Creating the best sleep environment and bedtime routine

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Creating the best sleep environment and bedtime routine

Creating the best sleep environment and bedtime routine

Posted on Monday, December 16th, 2019 at 9:39 pm    

Establishing a healthy nightly routine is imperative to getting a good night’s sleep. Shut the door and get into bed with herbal tea and a good book, or whatever is your idea of the perfect hour before sleep. Fine-tuning each component of your sleep environment may take some planning, but it’s worth it for the restful, deep sleep you deserve. Below are a few tips for getting a good night’s sleep:

Adjust the Temperature

It might not seem like something that can be boiled down to pure science, but some scientists have zeroed in on one key component of a good night’s sleep: the room’s temperature. According to an article by the National Sleep Foundation, your bedroom’s temperature should be no hotter than 75 degrees Fahrenheit or colder than 54 degrees Fahrenheit. This, of course, is dependent on your sleep clothes and the heaviness of your blankets, but in general, colder bedrooms will give you better sleep. 

Reduce Noise and Darken Your Room

If possible, cut down on as much noise and light as you can. The National Sleep Foundation found that noise between 40 and 70 decibels can keep us up at night. This means something as quiet as your cat pawing at your door at 4 a.m., or as loud as your neighbors down the street throwing a rager into the wee hours could throw off your circadian rhythm. At the same time, though, the absence of some sounds can have the same disturbing effect on us. Have you ever been on vacation to the mountains and can’t fall asleep because you don’t hear the usual traffic outside your window? Our bodies get used to the noise around us and even work them into our nightly routine. 

Make Sure Your Partner is Getting Good Rest As Well

One element of a bad night’s sleep is harder to address than the others: a restless partner. If you find yourself wide awake because your partner is snoring or tossing and turning all night, it is time to help them get a better night’s sleep as well. Your partner might be suffering from sleep apnea, which can disturb not only your slumber but could have a negative impact on their health as well. 

Contact the Sleep Experts at Silent Night Therapy

If you are having trouble sleeping and believe that snoring (either you or your partner) might be to blame, contact the OSA specialist Dr. Brown and his team at Silent Night Therapy. Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep, and we’ll be here to find the right solution for you. Schedule a consultation with us by calling (631) 983-2463 or by filling out a contact form today.


“Sleep Divorce”: The key to a lasting relationship?

Posted on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 at 10:33 pm    

You may have heard of the latest celebrity trend called “sleep divorce.” When one or both parts of a couple find that they cannot sleep in the same bed together, for any number of reasons, they choose to sleep in separate beds. For some, this is the only way they can save their relationship and their circadian rhythm. 

Carson Daly became the latest celebrity to join the trend. Daly announced on the Today Show that he and his wife got “sleep divorced.” Daly has severe sleep apnea and uses a CPAP machine to help him breathe at night. His wife, pregnant with their fourth child, found that she couldn’t sleep next to him because the CPAP machine made too much noise. 

Dr. Oz says sleeping in separate beds might work for some couples, but it’s something they should only try on a trial basis. Try sleeping in separate beds, but in the same room, three nights a week, to see how it feels, Oz says. “Invest in your sleep, and you’ll be investing in your relationship. You can’t shortcut that,” he said.

Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up to choking or gasping
  • Waking up with a dry or sore throat
  • Daytime sleepiness, mood changes, decreased libido, or forgetfulness

If left untreated, sleep apnea could prove to be highly dangerous. If you have sleep apnea, your breathing is being interrupted continuously while you sleep, blocking the flow of oxygen to your brain. This could lead to more significant health issues down the road, including physical and mental impairment.

Fortunately, there are other methods for treating sleep apnea that doesn’t involve sleeping in separate rooms or beds, or using loud CPAP machines. Dr. Brown and the team at Silent Night Therapy can help you find the solution that is right for you, including potentially using an oral sleep appliance to help treat harmful and disruptive sleep apnea.

Contact the OSA Team at Silent Night Therapy

If you or your partner is experiencing sleep apnea, get in touch with a specialist like Dr. Brown at Silent Night Therapy. Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep, and we’ll be here to find the solution that will help you get it. Schedule your complimentary consultation with us by calling (631) 983-2463 or by filling out a contact form today.

 


When Does Snoring Become a Problem?

