Wake up to the fact that your sleep problems can be solved….
If you snore or make noises when you sleep, if you are frequently tired in the day or if you suffer irritable mood swings- you may well have ‘sleep apnea’ -a common disorder that causes you to momentarily stop breathing, or take shallow breaths in your sleep.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is caused through the narrowing of the throat walls during sleep, which triggers an interruption to a person’s regular breathing. Despite effecting about 25% of the population, a huge number of those that suffer from sleep apnea go undiagnosed. However, if left untreated, it can cause a variety of health issues.
The importance of sleep
To say that sleep is important is an understatement. There is an abundance of research that suggests that it is linked to obesity, to higher risks of heart disease, strokes and diabetes, it also lowers immune systems and can even lead to depression.
In addition- disrupted sleep affects social and emotional behaviour and can impact your daily activities and levels of productivity at work.
So how do you know if you have sleep apnea?
The signs of sleep apnea
Snoring is the biggest symptom of sleep apnea and can cause huge disruptions to sleep patterns, (for both those that snore and their partners). In fact, it has been estimated that almost a quarter of people in the UK will sleep in another room, just to avoid their partner’s snoring.
The shallow breathing and snoring experienced with sleep apnea is caused by a total obstruction of the airway as the space between the tongue and palate closes completely and prevents air from passing. This means that the person moves out of a deep sleep into a light sleep, meaning the overall quality of rest is very poor.
Many people may not even be aware that they snore- especially if they don’t sleep near anyone else, or if their partner is a deep sleeper. However, snoring is the most common symptom, so for anyone that snores- it is highly recommended that you are tested for sleep apnea (details on how will follow) as there could be an easy solution to your problems.
2 Feeling tired and lethargic
If you find that you are lethargic, drowsy, need regular daytime naps, are always tired or lacking in energy- it may be that you suffer from sleep apnea.
When a sleep apnea event occurs, it causes the levels of oxygen in the blood to be reduced. This then alerts your brain by signalling it to quickly start the respiratory system.
Whilst you may not have fully awoken to do this, these messages to the brain cause interruptions to the depth of your sleep, therefore the quality of your rest is significantly compromised. If you consider the fact that these episodes can occur as frequently as 5-30 times in an hour, lasting as long up to 20 seconds, it becomes clear how even after a good 9-hour sleep, you can still be tired the next day.
3. Irritability and mood swings
Many people with sleep apnea do not wake up, even when experiencing an event, so for some, it can be hard to know that your sleep has been compromised. However, if you are irritable, have regular mood swings, are often anxious and short tempered – then these can be signs that you have sleep apnea.
As there is a reduced amount of oxygen during a sleep apnea event, headaches can often accompany tiredness and all of the other symptoms. If you suffer from headaches as well as the above, then it may be time for you to think about sleep apnea and rule out the fact that you are not one of the 25% of those that suffer from it.
Dental Confidence can help!
At Dental Confidence, we use a system known as APNiA® – which is the only system on the market that allows diagnosis and subsequent treatment. It consists of an electronic device that performs a sleep study in your home.
The device software lets you know simply, reliably and automatically whether you have sleep apnea, and its level of severity.
While you are sleeping, this simple and comfortable device is worn measuring respiratory flow, oximetry, heart rate, body position and snoring. The device is easy for the patient to put on at home, and provides all of the necessary information for Dental Confidence to then create a bespoke intraoral device that will decrease the number of apnoea episodes you have.
With this device the quality of your sleep will improve and, and therefore the symptoms you may be experiencing will be reduced.
For a chat about how we can help, and to find out about being tested for sleep apnea, ring the Dental Confidence practice in Southampton on : 023 8032 8900
Dental Confidence Ltd, 24 Westwood Road, Southampton, SO17 1DN
t. 023 8032 8900 e. [email protected]
Monday 8.30 - 5.30
Tuesday 8.30 - 5.30
Wednesday 8.30 - 5.30
Thursday 8.30 - 5.30
Friday 8.30 - 2