A Sleep Apnea Dentist Explains Common Sleep Conditions and Treatments

Sleep ApneaAs a sleep apnea dentist, we work with a lot of patients that have difficulty sleeping at night.  This condition is fairly common as both external environmental conditions and physical problems can make it difficult to sleep. Unfortunately, without sleep health can deteriorate, and dangerous accidents can take place.  For example, driving while tired is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.  This makes it important to solve your sleep problems and start getting a good night's rest.

Some common reasons people don't get a good night sleep are:

  • Stress.  If you are going through a stressful time at home or work, it can be difficult to shut down your mind and simply relax when it’s time for bed.  We recommend drinking a glass of decaffeinated tea, reading a book or watching a show before bed.  This can help to take your mind off of what is causing you stress so that you can unwind and get some rest.
  • Poor bedding.  If your pillow or bedding is uncomfortable, it can become difficult to fall asleep.  Try purchasing a different type of pillow or a new soft blanket and see if it helps you to feel more comfortable. 
  • Lack of oxygen.  As a sleep apnea dentist, we treat patients that aren’t getting enough oxygen while they sleep.  This can always make it more difficult to get a good night’s rest as the body has to work extra hard to receive the oxygen it needs to function properly. 
  • Caffeine and sugar.  We recommend that you stop drinking coffee mid-morning so that the caffeine can get out of your system. While many people stop drinking coffee, they switch to caffeinated soda.  If you are drinking a can of coke with dinner, you may want to stop in order to get a good and relaxing night’s sleep.  The same applies to drinking too much sugar.  Not only is sugar bad for you but it can keep you up at night.  Switch to water and healthy snacks, instead.  
  • Noise.  If your house is too loud, perhaps you live with roommates; do what you can to reduce the noise so that you can sleep soundly.  There are machines you can purchase that will place white noise into the air in order to help you sleep peacefully. 

As a sleep apnea dentist, we also recommend conducting a sleep study. This will allow us to determine what is happening at night physically.  In many cases, the lower jaw is falling backwards and the tongue with it.  As the tongue falls back, it blocks the airways and makes it difficult to breathe properly.  We can create a removable oral appliance that is worn at night to hold the jaw and tongue in place.  It looks like a full plastic retainer that attaches together.  These devices are comfortable and an easy way to improve breathing at night.  As oxygen levels are improved, most people report sleeping soundly and having significantly more energy the next day.

For more information, call and schedule an appointment.

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