Posted on Friday, November 15th, 2019 at 6:27 pm    

Although snoring is widely accepted and is often made light of in our society, it can often point to more serious health concerns. Snoring can be an indicator of sleep apnea, which is a condition that is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. For some people, these pauses can last up to a minute — or more. This sleep condition is more prevalent in those who are overweight, and tends to worsen with age.

While some occasional, light snoring isn’t considered to be a significant issue, persistent, heavy snoring can impede sleep quality. In severe cases, it can be beneficial to seek medical advice to ensure a good night of restful sleep.

What Causes Snoring?

Snoring is mainly caused by a physical obstruction of airflow through the nose and mouth. There are several different ways that airflow can be obstructed, including:

  • Blocked Nasal Passages: Snoring is common for those who are suffering from seasonal colds or sinus infections. Additionally, deviated septums and internal nasal growths may be the culprit.
  • Weak Throat and Tongue Muscles: Your mouth and throat are filled with muscles that help you chew, swallow, and digest food. If these muscles are weakened, they can collapse and fall back into your airway. Weakened throat and tongue muscles can be caused by alcohol or medication. These muscles also naturally weaken with age.
  • Bulky Throat Tissue: Those who are overweight, have large tonsils, or bulky nasal tissue, are more likely to snore while sleeping.
  • Oversized Uvula and Soft Palate: Your uvula and palate are soft tissues that, when oversized, can obstruct your airway passages while you sleep. As air travels through, these soft tissues can vibrate and come into contact with one another — causing you to snore.

Health Concerns and Risks

Snoring can be an indicator of more severe health issues, such as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can lead to several problems, such as:

  • Prolonged interruptions in breathing
  • Waking up frequently during the night
  • Light sleep
  • Heavier strain on the heart
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Enlargement of the heart
  • Increased risk for heart attack
  • Increased risk for stroke
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased risk for car accidents
  • Impeded quality of life

When You Should Seek Help For Snoring

If you notice that heavy, persistent snoring is disrupting your quality of sleep, it may be beneficial to talk about treatment options with a trained sleep specialist like Dr. Brown and the team at Silent Night Therapy. Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep, and we’ll be here to find the solution that will help you get it. Schedule your complimentary consultation with us by calling (631) 983-2463 or by filling out a contact form today.


Sleep Apnea and Menopause

Posted on Monday, November 4th, 2019 at 4:14 am    

The Mayo Clinic states that the average age a woman experiences menopause is 51, but some women may experience menopause even earlier in their 40s, and some women may not experience it until their late 50s. The bottom line is that menopause is a natural biological process.

Shutterstock 1166845894The problem with menopause is that many of its symptoms can overlap with the symptoms of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Women who think of their symptoms as only being associated with menopause may be ignoring potential signs of a sleep disorder.

Some of the most common symptoms of menopause that can also be signs of sleep disorders may include:

  • Weight gain
  • Irregular periods that vary in frequency or intensity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hot flashes
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Decreased sexual interest or discomfort
  • Poor concentration or memory loss
  • Vaginal and urinary problems
  • Mood swings or irritability

Other symptoms of sleep apnea may be dismissed as being the effects of growing older. Loud snoring or other pauses in breathing while sleeping are some of the most common signs of sleep apnea and deserve to be examined more closely.

Menopause can increase the likelihood of sleep apnea because the levels of estrogen and progesterone that are high before a woman undergoes menopause will decline and become much lower after menopause. One study of women in multiple age groups found that the prevalence of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea increased less than 1 percent in women between 20 years of age and 44 years of age, 2 percent in women 45 years of age to 64 years of age, and 7 percent in women 61 years of age to 100 years of age.

A post-menopausal woman who underwent hormone replacement therapy had much lower rates of sleep apnea prevalence than women who did not receive hormone replacement therapy.  Grace Pien, an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center, said postmenopausal women are two to three times more likely to have sleep apnea compared with premenopausal women.

Hormone replacement therapy involving estrogen and progestin can be beneficial to many women in addressing sleep apnea issues. In other cases, exercise could be recommended, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or hormone replacement therapies could also be used.

Contact Silent Night Therapy

Women who are dealing with signs of menopause that could also be symptoms of sleep apnea should contact Silent Night Therapy for help. Dr. Clifford Brown has been helping New York residents with sleep apnea since the 1970s and is a member of The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) and The Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorder Disciplines who is trained in Dental Sleep Medicine and Oral Appliance Therapy.

We work with most insurance companies so clients can avoid paying most out of pocket expenses. We can talk about how our team can help you when you call (631) 983-2463 or contact us online.


