This health condition prevents a person from achieving the deep, restful sleep necessary to function. Most patients with sleep apnea are unaware that their sleep is interrupted throughout the night on a routine basis. Although sleep apnea is difficult to detect, there is hope. Professional sleep studies can provide an accurate diagnosis so that patients can pursue effective treatment.
If you’re waking up tired on a frequent basis, it could be a sign of sleep apnea. The reason sleep apnea makes us feel tired is because this condition impedes our ability to progress through each stage of sleep. Instead of progressing normally through REM and deep sleep, we wake slightly – sometimes hundreds of times in a night. Sleep apnea causes interrupted sleep because soft oral tissues are blocking airways. Once we cease breathing, the brain sends waking signals to the body. While a person won’t wake fully, it is enough to disrupt normal sleeping patterns.
Interrupted sleep affects our body’s ability to achieve true, rejuvenating rest. For example, the REM stage of sleep is essential to healthy brain function. If we aren’t getting enough REM sleep, we cannot think clearly. Over time, untreated sleep apnea could affect a person’s memory, mood, and ability to focus. Similarly, interrupted deep sleep can take a toll on our bodies. Deep sleep helps revitalize our energy levels, boost our immunity, and keep our organs functioning as they should.
Sleep is an essential human function and without adequate rest, our health and wellness suffer. This is why it’s important to pursue effective sleep apnea treatment. After a sleep study confirms whether a person has sleep apnea, he or she can evaluate their treatment options. There are a few methods of treating sleep apnea. One effective method our sleep dentist offers is oral appliance therapy.
Oral appliance therapy provides effective relief from sleep apnea by expanding the airway. This treatment does not require noisy machinery or surgery. Instead, patients wear custom made oral appliances. Similar to a mouthguard, these appliances keep the airway open during sleep by positioning the lower jaw forward. This slight widening of the airway prevents episodes of apnea so patients can get the quality sleep they deserve.