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​Millions of Canadians are at risk of a serious sleep condition — here’s why so few are diagnosed

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No matter what time 67-year-old Carolyn McCann hits the sack, she’s wide awake by 4:30 a.m.

“I don’t think I have a lot of nights where I sleep eight hours solid. I haven’t done that for a long time now,” says McCann, a retired nurse and grandmother.

She knows she’s not alone. Her friends often complain about restless nights.

“They don’t sleep either … not the way you used to sleep when you were young.”

Statistics Canada estimates one in three Canadians sleep less than the recommended seven to nine hours per night.

Some experts say the culprit is too much screen time. Others blame increased work demands and caffeine consumption.

But few Canadians realize their daytime doziness may be due to sleep apnea, an obstructive sleep disorder that causes people to stop breathing at night, often for as long as 10 to 30 seconds at a time.

CBC’sThe National approached McCann and two other Canadians worried about lack of sleep – Arthur McGregor, 65, and Kim Clark, 57 — and arranged a take-home sleep test for them to help determine the cause of their sleep issues.

Sleep apnea under-diagnosed

Sleep apnea is what doctors refer to as an “obstructive” disorder. When muscles in the airway relax during sleep the tissue can block the flow of air, causing snoring or even choking.

When the body senses the lack of air, it basically wakes up until breathing normalizes. But when the person falls asleep again the cycle restarts — happening anywhere from a few to several hundred times a night.

The consequences of sleep apnea go beyond feeling sleepy. The disorder has been linked to reduced quality of life, work-related injuries and memory loss.

It’s also associated with increased risk of diabetes, stroke and heart attack, because the most common cause of the disorder is obesity.

“Weight is directly responsible for sleep apnea,” says Andrew Holmes, a registered polysomnographic technician and sleep specialist who administered the sleep tests for The National.

Andrew Holmes, a registered polysomnographic technician and sleep specialist, says only about 20 per cent of the Canadian population with sleep apnea has been diagnosed. The rest don’t know the cause of their sleep problems, or aren’t aware they have a potentially serious sleep condition. (Christian Patry/CBC)

While sleep apnea can be attributed to inherited traits like face and skull shape, the primary trigger is being overweight. Heavier people tend to have more tissue surrounding their airways, making them prone to obstruction — and apnea can contribute to weight gain, making the problem even worse.

“It doesn’t solely discriminate against those that have weight problems, but … we’re getting a bigger, larger population and heavier-set people. And it’s impacting our sleep,” Holmes says.

While the causes are understood, what is in question is exactly how many Canadians experience sleep apnea.

A 2014 study by the Public Health Agency of Canada estimated 5.4 million Canadian adults have been diagnosed with, or are at high risk of experiencing, obstructive sleep apnea.

According to Health Canada, signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • daytime sleepiness
  • loud snoring followed by silent pauses
  • gasping or choking during sleep
  • morning headache
  • irritability or mood changes
  • poor concentration or memory loss
  • lowered sex drive
  • falling asleep while driving

Holmes says he was “shocked” to learn how many people suffer from the disorder when he first began working in a sleep lab at Carleton University.

“It is about 80 per cent underdiagnosed currently with the [Canadian] population,” Holmes says.

Low diagnosis rates are attributed, in part, to the nature of the condition: many of the most obvious symptoms, like snoring and pauses in breathing, happen while people are asleep. Others, like daytime drowsiness, are often brushed off as “normal” tiredness.

‘More muddled’

Holmes, a private sleep consultant whose clients include soldiers suffering PTSD and the Ottawa Senators hockey team, says sleep is a key to emotional, mental and physical health.

“Without quality sleep and the right amount of sleep every single night, we can really be putting ourselves at a disadvantage for peak performance,” Holmes says.

Diminished performance has been nagging at Arthur McGregor. He worries sleep deprivation is having a negative impact on his livelihood as a musician, plus he’s increasingly forgetting stuff.

“I honestly believe that I feel more muddled. I have — what’s the word I’m looking for? I have problems remembering things,” McGregor says.

