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Do You Have Sleep Apnea?

added on: November 17, 2017
sleep apnea graphic

Have you ever gone to bed early only to wake up and feel like you didn’t get any sleep at all? Are you constantly tired and can’t seem to find the right balance of rest to keep you from taking a nap at your desk?

There could be more to your problem than you think. Sure, life can interfere with our nighttime habits (like when we’re stressed about a personal or work issue) leaving you lying awake at night. This time is crucial for your body to replenish and rejuvenate everything from your brain function to your vital organs. Here’s what happens when you sleep:

  • Your brain prepares for the next day, forming new learning pathways to help you pay better attention and be more creative
  • Your body repairs your heart, regulates hormone levels, boosts your immune system, and (if you’re a child or a teen) triggers bone and muscle growth.

But what happens if you don’t get enough sleep? That’s where there could be a problem. If you’re waking up tired and groggy every day or if your bed partner is complaining that you’re keeping them awake with your loud snoring, there could be an underlying issue called sleep apnea to blame.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Let’s talk a little bit more about this disorder that could be keeping you up at night and you don’t even know it! Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is what most people who are struggling to get a good night’s sleep are diagnosed with. This is how it works:

Soft tissue located in the back of your throat collapses

Your airway becomes blocked

Snoring can occur

You may stop breathing while you sleep (hundreds of times a night)

You don’t really get any restful sleep

What Kind of Treatment is Available?

Many patients must undergo a sleep study or test that’s otherwise known as a polysomnogram. Sometimes an overnight stay in a hospital or medical facility is necessary so doctors and specialists can monitor what happens to you while your sleeping. There are also take-home, electronic sleep monitoring devices that can record sleep patterns.

If sleep apnea is the suspected culprit of you nighttime woes, there are a few ways doctors and even your friendly dentists at All About Smiles can give you some relief.

  1. Lifestyle changes – Some people just need to live healthier lives by eating better, quitting smoking, and getting more exercise to help cure their sleep apnea issues.
  2. CPAP – The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine also works as a viable treatment solution for numerous people. It regulates breathing with the help of air pressure. But some people are what we call CPAP intolerant. This is usually due to the machine being uncomfortable and unmanageable while trying to sleep.
  3. Dental appliance – All About Smiles can talk with you about the possibility of trying a custom oral appliance. This kind of treatment has proven successful for patients who cannot use the CPAP machine. An oral appliance similar to a sports mouthguard making it easy to use and easy to travel with.

If you’re interested in speaking with someone at All About Smiles about your sleep apnea, please don’t hesitate to give our Wilmington office a call. Schedule some time to speak with us about how an oral appliance can change the way you and your body experience sleep.

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It all adds up to better health, smile, body, and spirit!