Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI
Sleep loss plagues everyone from time to time. But for some sufferers, turning and tossing or frequent awakenings throughout the night are enough to impact their daily lives, even to the point of developing health problems and depression. But there are many people dealing with sleep loss that may only feel fatigued throughout the day and not realize the impact that sleep loss has on their health. So, today on the blog, we’re answering a common question, is sleep loss really that big of a deal?
Common causes of sleep loss
Sleep loss can be caused by a variety of factors including caffeine consumption close to bedtime, drinking alcohol, eating a heavy meal late at night, stress, a side effect of certain medications, or untreated sleep apnea. Some of these causes can be remedied by modifying your diet, getting plenty of exercise, and reducing stress in your life, but sleep apnea requires the help of an airway dentist in Royal Oak, like Dr. Nancy Hartrick.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which the airway becomes partially or completely blocked during sleep. Many times, sleep apnea sufferers are unaware of their condition, although may find that they wake frequently throughout the night, toss and turn, or have insomnia. Loud snoring or gasping for air are other common symptoms of sleep apnea.
Why is sleep loss a big deal?
Sleep loss can lead to various problems in life, such as an increased risk of an accident (either while driving or operating machinery at work), migraines or frequent headaches, weight gain, and low sex drive, and it can make the sufferer lose interest in once-loved activities because they are tired all of the time. Sleep loss sufferers that experience poor quality sleep night after night may even exhibit symptoms of depression. If these issues aren’t enough to make you want to seek help, sleep loss, and air deprivation also increase one’s risk of heart disease, stroke, insulin resistance, and certain cancers.
How does sleep apnea affect the quality of my sleep?
Sleep apnea interferes with the REM sleep cycle, which is the deepest stage of sleep where the brain and cells throughout your body repair and rejuvenate. Depriving your body of these REM sleep stresses the brain, and can lead to chronic systemic inflammation, which increases your risk of various other health problems mentioned above. Therefore, if you snore, experience daytime fatigue, or have been told that you have sleep apnea, it is imperative that you see an airway dentist near you in Royal Oak.
Who is at risk of sleep apnea?
You might assume that since snoring is one of the biggest indicators of sleep apnea that it only affects the elderly and overweight individuals. But even young, healthy athletes are at risk of sleep apnea. Therefore, Dr. Hartrick recommends a simple airway screening when you see us for a check-up.
How can I get help for my sleep apnea and snoring?
Dr. Hartrick can recommend a sleep study, if necessary, and work with your sleep medicine physician to administer a comfortable and convenient oral appliance to relieve you of your sleep apnea symptoms and the risks associated with it. Our oral appliances are often covered by insurance and have a higher compliance rate than CPAP machines which are bulky, noisy, and uncomfortable. Therefore, if you’d like to learn more about sleep apnea evaluations or find out about an oral appliance designed to manage snoring, contact Hartrick Dentistry by calling (248) 549-0950.