Nighttime Urination and Sleep Apnea

Posted on Monday, October 28th, 2019 at 8:40 pm    

Shutterstock 1155402184

SleepApnea.org, the website of the American Sleep Apnea Association, recently reported that nocturia (otherwise knowns as nighttime urination) has become so prevalent in sleep apnea patients that it is just as significant of a screening tool as snoring. One research study found that more than 84 percent of patients with sleep apnea reported frequent nighttime urination, although 82 percent reported snoring.

For most people, it is normal to wake from sleep for one or two trips to the restroom. Patients with untreated sleep apnea, however, were reporting up to six trips to the bathroom a night.

On April 27, 2000, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) announced that a breakthrough study found that sleep apnea is the root cause of nocturia. Mary Umlauf, Ph.D., associate professor of nursing at UAB and lead investigator of the study, noted that many people with nocturia were more likely to report their problems to a gynecologist or urologist instead of a sleep clinician.

The study was funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research and examined the sleep and nighttime urine production of 30 adults between 50 years of age and 91 years of age. Preliminary findings of that study were published in the December 1999 issue of Ostomy/Wound Management and the 1999 supplement to the journal Sleep.

Umlauf explained that sleep apnea causes nocturia because oxygen decreases and carbon dioxide increases, causing the blood to become more acidic and the heart rate to drop while blood vessels in the lungs constrict, A person needs to awaken enough to reopen the airway and often experiences a false signal of fluid overload in which the heart will excrete a hormone-like protein telling the body to get rid of sodium and water.

Contact Us

If you are dealing with possible nocturia issues relating to constant trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night, you should strongly consider being tested to see if you suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious problem requiring immediate treatment because it can be fatal if left untreated.

Silent Night Therapy has helped scores of people with all kinds of sleep apnea issues. You can have us explain all of your options more fully when you call (631) 983-2463 or contact us online today.


Is Sleep Apnea Hereditary?

Posted on Wednesday, September 4th, 2019 at 4:48 pm    

Have you ever wondered if you’re perhaps genetically predisposed to develop sleep apnea? Perhaps your father, grandfather, or another family member snores and has experienced negative health effects as a result of sleep apnea. You might be concerned that you will develop the condition as well, and likely are wondering what you can do to treat it.

While it is possible that your genetics place you at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea, there is never a guarantee that you will experience it at some point in your life. Rather, the traits you’ve inherited from your family members will likely impact whether or not you experience this and other sleep issues. Some traits include:

  • A family history of obesity
  • Allergies, asthma, or other breathing problems
  • Upper airway tissue problems

Also, studies have shown that individuals in specific ethnic groups might be predisposed to sleep apnea. According to the National Sleep Foundation, people of Hispanic, African, and Pacific Islander heritage are more likely to develop sleep apnea than individuals in other ethnic groups.

Inherited Physical Characteristics Can Play a Role

While sleep disorders like sleep apnea themselves might not be inherited, the physical characteristics that your family passes down could play a significant part. For example, people with the following physical traits are more likely to develop sleep apnea:

  • Narrow nostrils, sinuses, or nasal passages
  • Receding chin
  • Overbite
  • Small jawline
  • Oversized tonsils, uvula, or tongue
  • High and narrow arch of the palate

If these physical characteristics run in your family, you could be at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea at some point in your life. If sleep apnea runs in your family, don’t stress about it too much. Just because your grandfather suffered from it is not a guarantee that you will as well.

Instead, you should pay attention to environmental and lifestyle factors that you can control, like eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise. By staying healthy, you can reduce your risk of developing sleep apnea and many other chronic illnesses that you could potentially be genetically predisposed to.

Are You Suffering From Sleep Apnea? We Can Help

If you suffer from sleep apnea, don’t despair. While you might be genetically predisposed to developing this disorder, it is treatable. The OSA experts at Silent Night Therapy have helped countless people just like you find solutions that will help them get a restful night’s sleep. Contact Dr. Brown and our OSA team at (631) 983-2463 to discuss how we can help you today.


The Effects of Oxygen Inhalation and Sleep Apnea 

Posted on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 at 4:44 am    

An estimated 50% of all people will have an issue with snoring at some point during their lives. Snoring can become more prevalent as you get older, and is typically more common in men (40 percent of the population). However, 24 percent of women are also habitual snorers. For the most part, mild snoring—though potentially annoying to your spouse of partner—is harmless, but it can be a symptom of a far larger problem: obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when an individual temporarily stops breathing while asleep and can happen between four and 30 times every hour depending on the individual.

