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Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep-related breathing disorder that involves a decrease or complete halt in airflow despite an ongoing effort to breathe. It occurs when the muscles relax during sleep, causing soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse and block the upper airway. This leads to partial reductions (hypopneas) and complete pauses (apneas) in breathing that last at least 10 seconds during sleep. Most pauses last between 10 and 30 seconds, but some may persist for one minute or longer. This can lead to abrupt reductions in blood oxygen saturation, with oxygen levels falling 3% below baseline.

Sleep Diagnostic Testing

Sleep testing, or polysomnography, is used to diagnose sleep disorders and may also be the means to determine quality of sleep. We offer take-home sleep testing or level 3 study. This involves a home based portable monitor to help in the diagnosis of sleep apnea. The monitor will record the amount of oxygen in your blood, air movement through your nose while you breath, your heart rate and chest movements. Home based testing is appropirate only for some people. During your initial consultation, your sleep physician may prescribe this option if sutiable for you. Diagnostic testing will be ordered by our sleep medicine physician as necessary

10 Commandments of Sleep Hygiene for Adults

1. Fix a bedtime and an awakening time.
2. If you are in the habit of taking siestas, do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep.
3. Avoid excessive alcohol ingestion 4 hours before bedtime and do not smoke.
4. Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate.
5. Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable.
6. Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.
7. Use comfortable bedding.
8. Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated.
9. Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible.
10. Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. Don’t use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room.

10 Commandments of Sleep Hygiene for Children [Ages Birth to 12 Years]

1. Go to bed at the same time every night, preferably before 9:00PM.
2. Have an age-appropriate nap schedule.
3. Establish a consistent bedtime routine.
4. Make your child’s bedroom sleep conducive – cool, dark, and quiet.
5. Encourage your child to fall asleep independently.
6. Avoid bright light at bedtime and during the night, and increase light exposure in the morning.
7. Avoid heavy meals and vigorous exercise close to bedtime.
8. Keep all electronics, including televisions, computers, and cell phones, out of the bedroom and limit the use of electronics before bedtime.
9. Avoid caffeine, including many sodas, coffee, and teas (as well as iced tea).
10. Keep a regular daily schedule, including consistent mealtimes.

Why do I need CPAP Therapy?

Studies indicate that If your sleep apnea is left untreated it will put significant stress on the heart, lungs and blood pressure. If left untreated for many years, sleep apnea significantly increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and high blood pressure.

When should you replace CPAP supplies?

It is important to note that even with proper care and cleaning, your CPAP supplies, including the mask, liners, nasal cushions, hose and filters can deteriorate over time and cause poor performance. This could leave you uncomfortable and inadequately treated. To learn more on when your CPAP supplies are due for replacement, please refer to the manufacturer’s replacement schedule guidelines. 

Useful Links

Hereunder are links to other websites where you can find more information, articles and news about Sleep Disorders and the field of Sleep Medicine.



Frequently Ask Questions

Your health is important to us so we have put together essential information to assist you in achieving comfortable effective sleep therapy.

Consistency and adherence to therapy is important to get optimal result in your CPAP treatment. However the usual wear and tear of everyday use can affect the effectiveness of your CPAP supplies. Therefore, it is essential to clean your equipment and replace them as needed to receive the best possible benefit.

Clean your CPAP equipment regularly. Bacteria can easily grow wherever moisture is present. We recommend the following mask cleaning schedule






Do not use solutions containing vinegar, bleach, chlorine, alcohol, aromatics, moisturizers, antibacterial agents or scented oils to clean any part of the system or air tubing. These solutions may cause damage and reduce the life of the product.

Do not expose any part of the system or tubing to direct sunlight as it may

deteriorate the product.

If any visible deterioration of a component is apparent (cracking, tears, etc.), the component should be discarded and replaced.

*Please refer to your manufacturer’s manual for more information on cleaning and maintenance of your CPAP supplies.

Did you know, the most important steps in achieving comfortable and effective therapy is replacing your mask and supplies regularly and having follow-up visits with our technologists and physicians?

Here are some things to note when your CPAP supplies are due for replacement:

  • CPAP supplies typically need to be replaced after 6 months or more, depending on maintenance.
  • The cushion seal can deteriorate due to the effects of facial oils and/or dirt.
  • Your mask may not fit properly due to changes in facial features. Factors can include aging, weight loss or gain.
  • You can have increased incidence of leaks with mask wear prompting you to readjust your mask or tighten your headgear frequently, which can cause discomfort.
  • Headgear can stretch over time causing leaks.
  • Tubing or hoses can deteriorate. You may notice some tears causing air to escape and reducing effectiveness of therapy.

Health Canada and IPAC recommends adhering to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for Infection Control purposes, and for you to get the best out of your CPAP therapy.  Please refer to the guidelines below.

If you are experiencing leakage or mask fitting issues please book an appointment to see a Sleep Specialist to help resolve this issue.

It is important to note that even with proper care and cleaning, your CPAP supplies, including mask interface, liners, nasal cushions, hose and filters can deteriorate over time and cause poor performance. This could leave you uncomfortable and inadequately treated.


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