One of the most common sleep disorders is sleep apnea. Apnea means “without breath” and refers to the times that you stop breathing during sleep. Sleep disordered breathing includes heavy nightly snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
The brain feels like it is being suffocated and will wake the body up enough to cause you to take a long deep breath. This increases oxygen to the brain and you go back to sleep until the next apneic event.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the tongue and tissues in the back of the throat collapse into the airway preventing air from getting into the lungs. Think about having a cork stuck in your throat, you can’t breathe.
Should I Be Concerned If I Snore at Night?
Snoring occurs when the tissues in the throat vibrate, making noise. Some light snoring may be perfectly normal but heavy nightly snoring is a sign of sleep disordered breathing and is a serious problem.
Sleep apnea may occur due to your airway anatomy. It may be worsened by nasal congestion due to allergies or a cold. It is often made worse by excessive weight gain. In women, menopause can make sleep apnea more likely. Position contributes to sleep apnea when sleeping on your back. Consuming alcohol and some muscle relaxing medications can make sleep-disordered breathing worse.
Besides being unsafe and leaving you feeling fatigued all day, if you aren’t sleeping well, it can be the cause of a host of other health issues like, depression, heart disease, stroke, and even sudden death. It’s no joke, sleep isn’t just for babies and kitty cats, we all need a good night’s rest.
How I Can Help
For many patients with obstructive sleep apnea, a dental appliance can help keep the air way open and allow you to breath normally while sleeping. I commonly recommend oral appliances for mild or moderate case of sleep apnea if you are candidate for the device.
Call now to schedule an in-home consultation where I can determine the best course of non-narcotic treatment to get you sleeping soundly again.