How many times has something like this happened to you?
You settle into your recliner to watch your favorite team. You get a few snacks together.
But by the end of the first half, you are passed out in your chair. You wake up to a different game — or some old movie — on the screen. You missed the action you wanted to watch (again).
What about this scenario?
When you wake up in the morning, you can tell that your spouse is irritated. You don’t really know why, but the look on your partner’s face tells you that you’re to blame.
“Was I snoring again?” you ask.
You get an angry nod, and you know that may mean you will be sleeping on the couch that night.
Your daytime sleepiness and frequent snoring could be symptoms of something far more worrisome. You may have sleep apnea.
If you do, then Overmeyer Family Dental wants to help. Call our Orlando, FL office at (407) 603-3839 to learn about our sleep apnea treatment options.
Sleep Apnea Deprives You Of Sleep
If you have mild sleep apnea, you may wake up as often as 14 times every hour. If you have severe sleep apnea, this could be happening 30 times or more per hour.
The reason is that you stop breathing. The origin of apnea is a Greek word meaning “without breath.”
Each time you stop breathing, your body responds by waking you up. You probably don’t remember this because you only wake up long enough to take a few breaths before you drift back to sleep again.
That’s what is happening. What isn’t happening is you aren’t getting the deep sleep you need to feel well rested when you wake up to start your day each morning.
There are four stages of sleep. The first two are non-REM sleep stages 1 and 2. These are the stages of light sleep. If you are frequently drifting off and waking up and drifting off again, you remain in these stages of your sleep cycle.
To feel fully rested, you need deep sleep. This include stage 3 non-REM sleep and REM sleep. (REM is rapid eye movement, and it’s the point in the sleep cycle when people dream.)
Health experts believe deep sleep can help your body heal. If you aren’t getting enough deep sleep, you develop sleep deprivation.
This can leave you fighting off a nap while sitting in your recliner, at your desk, or, worse, behind the wheel of your car. There’s a reason you are more than twice as likely to be in a car accident if you have sleep apnea.
How Sleep Apnea And Snoring Are Connected
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of this sleep disorder. When you have OSA, your airway becomes blocked when you fall asleep.
As your muscles relax, soft tissue can push into your airway restricting how well you can breathe. Snoring is the sound of some of those tissues vibrating as you try to breathe. When your airway is restricted, it can make the snoring even louder.
When you have OSA, you are falling asleep, snoring until you stop breathing, waking up, falling back asleep, and snoring again. For someone sharing a room or a bed with you, this can be as loud as turning on a vacuum cleaner.
With that in mind, how well would you sleep if someone was turning a vacuum cleaner off and on several times an hour just a few feet away from you? (It probably makes sense why your spouse seems irritable in the morning.)
Sleep Apnea Can Be Treated
This one of the services we provide at Overmeyer Family Dentistry.
Many sleep apnea patients will start by using a CPAP machine. This machine pushes air through a mask into your airways to force them open. This may work for you, but studies have shown that more than half of CPAP do not use them regularly.
And if you aren’t using it, then you aren’t treating the problem.
We have a different solution that has helped many of our patients. We can create an oral appliance that moves your lower jaw forward. By doing this, your airway is more likely to remain open.
That will help you breathe, so you can the deep sleep that you need. It also can help your spouse or partner sleep easier since it can you should snore less often and less loudly.