- June 16, 2016
You’ve been banished to the couch by your spouse. You didn’t have an argument or anything like that. She just wants to sleep, and your snoring is just too loud and too constant to allow her to do that.
She’s not the only one having sleep trouble, however. You’ve tried going to bed earlier, and you’ve avoided caffeine once you get home from work. Yet, you always seem to wake up feel just as tired as you were when you laid down for the night.
It would be nice to wake up feeling refreshed, wouldn’t it? Well, we want to help.
It’s possible that you are suffering from sleep apnea. The staff at Historic Triangle Dental Care may have a solution that will allow you — and your spouse — to get the healthy sleep that you both want.
If you live in or near Williamsburg, VA, please call us to get started.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects millions of people throughout the United States. The biggest problem is that a majority of people who are suffering from this condition are not aware that it’s affecting them (and their spouses).
The most prevalent form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which is often abbreviated as OSA.
If you have OSA, here is a short description of what happens.
When you fall asleep, your body relaxes, including the muscles of your throat. This allows the soft tissues around your airways to press into them. They can restrict (or obstruct) your ability to breathe while you are sleeping.
This contributes to the loud, persistent snoring that is a common symptom of sleep apnea. Your airways may become completely cut off, which means you aren’t breathing at all.
Someone with mild sleep apnea can experience up 14 breathing stoppages every hour they are asleep (or should we say trying to sleep?). People with severe OSA can stop breathing more than 30 times per hour.
If you think that’s scary, imagine what it’s like for your spouse, listening to the person they love most in the world struggling to breathe every night (in between the snoring). No wonder she has trouble sleeping, too.
Your body responds to those breathing stoppages by waking you up just long enough to get your breath. Most of the time, this happens so briefly that you have no memory that it has happened.
You Need Healthy Sleep
People who get healthy sleep will cycle through four stages of sleep.
The first three stages are known as non-REM sleep.
Stage one is light sleep. You can be awakened easily at this time. Stage two is when your brain waves start to slow down.
Stage three is the start of what is considered deep sleep. Health experts consider deep sleep essential to our body’s recovery and recuperation from the daily stresses that we endure. It also leads into the final stage.
Stage four is REM or rapid eye movement. This is the time of the night when you dream.
If you have sleep apnea, you may never reach the stages of deep sleep, and if you do, you may not be there for long enough to matter. Without deep sleep, you suffer from sleep deprivation, and that creates problems when you are awake, too.
You may notice that you have trouble staying awake when you are sitting at your desk or worse behind the wheel of a car. Multiple studies have shown that people with untreated sleep apnea are more than twice as likely to be the driver in a car accident than people without sleep apnea
Plus, your nightly fight to breath can lead to or worsen high blood pressure. This also explains why people with sleep apnea are more likely to have heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
Our own Dr. Whyte has been trained to treat sleep apnea. He can help you arrange a sleep study to determine if you are suffering from this sleep disorder. Once you have been diagnosed, we can help you with treatment.
One option is a CPAP machine, which involves wearing a mask that blows air into your mouth or nose to keep your airways open. Unfortunately, many people have difficulty using this machine consistently.
As an alternative solution for your sleep apnea and your snoring, we can create a special mouthpiece that you will wear at night. The mouthpiece holds your jaw in a position that keeps your airways open.
If you are ready to sleep deeper and wake up feeling refreshed, please make plans to visit Historic Triangle Dental Care in Williamsburg, VA. You can use our online form or call 757-903-2527 to take your first step to healthy sleep.