Sleep apnea has the ability to put a real damper on your summer fun. Not only does it interfere with your rest – leaving you tired and grumpy throughout the day – it can also contribute to serious health problems.
If you suspect you could be suffering from sleep apnea symptoms, it’s important to call Bell Dental Group as soon as possible at 513-802-9440. Our team of experts will get you the sleep apnea help you need to rest better and feel better soon. Don’t put a great summer of fun at risk!
Arm Yourself With Knowledge
Obstructive sleep apnea – by far the most common kind of sleep apnea – affects millions of people, although it often goes undiagnosed. The National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research estimates that as many as 92 percent of affected women and 80 percent of affected men have never been properly diagnosed!
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your air passages become blocked during sleep. Central sleep apnea is more rare and is caused by your brain not sending the proper signals to your body telling it to breathe.
You might be wondering exactly how sleep apnea works. Your tongue and other soft tissues in the back of your throat naturally drop down while you sleep. However, if they move too far down, they will block your airway and prevent normal breathing.
After a few seconds without breathing, your brain will tell your body to wake up and take in more oxygen. So you awaken just long enough to take a few normal breaths before you drift back to sleep. Most people who suffer from sleep apnea don’t even realize this has taken place.
This cycle can repeat itself up to 50 times per hour in severe sleep apnea sufferers. That’s hundreds of times each night that your sleep is being interrupted!
It’s no wonder this condition leaves many people feeling like zombies the next day. Grogginess, grouchiness, moodiness, and the inability to concentrate are all common symptoms of sleep apnea.
But more than that, sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk for other types of serious health concerns like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and depression. Sleep apnea is not something you should mess around with.
With that in mind, Bell Dental Group offers you three strategies to use in combating sleep apnea symptoms. The first two you can try at home, while the third method involves reaching out to us for help.
Avoid Sleeping On Your Back
Since obstructive sleep apnea can be caused by your throat tissues blocking your airway, sleeping on your back may make the problem worse by allowing gravity to work against you.
Experiment with different sleeping positions to find one that works for you and your bed partner. Try sleeping on your side or your stomach for a change.
Then ask your bed partner if they can tell any difference in your sleep patterns. Are you waking up with a loud snort less frequently? Are you snoring less (snoring is often a sign of sleep apnea)?
Just a simple change in sleeping position may make a world of difference in how you feel upon waking up each morning.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Sleep apnea can affect anyone – at any age and with any body type. However, research has shown a link between sleep apnea and being overweight.
We all know that we should probably eat healthier and get more exercise anyway. So, why not get healthier to see if it can help with your sleep apnea? Just losing a few pounds could be all that’s needed to keep sleep apnea at bay.
It’s worth a shot, anyway. Even if eating better and exercising more don’t help with your sleep, you’ll still be doing yourself a favor by potentially thwarting other health problems.
Get a Custom Oral Appliance
This is where we come in. Our team will work with you to get a proper diagnosis for your sleep disturbance. If it’s determined that obstructive sleep apnea is causing your problems, we can craft a comfortable oral appliance for you.
You’ll wear it while sleeping to gently move your lower jaw forward. This slight movement is enough to keep your airway open and prevent sleep apnea from occurring.
It will also help stop noisy snoring. Others in your household may appreciate this particular benefit more than you do!
The end result is that you’ll sleep better, feel better, and help protect yourself against serious health consequences.