPAP machine.
See what Becky''s favorites from last season, Olivia and Hannah, have to say about "Pappy" in Part 2 of their video interview:
My message is that if someone you love snores and/or stops breathing at all when they sleep please encourage them to have a sleep study. You could be saving that person you love’s life.
I’m so glad JC uses his CPAP machine every night because I look forward to a long healthy life with him.
Looking for Personalized advice on your sleep apnea condition?  Learn how to qualify and sleep better for less! Click here -–> "I Want More Info"
"Nationwide Medical and Philips Respironics are sponsors of The Biggest Loser."

"NBC and The Biggest Loser do not endorse the facts, advice or recommendations included in this website."

The Biggest Loser, Antoine, “I don’t have sleep apnea (so I thought)”

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

written by Antone Davis, Contestant on Biggest Loser season 12

I have friends that use the CPAP and at different times in the past, those friends highly recommended I get tested and get some sleep apnea equipment.

I was always reluctant because:

#1  I don’t want to lay in my bed, next to my wife, looking like Darth Vader

#2  I don’t have sleep apnea (so I thought)

I love to sleep and when I can, I sleep in late with no problems.  I just thought I was only tired because I have a hectic schedule and work long hours.

Not to mention the thought of a sleep study,  who wants to go somewhere where they watch you sleep?  Creepy!

When I made it to the finals for The Biggest Loser, one of our meetings was with Pam (from Philips Respironics) and Dody (from Nationwide Medical, Inc.) and I thought I would just go to the meeting to make them happy.

I would not speak up and it would be over soon.  I did figure that if I was going to sit in on the meeting, I would at least have an open mind about it and let them make their pitch.

Once I listened to them and realized what I was hearing, my ears perked up.  I was actually floored by the number of times I woke up during my sleep.  Actually – I was shocked!

Once you hear the numbers and understand what it means, its no wonder we get sluggish during the day.  Still, after hearing the numbers, I was not convinced that I wanted to wear a mask every night to bed.

This is where Dody and I became best friends.  Dody and Pam fit me with several masks until I had one that was non intrusive and very comfortable. 

See what Antoine's favorites from last season, Olivia and Hannah, have to say about "Pappy":

I was afraid I would wake up in the middle of the night and feel like I was being smothered but the mask is so comfortable and the machine works so well, I didn’t even wake up until the next morning. 

When I did wake up, I was so fresh, coherent and rested that I knew I had the mask on all night and it was no problem.

One thing you need at The Biggest Loser ranch is rest and sleep to recover from all the grueling workouts.  The CPAP became my secret weapon to recovery, along with all the other tools, so I could consistently have significant weight loss every week at the Ranch. 

Most of the contestants at the ranch used their CPAP and loved it.  Some people struggled and didn’t try as hard to get used to it. The most important thing to remember is to keep an open mind.

Get tested, Get fitted, Get rest


Looking for Personalized advice on your sleep apnea condition?  Learn how to qualify and sleep better for less! Click here -–> "I Want More Info"


"Nationwide Medical and Philips Respironics are sponsors of The Biggest Loser."

"NBC and The Biggest Loser do not endorse the facts, advice or recommendations included in this website."

CPAP machines also impact The Biggest Loser’s family members

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
written by Lori Andrews, wife of Ken Andrews, Contestant on Biggest Loser season 11   
I always snored – I snored as a little kid, as a teenager, as an adult.  I thought that some people just snored or that my nostrils were just small, or that I had a deviated septum. 

 I never put all the pieces together that somehow my snoring was related to being tired all the time, or that my exhaustion was somehow related to my weight problem – I just labeled myself as lazy and low energy, and didn’t do anything about it.

Years after my husband had been diagnosed with sleep apnea I finally took the steps to talk with my primary doctor about my sleep. 

I was doubtful that I had sleep apnea.  After all, I had never fallen asleep at the wheel, or dozed during a conversation. 

 It didn’t hit me that there could be different ways that sleep apnea affected people.  I just was tired of my husband poking me during the night to get me to stop snoring.

After the testing and finding out that I had sleep apnea, I started using a sleep apnea machine.  I noticed a difference, but I still snored most nights. 

A few years went by and I asked for my sleep test to be updated but the doctors felt that everything was fine.  I was frustrated, still tired most days, and still snoring most nights.

 It was an experience with Nationwide Medical, Inc. and Philips Respironics that changed my experience with using my sleep apnea equipment.  Using the newer CPAP machines has made a HUGE difference in my sleep. 

