What Is Sleep Apnea?
There are a lot of us walking around without sleep these days. Research says 35% of American adults are not getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Over thirty percent of Americans are missing sleep regularly. Sleep is a precious commodity - ask any new parent. It doesn’t take long before a lack of sleep causes you problems with thinking, reaction time and memory! A lack of sleep can even cause you to hallucinate. Sleep allows us to reset our brains and prepare for the day to come. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to miss sleep, but it is worse than that. Sleep apnea can be fatal. The good news is that sleep apnea can be treated. Need more information? Lincoln Center Smiles can tell you a little more about this condition.
Sleep apnea is one of several sleep disorders. However, sleep apnea is more serious than some of the other sleep disorders because it interferes with your breathing. If you have sleep apnea, your breathing stops during the night. While it is not a long pause in your breathing, you will stop breathing for a few seconds many times during the night. Because you stop breathing, your body wakes you up. You might not realize your body is waking you, but it is. This means that you never get the deep, good sleep that your body is craving.
There are some signs that you might have sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea snore very loudly. If your partner is complaining about your snoring, you might have sleep apnea. Your partner might also tell you that your breathing pauses during the night. You might also feel exhausted in the morning, even if you have had a full night’s sleep. You might also have a headache. If you continue to have insomnia, you might also have sleep apnea as well.
Some people are more prone to sleep apnea than others. Obese people tend to have more incidents of sleep apnea than others. Also, you might want to check the circumference of your neck. People with a neck bigger than 17 inches are also at risk for sleep apnea. If you are over 40, you are at a greater risk for sleep apnea as well, especially if you are a man and you have high blood pressure.
What Does Treatment for Sleep Apnea Look Like?
Several different treatments for sleep apnea are there for you to try. Many people try a mask for sleeping, although that is increasingly unpopular. There are surgical procedures available, too, but many people don’t want to have a procedure. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may want to try an appliance you can wear in your mouth while you sleep. The device fits much like a night guard. It moves your jaw forward, which allows you to breathe normally.
Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea? If you have, we have some treatment options for you. Call Lincoln Center Smiles at (503) 598-0898. We would love to chat with you about your sleep apnea and give you information on treatment.