December 29, 2015

Are bleary-eyed mornings becoming a regular thing for you? You may think that the solution is simply to go to bed earlier to get a couple more hours of sleep in. However, if you happen to be like the other 25 million Americans that suffer from sleep apnea, more sleep will not help. That is because while you may think you are slumbering, your body is in fact still working as though you were awake.

Sleep apnea occurs when your body has difficulty breathing while you are sleeping. Sometimes, this occurs when your brain has trouble sending the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. Yet for most, it happens because of the muscles of throat relaxing and collapsing the airway. Thus, your body has to essentially keep waking you up during the night to keep you breathing. You may not feel this because you do not fully wake, but at the same time, your body rarely reaches the restorative levels of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep during the night.

Signs and Symptoms of the Condition

So, other than having poor energy in the morning, what other signs of sleep apnea may you be demonstrating without knowing it? They can include snoring loud enough to disturb your partner or significant other, or brief episodes of gasping for breath while you sleep. Ask your sleep partner if he or she has witnessed either of these occurring with you.

There are also symptoms of sleep apnea that you yourself may notice. These may be:

  • Difficulty sleeping at night and/or staying awake during the day
  • Experiencing headaches or dry mouth upon waking
  • Feeling irritable or having difficulty focusing while awake

A Less-Intrusive Treatment Option

Your doctor will often recommend that you use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to keep your airway open while you sleep. However, your cosmetic dentist in Chesapeake, VA might have a less-intrusive option to offer. With an oral appliance or “snore guard,” you can keep your muscles and jaw in proper alignment while sleeping, ensuring an open airway.

Your sleep apnea has deprived you of enough restful nights already. With the treatment options that Dr. Cranham has that are readily available, why would choose to let this problem plague you any longer. With our help, you will be back to having that morning spring in your step in no time at all. Just call us today at 757.251.9902 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.



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