Having a machine that adjusts to my breathing needs, one where the air pressure changes as my needs change – giving me more air to keep my airways open, or less air as needed – has made such a big difference in my quality of life during the day. 
No more snoring, and MUCH more energy is a great combination! 

Thank you so much to the CPAP team at Biggest Loser for helping me see that there is a better way to sleep! And THANK YOU again (Dody and Pam) for working with me – what a huge difference! 
"Nationwide Medical and Philips Respironics are sponsors of The Biggest Loser."
(CPAP machines and follow-up care are donated to the contestants)

"NBC and The Biggest Loser do not endorse the facts, advice or recommendations included in this website."
Looking for Personalized advice on your sleep apnea condition?  Learn how to qualify and sleep better for less! Click here -–> "I Want More Info"

For The Biggest Loser’s Ken Andrews, CPAP machines are a family affair

Thursday, April 21st, 2011
  written by Ken Andrews, Contestant on Biggest Loser season 11      
People ask me how I knew I had sleep apnea.  The truth is that I did NOT know.  You would think it would have been obvious –
I would fall asleep in the middle of conversations; I would snooze every time my wife was driving.  My sleep problem became painfully obvious when I was making pastoral visits and found myself falling asleep while talking.  
Me – the young 20-something pastor, asleep on someone's couch!  It really hit home when I had a car accident because I fell asleep in the middle of the afternoon.  
You can imagine how much this affected me, but believe it or not I still did not understand what sleep apnea was or how I could have it. 
It was several years later that I was finally diagnosed.  I still vividly remember the feeling the morning after I was fitted for my sleep apnea equipment – I felt like I was waking up from a fog after a Rip-van-Winkle type sleep.  
Because of my sleep depravity, I found compliance to be easy, but it was after Austin and I were fitted for one of the new CPAP machines by Nationwide Medical, Inc. and Philips Respironics (through The Biggest Loser program) that my sleep became even better.
Austin had struggled greatly after being diagnosed with sleep apnea but never used his sleep apnea equipment – he just couldn’t find a mask that worked for him, and he rarely used his machine until we came to the ranch.  
Believe me – the difference a good machine and follow-up care makes in your sleep was CRUCIAL to our weight loss success.  
Don’t be afraid to try something new – your body will thank you!
"Nationwide Medical and Philips Respironics are sponsors of The Biggest Loser."
(CPAP machines and follow-up care are donated to the contestants)

"NBC and The Biggest Loser do not endorse the facts, advice or recommendations included in this website."
Looking for Personalized advice on your sleep apnea condition?  Learn how to qualify and sleep better for less! Click here -–> "I Want More Info"

Biggest Loser Hannah loves Olivia’s CPAP (“Pappy”) too!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
written by Hannah Curlee, Contestant on Biggest Loser season 11
  Hello all of you CPAP followers. Well first of all, I have to say, we don't call them CPAP machines! To Olivia and I it's good ole Pappy! I remember our first meeting with the CPAP crew.
When I heard about this sleep apnea equipment I was literally begging for one! I mean a device that puts you to sleep, helps your metabolism, let's you wake up feeling rested AND gives you more energy? Uh hello! That is better than a husband! ;)
 Of course I tested negative for sleep apnea and I was crushed! Olivia tested positive so onto the ranch with Pappy we went.
 Everyone knows by now how much I adore Olivia, BUT I don't adore her snoring. As she will tell you, I am a very light sleeper and snoring keeps me awake and makes me very cranky!
I will admit I am not fun when I am tired so this truly was a miracle. When we got Pappy hooked up and set to Olivia's comfort the therapy started working!
She looked a little weird and we all know I made fun of her but that's a whole other blog!
For starters, I was so worried it would be loud! It was so quiet I could hear myself breathe! How has this machine conquered Olivia's freight train snoring (sorry O-bird, ya know I love ya!)? All of a sudden I was getting better sleep since she was getting better sleep.
She woke up refreshed and ready for our day. I literally couldn't believe it! I wanted to steal it and wear it myself! I was jealous of her deep sleep.
I can't tell you how impressed I was with this machine. I wanted to marry Pappy and live happily ever after! There is NOTHING like a good night's rest especially on the ranch when you are in pain and DEAD tired.
This machine helped Olivia perform in the gym and was able to give her the rest her body and heart so desperately needed. The results of that? A better night's rest for yours truly!

Who knew that Pappy would affect me so much? Well it did and I am so thankful to Nationwide Medical, Inc. and Philips Respironics in Pappyland who made Olivia try this!
It not only helped her sleep apnea; it cured me from a case of the crankies! Rest is so important in weight loss. It's the only time on the ranch our bodies get any recovery and CPAP was the secret weapon!
Pappy literally came in like a ninja and stole the show! I am forever thankful to you Pappy and I will never forget or take for granted our time together!!
Hannah BL-11 Go Purple Team Go!!