For men, heavy snoring and sleep apnea may put them at an increased risk of hypertension, angina, stroke, and neuropsychologic dysfunction.

One method of treating sleep apnea is nocturnal oxygen therapy. In theory, nocturnal oxygen therapy should be beneficial by improving oxygenation and relievint tissue hypoxia, however, the results have been mixed, and in some cases oxygen may be harmful to your health.

Theory vs. Reality

The idea of giving patients suffering from sleep apnea oxygen during the night seems logical on the surface. Repeated pauses in breathing lowers oxygen levels in the blood during the night; thereby, giving the patient supplemental oxygen through a plastic tubing called a nasal cannula should stabilize oxygen levels and decrease the risk of future medical problems that are common in people with severe sleep apnea.

Unfortunately, supplemental oxygen has mixed, and in some cases, dangerous results. While the oxygen level in the blood does improve, the effect on the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) has been found to be negligible and severe drowsiness during the daytime—a common side effect of sleep apnea—doesn’t improve. Additionally, supplemental oxygen doesn’t target the high and dangerous levels of excess carbon dioxide that form during the night.

There are instances where supplemental oxygen is beneficial. Individuals suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) like emphysema without also suffering from sleep apnea have benefited from oxygen during the night. But when oxygen is used without relieving the airway obstruction that so often causes heavy snoring and sleep apnea, carbon dioxide levels increase resulting in patients waking up feeling confused or with serious headaches.

Sleep apnea is often caused by the collapse of tissues of the upper airway partially or even completely closing the throat. If this isn’t treated through bilevel therapy or in some cases surgery, oxygen will not reach the lungs.

Contact the Sleep Experts at Silent Night Therapy Today

If you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, be sure to seek treatment right away and get a better night’s sleep. Dr. Brown and the OSA team are here to help those with a history of snoring, who have obstructive sleep apnea, and those who can’t tolerate wearing a CPAP. Our team can diagnose and treat your sleep apnea with the use of effective oral appliances. Call us at (631) 983-2463 to schedule a consultation with us today.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea During Pregnancy

Posted on Thursday, August 1st, 2019 at 4:49 pm    

For expecting mothers, a full and undisrupted night of sleep isn’t always a sure thing. More than three out of every four expectant women say they experience more disturbances while sleeping during pregnancy than they usually do. For the most part, trouble sleeping is a normal and harmless part of pregnancy. Unfortunately, sleep apnea—which affects many pregnant women—doesn’t fall under this category.

Sleep apnea causes breathing to start and stop multiple times during the night. Because sleep apnea deprives the woman’s body of essential oxygen, it can be dangerous for both the expectant mother and baby. A recent study suggests that women who experience sleep apnea while pregnancy has an increased risk of future health problems for both themselves and newborns including an increased risk of the baby requiring neonatal intensive care and the mother suffering from preeclampsia, or high blood pressure. Fortunately, future mothers suspected of suffering from sleep apnea may require treatment.

Understanding the Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea occurs when the airway collapses during sleep, thereby blocking airflow and causing involuntary movements of shallow or no breathing that can last for a few seconds to a minute or more. Apnea often occurs after a pattern of heavy snoring and can happen between four and 15 times an hour for those with mild sleep apnea to over 30 times an hour for those suffering from severe sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is more prevalent in people who are overweight or obese due to the extra weight in the neck area, putting pressure on your windpipe or trachea. For expectant mothers that experience excessive weight gain during pregnancy, this risk can be more severe. A 2017 study found that over eight percent of pregnant women develop some level of sleep apnea midway through pregnancy.

Risks of Sleep Apnea and How to Treat It

Because sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing multiple times during the night, it lowers a person’s blood-oxygen levels putting them at risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack. Additionally, pregnant women may be at an increased risk of developing preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, both of which could be dangerous for the unborn child.

Most victims of sleep apnea are unaware they even have it because it occurs while sleeping, but over time, it will significantly impact your daily life. If you find yourself tired throughout the day, fall asleep while reading, watching television, or sitting in traffic, or notice changes in your mood, you should talk with your doctor about sleep apnea.

Contact Us

Treating sleep apnea usually involves changes to your lifestyle, including finding a healthy weight management plan, changing sleeping positions, and consulting with the experienced oral sleep appliance team at Silent Night Therapy.

