A good night’s sleep usually leaves you feeling energized when you wake up; however, your typical morning routine probably includes grabbing a cup of coffee or two before you can get your day started! You might feel groggy and unmotivated until that cup of caffeine finally hits your system. The reason that you could be feeling this way could be due to a number of things, and one of those things includes snoring.
You probably don’t think of snoring as something to be overly concerned about, but frequent, loud snoring may be a sign of sleep apnea, a common and potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts as you sleep.
How do you know if you or your partner has sleep apnea?
Symptoms – Loud, frequent snoring accompanied by snorting, choking ,or gasping for air mid-sleep is a big indicator. However, other less audible symptoms, including any pains or discomforts, morning headaches, or even dry mouth upon awakening are also signs you or your partner has sleep apnea.
Causes – Sleep apnea occurs when a person is unable to get air into their lungs after he or she falls asleep. The muscles in the back of your throat relax, thus causing your airway to narrow or close when you breathe in. This pause in breathing triggers your brain to briefly wake you up potentially hundreds of times throughout the night. Though you won’t be able to recall these instances, it can disrupt your sleep patterns, keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep. This exposes the body to stresses that cause you to be irritable and unable to focus.
Treatments – Treatment options for sleep apnea vary depending on the severity of the disorder. For individuals with mild cases, you may only need to make lifestyle changes such as losing weight, altering your sleep position, or quitting smoking. For moderate to severe cases, certain devices may be recommended by your healthcare provider.
Although sleep apnea is treatable, it often goes unrecognized. Learning how to identify the warning signs is the first step in overcoming sleep apnea and getting a good night’s sleep.
Dentists are often the first professionals to become aware of health issues such as sleep apnea. Come visit us at Foley Dental Group to ensure that you come out with a clean bill of health! Request an appointment with us at (618) 288-9670 or online at www.foleydentalgroup.com.