Click Here to read Olivia's blog and see part 1 of their video interview !!

Looking for Personalized advice on your sleep apnea condition?  Learn how to qualify and sleep better for less! Click here -–> "I Want More Info"
"Nationwide Medical and Philips Respironics are sponsors of The Biggest Loser."

"NBC and The Biggest Loser do not endorse the facts, advice or recommendations included in this website."

What is the best sleep position and how do sleep apnea devices play a role?

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Everyone has a preferred sleep position, a favorite pillow and a sleep environment they are use to. These factors can contribute to health for better or worse. If you use sleep apnea devices, it is equally important to know how your sleep position may be working for or against you.

Is your bed too firm or too soft? Do you have a good pillow that supports your neck and head the way it should? Misalignment during sleep adds stress and strain to the spine, neck, shoulder, hips and jaw, which can affect how you feel each day. It can also sabotage your ability to relax well enough to fall asleep.

Find out what the experts say about your individual sleep positioning. Take the Dr. Oz Sleep quiz 

Adjusting your sleep posture may be all you need. Pay attention to the following three curves on the body to ensure you are maintaining them in a natural state:

  1. The lower back
  2. The middle of the back
  3. Near the neck

Do you sleep on your back, your stomach, right or left side? Look at the sleep wheel and ask yourself, are you the Freefaller or the Stargazer? Maybe you are a Soldier or the most common of all, the Thinker? 

Sleeping on your back is by far the best sleeping position for your body. It will give your internal organs more space to breath. If you find it difficult to stay on your back, try putting a pillow under your knees. This will keep you on your back and help to maintain the natural curves as outlined above.

This position is ideal for anyone suffering from lower back pain and can prevent hip and spinal problems. If you use CPAP machines or another sleep apnea device, this is also the best position for proper breathing and optimum rest.

The most common sleep position is on the side, or the Thinker. If this is you, it’s important to keep your back as straight as possible, even if your legs are curled up in a fetal position. A pillow between your legs is one good way to keep the back straight and it can also relieve discomfort to the legs. Try to steer toward the right side also, as sleeping on the left side will put pressure on your internal organs including the liver and lungs.

I have bad news for the Freefallers, or stomach sleepers. Experts advise against it, as it puts pressure on the internal organs and diaphragm, which is important for proper breathing. It’s also a good way to ensure you wake up with bad neck kinks and possible headaches.
Sleeping on the stomach prevents the ribcage from fully expanding by trapping it under your bodyweight. This position is only good for those who have specific medical conditions that require it, such as those with disc diseases.

See the top 20 funniest sleep position photos 

It’s up to you to decide which position works best for you so that you can ensure a peaceful and healthy rest each night.

Looking for Personalized advice on your sleep apnea condition?  Learn how to qualify and sleep better for less! Click here -–> "I Want More Info" 

Women and sleep apnea solutions: What you don’t know can hurt you

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Sleep apnea is a potentially life threatening medical condition that affects millions of women, many who are commonly misdiagnosed. Learning to detect the signs is the first step in understanding sleep apnea solutions and how the disorder affects every aspect of life.

Although the disorder is three times more common in men, researchers say obstructive sleep apnea affects up to 4% of women between ages 30-60.

Sleep apnea occurs when breathing stops during sleep for 10 seconds or longer due to an obstruction the airway in the breathing apparatus. This can cause snoring and disruptive sleep patterns that can leave you feeling tired all day.

Over time, sleep deprivation can lead to a decreased performance level in everything you do. It causes fatigue, excessive sleepiness, hormonal imbalance, weight gain, decreased sexual desire, and mood swings, which can also cause work and life relationship issues.

Perhaps the most common symptom of sleep apnea in women is misdiagnosis. If you have any of the following, it might be a good time to seek a sleep apnea evaluation:

  • Anemia
  • Cardiac or pulmonary illnesses
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Fatigue from overwork
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hypertension
  • Hypochondria
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Insomnia
  • Menopausal changes
  • Obesity

Of course women look to doctors for a solution but they often times settle for a simple diagnosis.  All the above noted conditions are very real but they are also symptoms of sleep apnea and prescriptions will only subdue the underlying condition and make it worse over time.  

Quality of life often times stays below par as a series of other symptoms will start to occur as sleep apnea is a progressive condition that sets the stage for weight gain, diabetes, increased risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, the list goes on. Now, who wants that?

