Back to the Basics: The Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome [Podcast 40]

In this episode, Kathy and I will talk about upper airway resistance syndrome, or UARS, as part of our “Back to the Basics” series.  If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, you must listen to this recording. In this discussion, we cover the following:

  • What is UARS and how is it different from obstructive sleep apnea?
  • What are the most common features of UARS and how can it be diagnosed?
  • Why most doctors are unaware of UARS
  • What you can do to start treating UARS and when to see your doctor
  • How to prevent obstructive sleep apnea and UARS.

Download mp3

Show Notes

Original UARS paper by Dr. Christian Guilleminault

Sleep Interrupted: A physician reveals the #1 reason why so many of us are sick and tired 

Robert Sapolsky’s book, “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers

The Sleep Breathing Paradigm (Podcast 39)

POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome)

UARS and somatic syndromes: Dr. Avram Gold article

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10 thoughts on “Back to the Basics: The Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome [Podcast 40]

  1. Hello Dr Park,
    I was diagnosed with moderate UARS after a sleep study. I am slim with a small mouth also and have really bad insomnia with multiple awakenings throughout the night. What you said about the ANS struck a chord with me and also about the fact that I know that I will have a very difficult time sleeping with a dental appliance or Cpap machine. I am intrigued about the jaw expansion device though and would like to know more about it. Is that the DNA and Homeoblock? If so, what do you use and/or recommend? I would love to be able to sleep through the night again! Thank you

  2. Erika,

    There are a number of appliances including DNA, Homeoblock, and ALF. All have their pros and cons. Ultimately, it’s a matter of who’s available close to you and how experienced they are using any of these devices. Good luck!

  3. Hi, I really liked the UARS podcast. It really hit Home with me. How would I be able to schedule an appointment with Dr. Park. I do live in Canada, have seen numerous specialists. One thing is certain, that I have a really high amount of arousals, an AHI of only mild apnea. I have tried cpap as well as an oral appliance, but still feel terrible on a daily basis. Any help would be appreciated a lot!

  4. Andy,

    Thanks for your feedback. To make an appointment to see me, please call 718-920-4646. An in-person visit with an examination is the best way to determine how to help with your condition.

  5. Hi Dr. Park,

    Speech-language therapist here who is also training to be certified in myofunctional therapy. I am trying to get at the root of my years of light sleeping with frequent waking during the night. I tend to be sleepy during the day, experience brain fog, and am often anxious or stressed out. As soon as I wake up in the morning, I think, “heavens, I hope I have time for a nap today!” I rarely feel well-rested. I had an at home sleep study, which showed my oxygen saturation at 93%, events per hour of apnea at 1.8, and UARS occurs 4.9/hour. What do you think of those numbers? Because UARS is considered mild only at 5.0/hour, I had to insist on getting a sleep study at a sleep lab, which my insurance consented to do. However, after a recent visit with an ENT who attributed my sleep issues to “being in my head- figuratively and not literally” I am starting to wonder if my issues truly are related to sleep disordered breathing. I’m wondering if this sleep study at a sleep lab will be fruitful or if my sleep is as good as it’s going to get. As an OMT, I have applied some of the exercises to myself and have noticed an improvement in my sleep and a reduction in my overall daytime sleepiness, but continue to be sleepier than I would like and still wake up at least two to three times a night, usually with the urge to use the restroom. I also frequently sweat at night and toss and turn.

    Thank you for all that you’re doing to educate, Dr. Park. I have listened to other podcasts about good sleep hygiene, such as eating early, getting sunshine early, etc. and those practices have helped as well. I say I used to feel sleepiness on a scale of 8, with 10 being the worst, and now feel it around a 4-5 unless I have been congested the night before, in which case it goes back up to an 8.