Studies show that 35% of Americans don’t get enough sleep. And of that population, 1 in 3 admit to driving drowsy at least once a month. These statistics are very alarming given that 1 in 5 fatal crashes in the U.S. each year is caused by drowsy driving. These numbers stem from people not getting enough rest, but a major way to make an impact is with sleep apnea therapy of Arlington Heights. Your dentist will explain further why this treatment is so important and how you too, can get some relief.
What is Sleep Apnea?
The second most common sleep disorder in the United States, sleep apnea is an interruption in your sleep due to blocked airways. Your brain has a mechanism that alerts you to wake up when your breathing is inhibited; thus, the person with this disorder will be forced to break his or her sleep throughout the night just to stay alive.
The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Here are some of the signs of sleep apnea to be on the lookout for:
- Persistent Loud Snoring – Not all people who snore have sleep apnea disorder, but all people with sleep apnea are loud snorers so it’s best to get checked out if you growl throughout the night.
- Gasping for Air – If you find yourself gasping for air when you wake up, this could be a sign to act on immediately.
- Morning Headaches – Another symptom to look for is morning headache, sore throat or dry mouth. These are common when there has been a constant disruption of your breathing.
- Daytime Exhaustion – You should not be tired throughout the day. Your body has a circadian rhythm that should cause you to feel more energetic when the sun is shining. If you lack this on a constant basis, that’s a sign of sleep apnea.
- No Focus – It’s impossible to focus when your body is lacking rest because it has not had a chance to recharge.
- Mood Swings – Another symptom of improper rest is that your moods will rise and fall like the tides of the ocean. This is because lack of rest has an effect on your hormones.
- Sexual Dysfunction – An example of a hormonal casualty, your sexual drive and function can be impacted greatly by the constant loss of sleep.
Sleep apnea is far more important than maybe most understand because a body that is denied the ability to rest can’t sustain itself. That’s why your dentist offers an immediate solution.
The most commonly known method is the CPAP machine, which includes a mask and tube that is worn to force air into the patient’s mouth while sleeping. However, most people have issues with the bulkiness and noise of the machine.
That’s why your dentist offers oral appliance therapy, which involves the use of removable mouthguards that push your jaw forward while you sleep, tightening the throat muscles so that the airway remains open.
This is an amazingly simple, yet effective method to address your sleep apnea problems and help you achieve an excellent night’s sleep, so that during the day you can be safe, productive and happy. Contact your local dentist to start the journey toward restful nights.
About the Author
Dr. Brian Zulawinski received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University and then went on to earn his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Indiana University School of Dentistry. A member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Zulawinski practices at Sleep Better and can be reached for more information through his website.