There are many different types of sleep problems out there, one of which is sleep apnea. If you are a fan of the Baltimore Ravens, you likely know about center Ryan Jensen’s diagnosis with sleep apnea. According to Jensen, he knew something was not right. However, he did not expect sleep problems to be the cause of the issues he felt. Since his diagnosis and treatment started, he feels better than ever. He credits his sleep apnea treatment with saving his career, and likely, his life.
Center Ryan Jensen got selected during the sixth round of the NFL draft class of 2013. By the time his second season with the Baltimore Ravens began in 2014, he was not feeling right. Without trying, he was losing both weight and muscle mass. He found himself exhausted all day long, and just felt off. During a game that his parents were able to attend around this same time, he wound up being short with how he addressed his mother. Following the game, after a call from his father, Jensen realized that his attitude had changed. Until this point, he was not even aware of any outward symptoms of a problem aside from the exhaustion and weight loss.
Once he realized that others saw a problem, he went in for testing. Since he passed a test earlier in his career for sleep apnea, he did not think this was the problem. However, following a more extensive test, he got the final diagnosis of sleep apnea. Not only did he have this type of sleep issue, but he was also told that it was a rather severe form of the problem. He would stop breathing for up to 40 seconds at a time, plus he was only getting about an hour and a half of actual solid sleep each night. This is why he was so tired, and why his body was slowly shutting down on him.
Ryan Jensen went about getting treated for his sleep apnea to hopefully end his sleep problems. However, his treatment has also been able to help other avenues of his life. Since getting his CPAP machine, he has been able to maintain his weight. It has given him more mental clarity than he had when he was first diagnosed. Plus, he says that he is now better at his job than he was during that period of his life. If not for getting treated for his sleep problems, Jensen firmly believes that he would not be where he is today. He believes he would have lost his job, and quite possibly, his life, due to how often he stopped breathing.
Ryan Jensen is far from the only professional athlete who has sleep problems like apnea. In fact, when the NFL tested a bunch of linebackers, a third of them came back as having this condition. It is far more common than most people realize. Jensen takes the time to speak out about the issue he faces with his sleep problems. He listens to his teammates and even suggests they go in when their symptoms mimic his initial symptoms. The focus for him has shifted. He went from trying to take care of himself, to raising awareness of what sleep problems can do.
Sleep apnea is only one type of sleep problem that many people suffer from. If you notice that you are overly-tired during the day, start to struggle with concentration out of nowhere, or begin to feel ill without other symptoms, contact your dentist or doctor. Many of them can help with the diagnosis process. Once you have your sleep problems diagnosed, it becomes easier for you because the problems can be treated. Your doctor or your dentist will tell you what types of things to consider so you can start feeling better right away. Between losing weight, using an oral appliance, or getting a CPAP machine, sleep problems can become a part of your past. Finding out which sleep problems you face is the first step in starting to feel more like yourself.
Those that are diagnosed with sleep problems like sleep apnea, need help. There are quite a few treatment options out there. You can opt for a CPAP machine if you need something to help hold your airway open while you sleep. For those with slightly milder sleep problems, you may benefit from an oral appliance that holds your jaw in place. Instead of using air pressure to open your airway, you use this appliance. It shifts your jaw forward, helping to keep your airway open during the night.
These appliances are easy to get from your dentist, and they can help you sleep better the first night you wear them. They are only worn during sleep, and you take them out to go about your day and keep them clean. While they may seem small and unassuming, oral appliances can help greatly when you have sleep problems. Finding a professional who specializes in them is often more difficult than getting fitted for one. Luckily for you, we can help. You would come in and have a mold made of your mouth. From that, we have a custom mouth guard made for your mouth. Once the appliance is complete, you come in to make sure it fits perfectly. Then, you wear it each night to get a more solid night’s sleep.