We’re commonly told that we need at least 8 hours of sleep every night for general health and wellness. However, our sleep needs go much deeper than that. Insufficient sleep can cause numerous diseases, and even early mortality. Dr. Adler and I attended a continuing education course about sleep disorders recently, and what we learned was eye opening!
We have found that many people suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and are completely unaware of it. Obstructive sleep apnea refers to a frequent collapse of the airway during sleep, which lasts for over ten seconds. Approximately 1 in 5 adults have at least mild OSA. Snoring is the most obvious symptom, but it isn’t the only one. Fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, gradual weight gain, hypertension, and diabetes can all be symptoms of sleep apnea.
A collapse in the airway forces the brain to send an alarm to your body –WAKE UP!! Thus, your body wakes up, you start breathing again, and most of the time, you’re completely unaware it’s happening. This could happen multiple times each hour, resulting in tens or even hundreds episodes every night.
Basically, sleep apnea stops your brain from hitting the deepest and most restorative sleep level. So, even though you think you’re getting a full night’s sleep, the constant alarm trigger to your brain is preventing it. This means that even though you’re turning in with the intention of getting 7 – 8 hours of sleep, your actually sleeping much less.
Traditionally, for sleep apnea, a physician prescribes a CPAP (constant positive airway pressure) machine. This machine utilizes a mask strapped to your face to force air pressure through your airway. It can be extremely helpful; however, there are some cons! It can be very loud and disturb your partner’s rest. It can be uncomfortable and cause sores on the face. Furthermore, it’s difficult to travel with due to size and volume.
Adler Advanced Dentistry uses a different approach to treat sleep apnea and snoring. We use a dental appliance called the Micro II. The Micro II is small and easy to wear. It works by bringing your jaw forward which opens up your airway. There’s no noise and it’s very comfortable. Many of our guests have experienced a significant reduction in snoring and sleep apnea, and an increase in the quality of their sleep.
If you’re suffering from disrupted sleep, due to snoring, excessive waking up, or sleep apnea, give us a call and see how we can help.