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The Sleep Apnea Before Christmas

Posted on December 11th, 2017

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While the sounds of snoring stuck in their heads.  
Mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,  
Had just settled in for a long winter’s nap,

Then my wife shook me awake. “What’s the matter?” said I

“Your snoring,” she replied, pointing, “Take it outside.”

The night before Christmas isn’t as fun when someone with sleep apnea is sleeping down the hall or in the same room. Your loud, constant snoring could be preventing your spouse and your children from getting the deep, restful sleep they will need to open their presents the next morning.

When people don’t get a good night’s sleep, they are more likely to feel grumpy or irritable the next day — not exactly the spirit of the holiday. Give yourself and your family a gift that could last for many Christmases to come.

Call (770) 941-6979 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists in Marietta, GA. Find out if Atlanta West Dentistry could help you — and your loved ones — sleep better with our snoring and sleep apnea treatment.

Sleep Apnea And Snoring

Snoring isn’t the only symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, but it is the most noticeable. (Again, just ask your family.)

Most people will snore from time to time. Snoring occurs when air is not able to move easily through your airway. This causes the soft tissues to vibrate, which is what produces the sound of snoring.

The narrower your airways are, the more likely you are to snore.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your airway is restricted in some way. This may be due to your particular anatomy, i.e. you airway may be naturally narrow. This also can be the result of how your tongue rests when you fall asleep or the result of muscles relaxing and blocking your airway as you drift off to sleep.

This is why constant, loud snoring is common among people with sleep apnea. When you have obstructive sleep apnea, your airways gradually become more restricted. As your airways get smaller, you snore … until your airways are cut off completely. Then you stop snoring because you also stop breathing.

Your body responds to this by waking you up — briefly — so you can breathe again. As you start to fall back asleep, you start snoring again, too. This is a cycle that can repeat hundreds of times every night.

Sleep Apnea And Sleep Deprivation

We’ve all had nights when we didn’t get enough sleep. We’ve also all dealt with people on days after they’ve slept poorly.

That often leaves people feeling irritable and more easily annoyed than usual. Sleep deprivation will do that to you, and when you have untreated sleep apnea, you are being deprived of sleep practically every night.

Every time you stop breathing and your body wakes you up, you start your sleep cycle again. Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, you could be waking up dozens of times every hour that you are asleep. As a result, you remain in the early, light stages of sleep, and you rarely, if ever, get the deep, quality sleep that health experts believe we all need.

Without deep sleep, you feel sleep deprived. When you are sleep deprived, you become agitated more easily.

Sleep deprivation also has other risky consequences. People who are sleep deprived are more likely to experience daytime sleepiness as well.

This can be frustrating, such as when you fall asleep while watching your favorite team on television. This can be embarrassing, such as when you get caught nodding off at work.

This can be dangerous, too. People with untreated sleep apnea are more than twice as likely as other drivers to be involved in car accidents. Falling asleep behind the wheel isn’t just risky for you. It’s risky for anyone in your car.

Treating Sleep Apnea

Our dentists in Marietta, GA may be able to help you breathe more easily while you are sleeping. Our treatment also reduces your snoring. It can help you get the deep, quality sleep you need to wake up feeling refreshed.

We can create a custom-fitted snore guard for you to wear when you go to bed. This works by adjusting the position of your jaw, which helps to keep your airway open. That is why you snore less and can continue breathing. As a result, you don’t wake up, so you can get the deep sleep that you need.

To find out if this treatment could work for you, start by scheduling a consultation at Atlanta West Dentistry. Either fill out our online form or call (770) 941-6979 to request an appointment.