According to our textbook, Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding, Sleep Apnea is a serious sleep disorder that affects roughly 2-20% of the general population. It is caused by a blockage of the airway during sleep resulting in fatigue, weight gain, night sweats, and irregular heart beat. Of course this is only some of the affects of sleep apnea and there are many more short and long term effects.
What I am most interested in is what are the most popular and/or effective treatments for sleep apnea? Again, according to the textbook, most doctors recommend weight loss because this disorder is associated with being overweight. But, also mentioned in the book is the use of the CPAP machine. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. I was curious as to how it worked so I found a simple video on sleep apnea and how CPAP works:
Still curious as to what treatment was better, I found an article from the American Sleep Association on CPAP and other sleep apnea treatments. They stated that the CPAP machine is the more popular treatment and potentially the most effective. Weight loss, as pointed out by the ASA, is still a very viable treatment, but it is a very slow process. So, most patients who are trying to lose weight are also put on CPAP to help open up their airways right away.
So I guess, in a way, I've answered my question. CPAP is the more popular and effective treatment for sleep apnea if it's essentially being used not matter what.
article from the American Sleep Association: http://www.sleepassociation.org/index.php?p=whatiscpap