It is important as women to understand how prevalent this condition is and how detrimental it can be if it goes untreated. Ask your partner to tell you if you snore. Investigate fatigue. Don’t settle for a simple answer or diagnosis.  Take the Online Risk Assessment Here.

Many doctors are not too informed about sleep apnea and all the common symptoms that are often misdiagnosed. If you exhibit any signs or symptoms of sleep apnea, please be sure to visit your doctor and ask about sleep apnea home testing, or go here for an accredited sleep center in your area. 

Most insurance providers cover a good part of the testing and other medical costs associated with sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.

As women, we deserve to live out our full potential and perform to the best of our abilities. The demands of daily life can take a toll, as so many people count on us. This alone is more than a good reason to ensure you are living a healthy balance and getting a good night’s sleep – every night. 

Looking for Personalized advice on your sleep apnea condition?  Learn how to qualify and sleep better for less! Click here -–> "I Want More Info" 

Olivia’s love affair with her Sleep Apnea Equipment

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
written by Olivia Ward, Contestant on Biggest Loser season 11
Stepping onto The Biggest Loser Ranch, I thought my only problem was I couldn’t fit into a pair of size 6 jeans. I remember in the early days of informational meetings sitting in a sleep apnea awareness meeting and thinking how glad I was that I didn’t have sleep apnea.

 I felt so sorry for all the other contestants that had to sleep every night with their CPAP machines…. that was of course until the end of the meeting when Dody (Nationwide Medical, Inc.) and Pam (Philips Respironics) called out my name, told me I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and gifted me with my very own sleep apnea equipment.

My first thought was “how could I be one of those people who need one of these things? I’m not even THAT fat?”. Um, hello denial…not just a river in Egypt. 

Thus began my love/hate affair with my new boyfriend “Pappy”….aka CPAP machines. Throughout my journey here at the ranch we have definitely fought our way through good times and bad. 

In the beginning I had a really difficult time keeping “Pappy” on at night. I would go to sleep with it on and wake up in the morning and the mask would be on the floor. Ugh. 

Despite my struggle adjusting, my Purple teammate and sister Hannah noticed a difference immediately. She told me that my snoring had stopped and I was sleeping more soundly. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, I too could tell a difference. 

I woke up with more energy and my weight loss continued to be consistent. I can’t lie though it was not without its struggles. I went through many different mask fittings and pressure adjustments before I found the best fit.

 I am so thankful for the continued contact we had with Pam and Dody. I know that had I been given this sleep apnea equipment at home I would have given up after the second night. 

The most important lesson I have learned about the CPAP machines is that it is just like weight loss…. getting it right is not an overnight process. It takes time. At one point I began to struggle with anxiety about putting it on at night.

 I couldn’t figure out why after 2 months of wearing Pappy I was struggling with anxiety. After a call to Dody and Pam, they suggested adjusting the comfort settings on the machine. With a little adjustment I was amazed at how the anxiety began to slip away. 

Before coming to The Biggest Loser, I had no idea how important sleep would be to not just my weight loss, but also my overall health. I don’t know about you, but for me I viewed sleep as a luxury NOT a necessity. 

Now, I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that I would NEVER have been as successful in this competition had I not been given the gift of recuperative sleep. I have been able to workout at a higher intensity for longer periods and as Hannah LOVES to inform me I am overall way less crabby.  


I have been fortunate now that, in my case, I have lost so much weight to not have to use a CPAP machine any longer (I had a sleep screener done before discontinuing CPAP use). *

So, as much as it killed me I had to finally breakup with "Pappy". Hannah was nervous because she thought she was in for more nights of snoring. She was thrilled to death that the snoring never did return. 

As for "Pappy" he has moved onto another lady in need, because that’s what he does best. Through all the highs and lows I will always hold a special place in my new skinny heart for “Pappy”. 
*not everyone who loses weight will qualify to discontinue CPAP. Please consult with your physician and be evaluated for another sleep study before you discontinue use.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks to see Hannah's blog and part 2 of their video interview !!

Looking for Personalized advice on your sleep apnea condition?  Learn how to qualify and sleep better for less! Click here -–> "I Want More Info"

"Nationwide Medical and Philips Respironics are sponsors of The Biggest Loser."

"NBC and The Biggest Loser do not endorse the facts, advice or recommendations included in this website."

Trim off the extra pounds with sleep apnea solutions

Monday, March 28th, 2011

There’s a new diet on the horizon and it’s proven to be effective for helping people lose weight naturally. It’s called good sleep. For some this is easier said than done. Your answer to those extra 20 pounds could be as easy as an in home test, a regulated sleep schedule, or the right sleep apnea solutions.

