It’s just “snoring”.

As we approach middle age, it’s common to start snoring for both men and women. Snoring is a sign that you’re not getting enough air with each breath. Snoring and pauses in breathing mean that your airway has closed. This is Obstructive Sleep Apnea. If anyone tells you that you pause in breathing, snort or gasp while sleeping, or you consistently feel unrested in the morning you should be evaluated for Sleep Apnea.

Snoring doesn’t bother the snorer, but it may cause sleep deprivation to your bed partner. Their lack of sleep can also have physiologic consequences too.

Proper sleep “stages” throughout the night are important for the body to repair and restore different organs and systems while we sleep. We typically should go through 4 sleep “stages” every 90 minutes or so, throughout the night. Each sleep stage has its “job” of what gets restored. Snoring, restless sleep, gasping, frequent waking can all be signs that you have Obstructive sleep apnea; a potentially deadly condition.

In a recent study[1] of 744 college aged who had only mild/moderate obstructive sleep apnea and normal blood pressure at baseline were followed for high blood pressure.

There was a strong association for young and middle-aged adults to develop high blood pressure because of their mild-moderate sleep apnea. They also had a higher statistical onset of metabolic syndrome (early diabetes). Older adults (over age 60) didn’t develop high blood pressure. Age seemed to be a benefit.

If you or someone you know has symptoms of sleep apnea, the earlier it is diagnosed and treated, the healthier you will be over the decades.

Many people only know about “THE MASK”, or a CPAP as the way to treat apnea or snoring. Dental appliances are an alternative to CPAP in treating sleep apnea.

Credentialed Dentists in Dental Sleep Medicine and TMJ can work with your sleep doctor to design, adjust, and monitor your progress. Oral appliances are easy to wear, (like a dental nightguard) and travel with. They require monitoring by a trained dentist periodically.

If you, or someone you know has symptoms of sleep apnea, such as snoring, we can help get them diagnosed and treated before high blood pressure and pre-diabetes develop. Oral appliances are gaining popularity for their ease of use, travel, and effectiveness.

[1] Mild-to-Moderate Sleep Apnea is associated with Incident Hypertension: Age Effect

Alexandros N Vgontzas, MD Yun Li, MD Fan He, MS Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, PhDJordan Gaines, PhD Duanping Liao, MD, PhD Maria Basta, MD Edward O Bixler, PhD

Journal SLEEP

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