All I Want for Christmas Is a Good Night’s Sleep

man asleep on couch with puppy in his lap at christmas

We need our sleep. Sleep helps control our weight and metabolism, helps us keep our mood in check, helps prevent cardiovascular diseases, keeps our immune systems in working order, and even makes us smarter! No matter how many things we have to do on our to-do list, if rest isn’t on it, chances are that our bodies will pay the price. So if something is keeping you from getting the seven to nine hours of sleep per night, such as sleep apnea, you must take steps to seek treatment. If you don’t, your health may deteriorate, and your quality of life will, too.

What is sleep apnea?

Before we talk about how to treat sleep apnea, let’s talk about what it is in the first place. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are three types of sleep apnea.

  • Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your throat muscles are unable to relax.
  • Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t provide the required cues to the muscles responsible for your breathing.
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome occurs when a patient has symptoms aligning with both obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common. In this case, the muscles in the back of your throat cannot relax. These throat muscles support that triangular piece of tissue that hangs in the back of your throat (the uvula), your tonsils, and the sidewalls of your throat and tongue. When your muscles relax, that airway narrows and closes as you take in air. If you can’t get enough air, it lowers the oxygen level in your blood.

As a result, your brain thinks you can’t breathe and awakens you so that you can reopen your airway. That constant waking will keep you from getting the hours of deep sleep that you need for optimal health. In the morning, you will feel fatigued but won’t understand why you are so tired, especially if you go to bed on time.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Aside from fatigue, there are some frequent signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. The most common are:

  • Daytime sleepiness or fatigue.
  • Depression or anxiety.
  • Sore throat or dry mouth when you wake up.
  • Frequent nighttime awakenings.
  • Frequent nighttime urination.
  • Headaches.
  • Night sweats.
  • A sensation of gasping or choking that wakes you up from sleep.
  • Sexual dysfunction.
  • Snoring.
  • Trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, or irritability.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

If you are experiencing fatigue and one or more of the symptoms listed above, we highly recommend that you be assessed for sleep apnea. Thankfully, if you do have this condition, there are treatment options available. Typical treatment options for this condition through sleep dentistry include:

  • CPAP Machine – A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine pushes a steady stream of air through a sleep apnea mask that you wear while you sleep. As a result, your airway stays open, meaning you snore less and sleep better. 
  • BiPAP Machine – Though you don’t hear about these machines as often as CPAP machines, bi-level positive airways pressure (BiPAP) machines provide a stream of air that effectively keeps your airways open. However, different from the CPAP, the BiPAP does not provide the same, constant pressure all the time. There are some patients that have trouble exhaling with all of that steady pressure. So, in that case, the BiPAP machine gives you less air while you breathe out.
  • Oral Devices – If you have sleep apnea, your dentist might suggest a mouthguard. These mouthpieces bring your jaw forward to open your airway. In most cases, your dentist will custom-make the mouthguard for you to ensure the best fit, most comfort, and the optimal solution.
  • Weight Loss – If you are overweight or obese and have trouble sleeping, your dentist might recommend weight loss to get you down to a healthier BMI. Fat deposits in your upper airway can limit airflow and keep the muscles from doing their job. 

Dr. Rozensky understands the connection between sleep apnea and your overall well-being.

If you have this condition and live or work in the area of The Villages, Florida, you’re in luck. Dr. Rozensky at Laurel Manor SleepCare has completed mastery courses on Dental Sleep Medicine and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. Dr. Rozensky uses these qualifications and skills to provide his patients with an alternative form of treatment called oral appliance therapy, or OAT, for patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

Most of Dr. Rozensky’s patients have experienced an extraordinary quality of life after receiving their obstructive sleep apnea treatment. And our team is convinced that we can help you too.

Don’t delay your sleep apnea consultation. 

Your sleep is essential to your overall health. So if you aren’t getting enough zzzzz’s, it’s time to get a sleep apnea consultation. The sooner you obtain treatment, the sooner you can get to sleep better and longer in order to have a more effective day. Request an appointment online or give our office a call. Dr. Rozensky and the Laurel Manor SleepCare team look forward to seeing you.