Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to being healthy, having enough energy and a happy disposition. For people who are chronic poor sleepers, sleep apnea may be the culprit. You might fall into this category if you find you can’t seem to stay asleep during the night, get complaints that you snore loudly in your sleep, and wake up feeling exhausted even if you’ve technically logged in 6-8 hours snoozing in bed.
The good news is, sleep apnea is treatable! A common sleep disorder, sleep apnea causes people to pause their breathing while they sleep, unaware. For those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, the culprit is an obstruction that blocks the airway. This can happen when the tongue relaxes back into the throat, or other soft tissues in the airway block breathing. The longer this happens without intervening, the more likely you might develop health problems like hypertension, heart disease, stroke and even problems with your liver.
Before sleep apnea can be treated, a sleep physician must be consulted for a sleep study. Observational testing can determine how many times a night your breathing is paused. You might have sleep apnea if you live with chronic daytime sleepiness, have mood swings, can’t seem to stay asleep, snore or have morning headaches and a sore throat upon awakening.
Treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea may involve an oral appliance worn while you sleep to keep your airways open and your jaw in a position that prevents blockages.
If you suspect you might have sleep apnea, we invite you to call 828-264-5858 to learn more or schedule a visit with our dentist, Dr. Jerry L. Butler in Boone NC. We look forward to helping you get the healthy sleep you need!