October 15, 2018
Getting proper sleep rejuvenates both your mind and body, fortifies your immune function, helps to regulate your hormones and much more. When you’re denied these and other benefits, your life is thrown out of balance. A common contributor to restless nights is a condition called sleep apnea, an issue that can become life-threatening if ignored. As you read further, your dentist lists 5 ways this condition can impact your life and the treatment options available.
What is Sleep Apnea?
To suffer from apnea is to have lapses or pauses in your breathing throughout the night. As a protection mechanism, your brain sends a distress signal that alerts you to awaken, and since this can happen multiple times throughout the night, you’re unable to reap the true benefits of sleep.
Symptom #1 – Depression
Your body has an internal clock called its circadian rhythm. When your sleep cycle is interrupted, it changes your hormone production, and it can affect your mood, leaving you feeling depressed more often.
Symptom #2 – Daytime Fatigue
If your time of slumber each night doesn’t leave you feeling replenished, then it is fruitless. Daytime sleepiness and lethargy can not only sour your job performance, but it can become dangerous when you factor in the chances of falling asleep while driving.
Symptom #3 – Negative Impact on Relationships
The absence of adequate sleep can lead to problems with those around you. Here are some of the changes in your personality that could come about:
- Loud snoring
- Decreased libido
- Lack of enthusiasm about any physical exertion
Symptom #4 – Higher Health Care Costs
Studies show that people with untreated sleep apnea can expect to have higher hospitalization and healthcare costs. That’s because this condition contributes to other serious health problems like heart attack, stroke and hypertension.
Symptom #5 – Weight Gain
Not only can untreated sleep apnea stretch your wallet, it can also expand your waistline and lead to obesity. This is brought on by hormonal changes, which can even have an impact on your choice of foods and how well your body metabolizes certain nutrients.
The Good News!
It’s good to know that you don’t have to settle for living with sleep apnea. Your sleep dentist offers several alternatives (oral appliances) to the traditional way of treating sleep apnea – which is the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine.
Unfortunately, many patients consider the latter to be loud and cumbersome, but a compact oral appliance requires no tube or mask. Instead, it will either shift your jaw or adjust your tongue to aid in better airflow when you sleep.
So to enjoy a better night of rest, contact the Sleep Center to schedule a consultation today.
About the Author
A graduate of the University of Southern California School of Dentistry, Dr. Pamela West is one of the “Top Dentists” in Greater Las Vegas. An expert in sleep dentistry, she maintains affiliation with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. Dr. West helps patients enjoy the proper sleep they need and richer lives by treating sleep apnea at iSleep Solutions, and she can be reached for more information through her website.
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