Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder that causes your breathing to repeatedly stop and start throughout the night while you try to sleep, which impacts more than 22 million people in the U.S. according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. Sleep apnea can leave you feeling extremely tired even if you went to bed early enough the night before. If you think you may have sleep apnea, contact Singing River Dentistry and our team of professionals can see if you are a candidate for any of our treatment methods.
Signs you Have Sleep Apnea
One of the most common signs of sleep apnea is chronic snoring. If a loved one or family member cannot check on you at night to see if you suffer from chronic snoring, there are phone apps now that can record you while you sleep so that you can go back the next morning and "review the tape."
Other symptoms of sleep apnea include sleeplessness, sleep deprivation, impact on your mood, falling asleep during the day while working or driving, difficulty paying attention or remembering things that just happened and high blood pressure.
Even alone, these are all very serious issues, and when you put them together, it can lead to major health problems. If sleep apnea is left untreated, it can even cause heart attacks, heart failure, stroke or depression.
What Can Cause Sleep Apnea
There are two main causes of sleep apnea, one physical and the other mental.
The most common cause stems from the muscles in the back of your throat relaxing too much while you fall asleep. When these muscles relax, it constricts your airway causing that classic snoring sound. The snoring is just the start of the problem. The sound of snoring is really the sound of your body indicating it is not getting enough oxygen. When you have a chronic snore due to sleep apnea, it will happen consistently throughout the night. Your body will constantly cycle between falling asleep, snoring due to lack of oxygen, briefly being woken up because your brain senses that it is not getting enough oxygen, and falling back asleep again to restart the cycle.
This cycle can happen so quickly you may not even remember waking up in the middle of it. You will feel the effects the next morning, however, as the sleep apnea prevented your body from getting the deep restful sleep it needs.
The other major cause of sleep apnea stems from a mental condition that prevents your brain from sending signals to your lungs to breathe properly in your sleep. This causes you to wake briefly during the night to catch your breath. Again, it prevents your body from getting any deep restful sleep.
If you think you are suffering from sleep apnea, stop guessing and come by Singing River Dentistry. We are trained to diagnose and treat certain types of sleep apnea so you can get back to getting a restful night’s sleep. Call us at 256-712-3186 to see how our state-of-the-art oral appliance therapy methods can help correct your sleep apnea without having to use bulky machinery.
Statistics Cited: American Sleep Apnea Association – Sleep Apnea Information for Clinicians
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