You’re on your way home from work, and you’ve got the air conditioning on higher than you should. You’re trying to keep yourself awake.
You just want to get home, where you can take a nap.
What’s that? You did nod off. Thankfully it was while you were stopped at a red light. You wave an apology to the person behind you, but that honk kept you alert until you got home.
This isn’t the first time you’ve felt like you were falling asleep behind the wheel. In fact, daytime sleepiness has been a problem for a while. Your boss got on you for “sleeping at your desk” a few times, and your co-workers have teased you about it as well.
You can’t remember that last time you watch a whole game. It seems like you fall asleep anytime you sit down to watch one anymore.
Why are you so tired all the time?
You may not be getting enough sleep. You might have sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that prevents you from getting the deep, healthy sleep that you need.
If you think that might be what’s happening, then you owe it to yourself to get tested and treated (if needed). You can do that by calling our dentist office in Alma, MI.
At Mid-Michigan Dental Excellence, we can help you set up a sleep study at home. We also can design an oral appliance to help treat your condition.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Daytime sleepiness is just one possible symptom of untreated sleep apnea. Some of the others include:
▶ Loud and constant snoring *
▶ Frequent breathing stoppages while you sleep *
▶ Waking up feel fatigued
▶ Feeling irritable
▶ Trouble concentrating on tasks at work or at home
* Other people are more likely to notice these symptoms. You should ask your spouse or partner or your family if they have observed these things.
Most people snore from time to time, but people with obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to snore all night, every night.
The muscles around your throat relax as you fall asleep. This allows soft tissue to push into your airways. When your airways are restricted, this amplifies the sound of your snoring.
That is until your airways are closed off completely. That’s when you can stop breathing for what can seem like minutes at a time, although you probably are not aware that this is happening.
Even so, your body responds to this by waking you up so you can take a few breaths before you drift back to sleep … and then the cycle starts again.
Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, this can happen from 4 to more than 30 times every hour that you are asleep.
Even on the “mild” end, you are waking up every 15 minutes or so. When you restart your sleep cycle that often, you aren’t able to get deep sleep.
Get Diagnosed, Get Treated
Many sleep studies are conducted in a sleep laboratory or a hospital. That’s not you how or where you will be sleeping most nights.
By coming to Mid-Michigan Dental Excellence, we can help you do a sleep study at home. Many patients find this a more convenient and comfortable way to get tested.
If your results indicate that you do have sleep apnea, then we can discuss treatment options.
Oral appliances are a newer treatment that has been approved by the Food And Drug Administration and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. An oral appliance works by pulling your lower jaw forward slightly.
That shift can keep your airways open while you sleep. This can reduce or eliminate your snoring. More importantly, it can help you stay asleep longer so you can get the deep sleep you need to feel refreshed in the morning. Wouldn’t be nice to wake up feeling rejuvenated?
It may take a little time to get used to sleeping with what is essentially a mouthguard in your mouth, but once you do, you should notice that you feel more alert and awake throughout the day.
Are You Ready To Get A Full Night’s Sleep?
If you are, start by calling our dentist in Alma, MI, to find out how to arrange your at-home sleep study. We want to help you sleep better and feel better, too.
Call 989-796-4848 or fill out our online form to request a consultation at Mid-Michigan Dental Excellence today.