In fact, research has proved that a good night’s rest increases your chances of losing weight and staying slim. The connection between sleep and weight is obvious. Sleep affects the hormones that tell us when to eat and when to stop eating, the metabolic process and the balance of the body mind. 

When we are sleep deprived, our hormones get out of whack and make us feel hungry when we’re not. Less sleep causes the metabolism to slow down, which in turn causes the body to burn less calories than it takes in. When our systems our out of balance, the body makes up for it by storing the excess energy as fat. Yes I said it. FAT.

The word we don’t like to talk about. Can’t we make it just go away? I wish it was that easy. Sure, everyone knows a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet can lead you down that path, but there might be another culprit enhancing your waist. It’s called Sleep!

So what if I told you that you can lose weight while you sleep? The first step is to be sure you aren’t at risk for sleep apnea. Did you know that sleep patterns actually have a greater influence on long term weight than physical activity and eating habits?

Hormones that are affected by sleep patterns are also the same little buggers that regulate the appetite. Imagine what a few nights of deprivation can do for the waistline? Ok. Maybe add a few pounds here and there. 

Now imagine you have a sleep disorder that goes undiagnosed for 20 years? Obesity. This is the reality of more than 20 million people in America! Most people will go a lifetime being fat and sluggish with no hope. Little do they know it might just be a matter of getting tested for sleep apnea, the most common sleep disorder!

Here are the three secrets to a slim physique that will work for everyone:

  1. Adequate sleep
  2. Proper Nutrition
  3. Physical Activity

Ask any fitness profession and they will attest to this combination as the key ingredients to a happy healthy body. Of course a healthy mind is equally important, so that you can focus on the main goal – happiness and optimum health.

How many times have you woken up late, skipped breakfast, gorged on coffee, energy drinks and sugary snacks to get you through the day. Eat on the run, skip the gym, and stay up watching television and you wonder why you can’t get to sleep at a decent hour!

It’s a vicious cycle, and eventually this type of life will sabotage your waistline and make you FAT. Someone once said sleep debt is like credit card debt. If you keep accumulating it, you’ll end up paying a high interest rate and you’ll have a hard time paying it off. If you accumulate too much sleep debt, your body will suffer in the long run.



Looking for Personalized advice on your sleep apnea condition?  Learn how to qualify and sleep better for less! Click here -–> "I Want More Info" 

CPAP machines – Then and Now

Monday, March 21st, 2011
written by Pam Minkley, RRT, Medical Educator with Philips Respironics
Are you a CPAP machine user or considering being evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea, OSA? You might be surprised to learn OSA is an old disorder that has only been recognized and treated for a relatively short time.
CPAP: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, was first described as a treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in 1981 by Dr. Colin Sullivan in Sydney, Australia. 
In 1985 Respironics Inc. introduced the first commercially available, FDA approved CPAP machines. It was BIG, 15 pounds. It was mechanical so it was noisy.  Continuous airway pressure was available only in increments of 2.5 cmH2O; 5.0, 7.5, 10.0, 12.5, and 15 cmH2O. 
Prior to the Respironics introducing the first CPAP machines, many of the progressive sleep centers (there were about 15 in the US) made their own CPAP masks and used compressed air to create the continuous pressure. 
I happened to work in one of those sleep labs. Here is one of our masks 
Today, the CPAP units are wonderfully small and quiet. They provide continuous pressure or continuously test the airway and provide only the pressure needed to prevent OSA. 
There are also positive airway units that provide therapy for unique breathing problems and patterns so a CPAP mask can be used to deliver the pressure non-invasively when needed making a tracheotomy unnecessary.
There are 3 basic types of masks available, nasal, full face, nasal pillows. Those three types come in almost endless varieties from many manufacturers.
An important element of successful therapy for OSA is follow-up and support. When choosing a company to provide a CPAP unit, it is important to choose one that is available to help and answer questions. Adapting to CPAP is easy for some but for most it takes a little bit of time and effort. With the proper support it can be more successful.  
CPAP users should not hesitate to contact their physician or CPAP provider with questions so problems can be solved quickly and treatment is successful.  
Ask questions and ask for help not matter how small or silly the problem might seem…all CPAP users should do the same. 
Only when the CPAP therapy is successful and OSA is treated that risks associated with untreated OSA are lessened.

Looking for Personalized advice on your sleep apnea condition?  Learn how to qualify and sleep better for less! Click here -–> "I Want More Info"