Snoring. If your spouse does it, you hate it. If you do it, you're probably not aware that it could be causing some serious health issues.
Snoring is usually a symptom of the most common form of sleep apnea, when your airway closes at night, cutting off your air supply. This interruption of your breathing leads to a shortage of oxygen in your brain, which causes your brain to wake up just enough to restore breathing and signal your heart to pump harder. This can happen hundreds of times throughout the night, leading to a poor night's sleep. Sleeplessness can lead to mood disorders, loss of memory, elevated blood pressure and even an increased risk of heart failure or stroke.
Many sleep apnea sufferers seek treatment in the form of a CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine. Using a CPAP involves wearing a mask over your face, while a tube pushes mild air pressure through to keep the airways open. While effective, CPAPs are cumbersome and hard to travel with. Fortunately, there are less invasive ways to tackle the troubles of sleep apnea.
Sleep on your side. Some people only suffer from sleep apnea when they're on their back. A simple way to combat back sleeping is to drop a tennis ball in a sock, then pin the sock to the back of your pajama top. The tennis ball keeps you from lying flat on your back and keeps your airwaves clearer.
Take control of your weight. About 70 percent of sleep apnea sufferers are overweight or obese. If this is you, head the advice of your doctor and try to lose a few pounds. Not only will your health improve, it could diminish your snoring, leading to an improved relationship with your spouse. (Because, let's be honest, everyone is happier when the snoring stops)
Try an oral appliance. Similar to a mouth guard, a Mandibular Advancement Device keeps the lower jaw in a forward position as you sleep. This increases the space between the airways passage to help you breathe better. Some devices can also stop the tongue from falling over the windpipe. Your dentist can help fit you with a custom oral device for your mouth and jawline. Dr. Lance Timmerman has helped many patients overcome sleep apnea and snoring. If you're ready to get a better night's sleep, dental sleep treatment using an oral appliance could be right for you. Contact Dr. Lance Timmerman to find out more today.