Many people struggle with sleep disorders but do not know it. They think of a million reasons why they are not getting solid sleep at night. However, very few of them actually think there may be something wrong with how they sleep. Sleep disorders are not the easiest of things to diagnose, and often require a person to go through a sleep study for a proper diagnosis. If you struggle to get good sleep at night, you may want to think about what your sleep patterns are like. Getting help with a sleep problem early can spare you problems down the line.
Did you know that more than 20 million people in America suffer from sleep apnea each night? That number is astounding, but what makes the scenario scary is that approximately 90% of those people are totally unaware that they suffer from it. Only those around them may even have the slightest clue that they struggle with breathing at night. Typically, only about a third of people who get diagnosed with sleep apnea had anyone tell them they slept poorly and stopped breathing each night. This means they are struggling to maintain an open airway, and most people are completely unaware.
Snoring is another of the most common sleep disorders out there. Most people have a misconception that snoring is not a big deal. They believe it to be just a noise made by some people, and nothing to worry about. This, unfortunately, can be very dangerous. About 90 million people in America snore, and about 40% of those people snore loudly and regularly. Light snoring typically is not disruptive, but heavy snoring is a sign that your body is struggling in some way. It is important that, if you snore, you get checked out by your dentist or doctor right away. Not only can snoring disrupt your sleep, but it can also cause health issues now and into the future.
There are two ways to diagnose sleep disorders. The first method is by going to a lab and having them perform a sleep study on you. This includes them hooking you up to electrodes that monitor your breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate while you sleep. They also track how often you stop or slow your breathing significantly. The more you stop breathing, the higher the chances of getting a diagnosis of sleep apnea.
The other method is by having a machine sent to your home to monitor your sleep for a few nights. Since it is often much easier to sleep at home, this tends to be a bit easier for many people. They also tend to get better results when they choose this method. For this method, your doctor will have a monitoring device sent to your home. You will put it on and wear it while sleeping. Then, you will either send the device back, or bring it to your doctor’s office for them to read the results. Your doctor will tell you how many nights to wear the device, and where to return it when done.
After either of these tests are performed, the results then have to be read. Whenever you stopped breathing for longer than a second or two during the night, a mark will be made. The doctor will then record the number of times you stop breathing in a minute. From there, you will receive your diagnosis with a determination of what type of sleep disorders you suffer from.
There are a few different treatment options available that help with most sleep disorders. First, you can try sleeping propped up. By not sleeping flat on your back, you can have an easier time managing both snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. Second, if your sleep disorders were caused from being overweight, you can try to lose weight. This helps a lot of people breathe better and struggle to get a good night’s sleep even less. Third, you can try sleeping in different positions. Most people struggle with their sleep disorders the most when they sleep on their back. By sleeping on their stomach or their sides, they sometimes find relief from both snoring and sleep apnea.
If none of those options bring you a lot of relief or helped to provide you with a good night’s sleep, then you should seek out the help of a professional who can fit you with a custom mouth guard. That is what we can do to help you here at the office of Mark Levy, DDS. If you struggle with either snoring or sleep apnea symptoms, then a mouth guard can alleviate those symptoms. What happens is that we take a mold of your mouth, and customize a mouth guard to fit in your mouth. You then wear this mouth guard at night. What it does is prop your mouth up into the perfect position for an open airway. This alleviates snoring in many cases, and it also keeps your airway open, making it to where you no longer stop breathing during the night.
If you need help following a diagnosis of any of these sleep disorders, turn to us. We know about many different types of sleeping issues that you may face. It is important that you speak to someone with the experience to tell you what to expect. Guessing about your future is not helpful. You need to know what things work and what things will not work. Plus, you also need to be able to trust in the medical advice given to you by the professionals you turn to. There are many solutions to sleep disorders that can help you get a better night’s sleep. Finding the right answer to your specific disorder means better sleep, plus it means better overall health.