How important is sleep?
To be more specific, how important is quality sleep?
In many ways, sleep is still a mystery for us. At the same time, health experts agree that we need deep sleep to recover from our daily activities. Without deep sleep, we become sleep deprived, and that can have bad effects on our health.
If you have sleep apnea, there is a high likelihood that you are sleep deprived as well. Waking up feeling tired and frequent daytime sleepiness are both symptoms of untreated sleep apnea.
If you suspect that you or someone you love has sleep apnea, please call (210) 819-5233 or contact us online. Advanced Dental Associates has been helping patients in San Antonio get better sleep for years.
Let us show you how we could help.
You Need Quality Sleep
In a world where we are racing to get the kids ready for school, to get to work, and to find time for our family and friends, many people neglect sleep’s importance.
In the 1940s, psychologist Abraham Maslow developed a theory in the 1940s that he called the hierarchy of human needs. The idea was that people must meet their basic needs before they can do other things.
This starts with a foundation of physical needs. That includes food, shelter, and sleep.
If you have sleep apnea, you have a sleep disorder. This disorder interrupts your sleep dozens of times every hour and potentially hundreds of times every night.
In the early stages of sleep, you can wake up easily. If that is disrupted, you will be restarting your sleep cycle repeatedly rather than getting into the deep stages of sleep. This includes REM sleep, which is when people dream.
As we mentioned above, without deep sleep, you can feel tired throughout the day as well. Not only can this leave you feeling fatigued. It also can make you irritable and forgetful.
The daytime sleepiness that we mentioned can hurt you in small and potentially harmful ways. Falling asleep on the couch may be annoying. Falling asleep behind the wheel of a car can be dangerous.
And we aren’t just saying that. Multiple studies have shown that people with untreated sleep apnea are more than twice as likely to be involved in car accidents as other drivers.
How Sleep Apnea Leads To Sleep Deprivation
When you have sleep apnea, you stop breathing when you fall asleep. For people with the most common form of this condition, obstructive sleep apnea, this happens for physical reasons.
When you fall asleep, your muscles relax. This allows soft tissue to block your airways.
Generally, this is a gradual process. As your airway get narrower, you begin to snore — loudly. When your airway is completely cut off, you stop snoring because you also stop breathing. In response, your body wakes you up briefly. This allows you to take a few breaths before you drift back to sleep.
And then the cycle starts again.
This means you remain in the stages of light sleep. Therefore, you rarely remain asleep long enough to reach the deep stages of sleep.
In order to remain asleep longer, you need a way to continue breathing. (Coincidentally, this can help you snore less often and less loudly as well.)
Getting A Good Night’s Sleep
When you have a night of quality sleep, you feel refreshed when you wake up. You feel more alert, too.
At this point, you may be wondering how dentists can help with this issue.
At Advanced Dental Associates, we start with a simple questionnaire. If you indicate that you may have symptoms of sleep apnea, we can refer you to a sleep physician for a diagnosis.
If you do have sleep apnea, we can create a custom-fitted oral appliance for you. This is similar to a mouthguard that you would wear while you sleep.
The appliance holds your jaw in a way that helps to keep your airway open. This allows you to breathe more easily and to stay asleep longer. This can allow you to get the deep sleep that you need to be healthier and more awake throughout the day.
Treat Your Sleep Apnea Today!
If you are tired of feeling so tired all the time, find out if you may have sleep apnea. If so, our dentists in San Antonio are here to help.