Tired Much? snoring and sleep apnea
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A lot of our patients flop into the chair saying, "Whew, it's great to sit down for a few minutes. I'm so beat". How many of us, without even thinking, will readily tell others how tired they are. Think about it. It's a busy, hectic life these days.
Tiredness during the day has many causes. You may have been up too late the night before. Your diet may be lacking. You may be worried and stressed. Of course all of these things affect the quality and quantity of your sleep. Another cause that some people have heard of but really warrants more attention, is sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea occurs when your breathing dramatically slows or stops for a short period of time during the night. You may even feel the need to nudge your partner to jog them out of it. Usually these breathing interruptions are short but frequent during a given sleep period. The common risk factors are overweight, allergies, age over 40, enlarged tonsils, neck size over 16-17, sinus problems, and gastroesophageal reflux. It is a bit more common in males, but can occur in both genders, and even in children! These periods of lack of oxygen reduce the quality of your sleep.
People with sleep apnea are also more prone to a whole host of health problems including cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Most people, though, will notice being tired even though they have been sleeping for 7-8 hours. Daytime tiredness can cause reduced alertness and concentration, poorer work performance, even tiredness related accidents such as car crashes.
To be diagnosed with sleep apnea a person has to participate in a sleep study in a special setting. Once diagnosis is confirmed, there are ways to go about treating it.
One of the most common treatments is a Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance. These can be fabricated through your dental office. Your specific case and bite measurements are reviewed and a custom oral appliance will be made. These appliances move your jaw forward during sleep to help keep your airway open to avoid breathing interruptions. They are easier to wear than some of the other appliances used to treat sleep apnea; and they can be worn in conjunction with the CPAP machine if required.
If you're consistently tired during the day, have a talk with your significant other and your doctor to find out if you have sleep apnea. If so, call your dental office next. We can help. You're worth it!.
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