You want to sleep well and wake up feeling refreshed. So does your spouse.
Your snoring is no longer the target of light-hearted jokes. Instead, it may be the reason both you and the love of your life can’t keep a full night’s sleep.
Your snoring may be a symptom of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that prevents you from getting healthy sleep.
If you want to sleep better, you need to make some changes, starting with calling someone who can help. That someone could be one of the dentists at Atlanta West Dentistry. If you live in Atlanta, Smyrna, or anywhere in between, you should make an appointment at our dentist office in Marietta, GA.
Healthy sleep will do you, your spouse, and possibly your marriage a world of good.
We aren’t saying this to be alarming. We are saying it because of the effects that sleep apnea has on your body.
Whether you know it or not, sleep is essential for your overall health. Indeed the Harvard Medical School has compared sleep to something else invaluable for our survival — eating.
When you have untreated sleep apnea, however, you aren’t getting the sleep that health experts are convinced that everyone needs for long-term health. In fact, you may not be getting much sleep at all.
Anyone who has sleep apnea stops breathing when he or she falls asleep. These breathing stoppages can last up to 30 seconds at a time, and they can occur anywhere from four (mild sleep apnea) to more than 30 (severe sleep apnea) times per hour.
Think about that for a moment, in eight hours, you could stop breathing 32 times in a single night if you have mild sleep apnea.
How does your body react to that? It wakes you up. It may not be for long. You may not remember waking up. (Then again, waking up gasping for breath is a common symptom of sleep apnea.)
But you wake up so you can take another breath and stay alive. The problem is that every time you wake up, you start your sleep cycle again.
Throughout the night, people who get healthy sleep go through multiple cycles of light and deep sleep. Health experts believe deep sleep plays a role in our recovering from injuries and health issues.
If you are waking yourself up every 2 to 15 minutes, you aren’t getting much deep sleep if you are getting any at all. Instead, your body is in survival mode.
This could help explain why people with sleep apnea often have high blood pressure along with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
That’s a big part of the reasons our dentists in Marietta, GA, want to help you treat you sleep apnea sooner rather than later.
Snoring may be the telltale sign of obstructive sleep apnea, which is the most common form of this sleep disorder.
Everyone snores sometimes, but people with OSA will snore loudly and constantly throughout the night. This is a direct result of the way their airways become closed off when they fall asleep.
When your airways are narrow, this makes is both harder to breathe and amplifies the sound of your snoring. (Your spouse may have complained about this.) If you can imagine someone’s phone ringing just feet away from you multiple times every hour, you can understand what you spouse is trying to sleep through.
In addition to snoring, other common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
▸ Waking up frequently feeling like you are struggling to breathe
▸ Frequent morning headaches
▸ Difficulty concentrating on work or a task (like a home improvement project)
▸ Frequent daytime sleepiness
That last symptom is worth noting for a couple reasons. It can be embarrassing if it happens at work, but it can be dangerous as well. It’s a factor in why people with sleep apnea are more than twice as likely as other people to be involved in car accidents.
To treat your sleep apnea, you need to find a way to keep breathing. One way to do that is by forcing air into your airways with a CPAP machine.
Another way, which many people find more comfortable than a CPAP, is to get a snore guard. This is a custom-fitted mouthguard that you wear while you sleep. The snore guard changes the position of your jaw in a way that helps your airways stay open.
You can get a snore guard at Atlanta West Dentistry. But first, you need to get diagnosed.
Start by scheduling an appointment at our dentist office in Marietta, GA, by calling (770) 941-6979 or by filling out our online form. Help yourself (and your spouse) get the sleep that you both want and need.
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