When you finally get a full night’s sleep, you feel like a million bucks! In fact, studies from Dr. Nicole Tang of the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick show that improving sleep quality leads to levels of mental and physical health compared to those of someone who won a lottery jackpot. Who knew that getting eight hours of sleep could affect your mood that drastically?
Patients with sleep apnea in Columbia know all too well how a lack of sleep can affect their quality of life. If you’re struggling to get a full night’s rest, it may be time to seek professional help from Dr. Brian Fann and our team at The Art of Dentistry.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Are you jeopardizing your health while sleeping?
The most common sleeping disorder is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This condition that causes your airway to become blocked while you’re sleeping. That’s how your body ends up pausing your breath or taking very shallow breaths while you sleep.
The lack of oxygen makes your brain suddenly send emergency signals, forcing your body to jolt awake just long enough to clear your airway. Most patients hardly remember waking up, but this not only interrupts your critical sleep cycle, but it also creates these health complications:
- Severe morning headaches
- Difficulties focusing
- Memory issues
- Fatigue and daytime exhaustion
How is my day to day life affected?
Sleep deprivation takes a huge toll on the overall quality of your life. You are constantly tired and most likely cranky because your body is lacking rest that it critically needs to refresh itself. The toll that irregular sleep takes becomes evident quickly, making the simplest tasks difficult to focus on. Your increased irritability will eventually affect your relationships with the loved ones around you.
How can I recognize the symptoms of OSA?
The irregular breathing patterns that sleep apnea causes can stop and start anywhere from 20 to 30 in a single hour. When you start breathing again, you will normally start with a loud snort or choking sound. It’s nearly impossible to catch yourself having symptoms of sleep apnea while sleeping, but if your spouse notices you choking or gasping for air in your sleep, you should seek assistance right away. You may experience these symptoms if you’re dealing with any form of sleep apnea:
- Frequent waking throughout the night
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Difficulty focusing, especially at work or while driving
- Dry mouth or a sore throat
- Exhaustion, irritability, and/or depression
How can The Art of Dentistry help treat OSA?
Many patients find relief from their sleep apnea symptoms by simply wearing a custom oral appliance created by Dr. Fann. The oral appliance helps to comfortably shift your jaw slightly forward, clearing your airway for proper breathing.
If you or your partner notice symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, contact your Columbia dentist right away! We want to help all our patients feel like they just won the lottery when they first wake. We’d be happy to schedule an appointment for you.