Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to being able to be focus on work, remain healthy and happy, and even stay alive. If you snore, wake up frequently, are overweight, drowsy during the day, or have morning headaches, you may suffer from something more serious than insomnia.
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, an estimated 22 million Americans have sleep apnea, 80% of them undiagnosed. An apnea is a brief interruption of breathing when you sleep, causing a loss of oxygen, and the individual is often unconsciously awakened for a moment. This can occur hundreds of times during the night, resulting in a lack of a restorative rest, which has serious consequences.
WebMD.com reported studies of the consequences of all types of sleep deprivation:
- Loss of sleep can raise blood pressure, result in an irregular heartbeat, and increase the risk for heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.
- Lack of sleep increases appetite, leading to excessive weight (a Body Mass Index over 35 greatly increases the chances of having sleep apnea).
- Poor sleep impairs the ability to pay attention, concentrate, reason, solve problems, and remember things.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributes 100,000 vehicle crashes and 1,550 deaths a year to fatigue.
- A study of 10,000 people found that anyone with insomnia was five times as likely to develop clinical depression.
- Half of men with sleep apnea lost testosterone during the night, resulting in a lower libido.
- A study of 10,000 British civil servants over two decades found that those who had cut their sound sleep from seven to five hours or fewer nearly doubled their risk of death from all causes.
While the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device is considered the most effective treatment, it has to be connected it by a tube to a mask that needs to be worn all night, which many patients find uncomfortable. A study showed that half of those whose doctors prescribe it do not use the device properly and long-term compliance is challenging.
“Fortunately, at Wilshire Smile Studio we can recommend other options to improve patients’ sleep,” said Dr. Igal Elyassi. “In some cases, oral surgery or prescription medication will help. However, the most popular solution for many is a customized, FDA-approved oral appliance that is worn during the night, keeping the airway open.”
Don’t go another night with disturbed sleep. Call the sleep apnea experts at 323-DENTIST (336-8478).