After Joe Biden was seen by reporters with marks on his face indicating he had been wearing some type of wide strap, White House officials said that the US President has begun using a CPAP machine in recent weeks to help deal with sleep apnea. Many CPAP users wear a mask held on by a strap. The health and age of Joe Biden, 80, have been a focus as he seeks a second, four-year term in the 2024 election. He is the oldest person to serve as US president.

“Since 2008, the president has disclosed his history with sleep apnea in thorough medical reports,” a White House official said. “He used a CPAP machine last night, which is common for people with that history.”

What is sleep apnea?
According to US agency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sleep apnea happens when your airways gets blocked repeatedly during sleep, causing you to stop breathing for short amounts of time. Sleep apnea affects how much oxygen your body gets while you sleep. Medical experts have linked insufficient sleep to the development of a number of chronic disease and conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression.

What is a CPAP machine?
It is a device that pumps air through a mask to open a sleeper’s airway. According to news reports, about 5 million Americans have tried them. According to the American Medical Association, about 30 million people in the United States have sleep apnea, but only 6 million are diagnosed with the condition. "This hasn’t improved with the pandemic either with many people experiencing less sleep because of altered life and work routines as well as higher stress levels. And with long COVID further exacerbating underlying conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea, it is important for patients to understand what is at stake," American Medical Association said.

How to get better sleep?
US agency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on its website has listed a few steps that could help in better sleep: -Stick to a regular sleep schedule, including on the weekends
-Get enough natural light during the day, including taking a morning walk.
-Have enough physical activity during the day
-But avoid exercise within a few hours of going to bed
- Avoid alcohol and foods high in fat or sugar in particular.
- Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet

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