Arthur McGregor averages five to six hours of sleep a night. He worries sleep deprivation is having a negative impact on his livelihood as a musician, as well as on his memory. (Duncan McCue/CBC)

For the past two decades, McGregor has averaged five to six hours of sleep a night. He has tried sleeping pills and various sleep aids, to no avail.

When his snoring began disrupting his wife’s sleep, McGregor’s doctor recommended a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. It’s a small bedside pump connected by a pipe to a mask, and it blows a stream of pressurized air to help keep a person’s airway open while they sleep.

His snoring improved; his quality of sleep did not.

“It gave me the idea that my sleeping problem was not an apnea sleeping problem, it was something else that was going on.”

Kim Clark, adjusting the equipment for her take-home sleep test, says she’s ‘always been a horrible sleeper.’ (Diane Grant/CBC)

Still using the CPAP, he recently changed his diet and lost 15 pounds to see if that would help. He agreed to takeThe National up on its offer of arranging a sleep test, because he was curious to see if weight loss had improved his sleep, as well as whether his memory loss was attributable to sleep or another health issue.

I’d like to know if I’m actually sleeping when I’m sleeping.– Carolyn McCann

Retired nurse Carolyn McCann took the test because she was keen to understand why she’s so restless through the night.

“I’d like to know if I’m actually sleeping when I’m sleeping,” McCann says.

Holmes describes to Carolyn McCann how the sleep test equipment works. (Duncan McCue/CBC)

Kim Clark says she’s learned to operate on four to six hours sleep a night out of necessity, but not by choice.

“If I could change anything about myself, it wouldn’t be my height or my weight or boob size, it would be my sleeping habits. I have always been a horrible sleeper.”

Holmes gave equipment to all three participants to monitor how they breathe during sleep.

They set up the take-home tests themselves, slept in their own beds, then returned to hear the results, which Holmes had reviewed with a physician and respirologist who specializes in sleep medicine.

‘Never imagined I had sleep apnea’

The data from the sleep tests shows the remarkable diversity of both sleep problems and potential solutions.

Clark slept more than she realized, nearly nine hours, and had few apnea events.

Holmes suggested simple meditation may improve her sleep by helping slow her heart down.

McGregor slept just under six hours. However, he was pleased to learn he had only 10 to 15 apnea events per hour, fewer than before he started using the CPAP machine.

Holmes advised him that a new CPAP facemask that fitted better might further improve his sleep.

There are many different models of CPAP machines on the market. The small bedside machines pump a constant flow of air through a pipe to a face mask, or a nose-piece like the one pictured here, keeping a person’s airway open as they sleep. (Reed Saxon/Associated Press)

McCann’s test was a different story.

While she slept nearly eight hours, she had as many as 24 apnea hypoxia events every hour, a moderate form of sleep apnea. Her oxygen levels sometimes dipped to 76 per cent, well below the recommended 90 per cent range, which suggests increased strain is being put on her cardiovascular system.

“I was really surprised,” McCann says. “I just never imagined that I had sleep apnea.”

McCann was dismayed by Holmes’ advice that she may need to use a CPAP device every night.

“That was an emotional reaction, not a logical one. Who wants to wear one of those things?” McCann says.

“I will certainly do something about it. I’m not just going to ignore it … I don’t want to die of a heart attack or a stroke.”

CPAP masks range from full nose-and-mouth models like this one, to small ones that cover just the nostrils. (Getty Images)

Holmes recognizes CPAP devices carry a stigma, but emphasizes that it’s not a reason to turn a blind eye to symptoms of a sleep issue.

He says sleep-deprived Canadians need to determine what’s causing the problem and take steps toward solutions, whether it’s a CPAP machine or changing diet and lifestyle.

“I know a lot of people think, ‘Oh man, that’s horrible news.’ It’s not. We’ve identified an issue, [now] we could potentially look to a remedy,” Holmes says.


More from CBC

Watch Duncan McCue’s story from The National on sleep apnea:

It may be to blame for that loud snoring, or morning headache. Plus, people who have it are more likely to suffer from things like heart disease and depression. It’s sleep apnea, and a large number of Canadians are at risk of the serious health effects that come with it. But surprisingly, few are aware of it. 10:11



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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants

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With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

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(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech

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(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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