Dr. Brown and the OSA team will help diagnose and treat sleep apnea during pregnancy and will work with you to find an oral appliance that will help you get quality sleep. Call us at (631) 983-2463 to schedule a consultation with our knowledgeable and compassionate team today.


Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured?

Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2019 at 9:48 pm    

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes an individual to stop breathing for short periods while they are asleep. If you have sleep apnea, you are not taking in enough oxygen while you sleep, which can cause you to wake up gasping for air.

In many instances of sleep apnea, people are unaware that they have stopped breathing. They may believe their sleep cycle is completely normal as sleep apnea can sound like snoring.

If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to many health conditions, including mental health issues, poor immune function, increased risk of heart failure, and memory loss. While sleep apnea cannot be completely cured, it can be treated.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms and Warning Signs

Sleep apnea can even shorten your lifespan, so it is critical that you have it diagnosed and treated as soon as you experience symptoms. There are a number of warning signs and symptoms associated with sleep apnea, including but not limited to:

  • Loud and persistent snoring
  • Gasping or choking sounds
  • Lack of energy during the day
  • Morning headaches
  • Restless sleep
  • Frequent bathroom visits
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood changes and irritability
  • Depression
  • Decreased interest in sex

If you think you have sleep apnea, consult with your doctor about treatment options. Individuals who make lifestyle changes and use oral appliances have experienced an improved quality of sleep.

Oral Appliances Can Help

Oral appliances can alleviate the symptoms of mild to moderate sleep apnea. The oral devices are designed to position the lower jaw slightly forward and down, opening the airway. These devices are simple to use and ultra-portable if you need to get a good night’s sleep while traveling.

By treating your sleep apnea with an oral appliance, you may reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. It will help you get a good night’s sleep, which will improve your daytime alertness, mood, and concentration level.

Many patients prefer oral appliances because they are so easy to wear. For most patients, it takes a few weeks to get used to sleeping with one. Traveling with your oral appliance is easy. Unlike CPAP, oral appliances can fit in a small bag.

Contact Dr. Brown and the OSA Team

If you are experiencing the sleep apnea symptoms mentioned in this article, contact our knowledgeable and helpful OSA team as soon as possible. We have the solutions that will help you get a better night’s sleep that is free from the harmful impact of sleep apnea. The sooner you call us, the better it will be for your overall health and wellbeing. Call us today at (631) 983-2463 today.

 

 

 

 


Athletes With Sleep Apnea

Posted on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019 at 3:07 pm    

Many people across all walks of life suffer from sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea go through periods in the sleep cycle where they stop breathing, or take extremely shallow breaths.

Not only does sleep apnea affect the quality of sleep you get and your alertness the next day, but it has been linked to a number of health issues including stroke, chronic heart failure, high blood pressure, and other issues.

Sleep apnea sufferers are often surprised to learn that some of their favorite athletes also have dealt with the issue. Fortunately, many athletes are willing to share their stories and raise awareness about this concerning health issue.

Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most well-known athletes in the world. Shaq is open about his struggle with sleep apnea. He met with Harvard sleep specialists and underwent an overnight sleep study to monitor his breathing habits. O’Neal published a video documenting the affair and is an advocate for sleep apnea awareness.

NFL athletes who suffered from sleep apnea include the late Reggie White, who unfortunately passed away prematurely after a battle with the disorder. His death prompted his friend and fellow NFL legend Warren Sapp to seek treatment, and Sapp now raises awareness through the Sleep Apnea Prevention project. 

Studies have suggested that a significant number of NFL players have at least a minor form of sleep apnea. Baltimore Ravens player Ryan Jensen says in an interview on ABC News that being diagnosed with sleep apnea “…saved my career.”

Many athletes (and particularly NFL players) have larger necks than the average person. This is often due to weightlifting and carrying the size and mass that is needed to perform on the field. According to the National Institutes of Health, having a thicker neck can contribute to the thickening of one’s windpipe. A thicker windpipe means that it’s harder for air to pass through, even when the muscles are relaxed and especially when the person is asleep. This might explain why sleep apnea is so prevalent in football players.

Treating Sleep Apnea

Even if you’re not an elite athlete, there are solutions for sleep apnea that can greatly improve your sleep and your overall health. Contact Dr. Brown and the OSA team at (631) 983-2463 to schedule an appointment to address your sleep apnea concerns today.